Mantras, for Making Healthy Habits Stick

“It’s worth it,” or “do it now,” these are simple, but effective mantras that a couple of my clients have been using to seize that small, but critical, window of opportunity, when you can choose to pursue a healthy habit, or blow it off. The use of the mantra not only helps to create a reflective pause, which enables you to make a conscious choice in practicing the new habit, versus the old one, but it also triggers the motivation to take the positive action.

When I began working with client “A”, we’ll call her Sue, she was feeling frustrated, and had just about given up hope on being able to improve her irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She had been to a conventional doctor, a functional medicine practitioner, and had tried many different recommendations that she had read about; nothing seemed to have sustainable positive results. When she was experiencing lots of IBS symptoms, she’d become frustrated with her body, and would find it hard to motivate to do things that would comfort her digestive system, or at least avoid additional triggers. She realized that she would get in to a negative feedback loop, where her body would feel bad, she’d get angry with her body, then it would be harder to do positive things for herself. Using the mantra, “it’s worth it,” allowed her to pause and think about how taking or not taking a certain action, like taking a supplement or having an alcoholic drink, would make her feel in a few hours, or the next day. The reflective pause gave her enough time to confirm, yes, it is worth it, I’m worth it! She is now experiencing significantly less IBS symptoms, is more hopeful, and believes that if you commit to making small changes, they can be life-changing!

Client “B”, we’ll call her Pam, has many to do lists, and often becomes somewhat paralyzed with overwhelm when too many tasks stack up. Using the mantra, “do it now”, allowed her to break tasks down in to smaller, more manageable steps. For example, if there was a lot of clutter on the bathroom counter, Pam would sometimes think, I’ll take care of that later. She’d feel unmotivated to do it because it appeared to be a big project. Using the mantra, allowed her to remove a few things from the counter in that moment, leaving less to do later, and making it feel more manageable.

In both cases the mantras were helpful in implementing new, healthy habits. Both clients also realized the power of taking small actions towards their goals, which when compounded, make a very big difference! What is a healthy habit that you’re working to implement? What’s a short, empowering statement, or mantra, that you can use to help you take positive action? If you’d like help, send me an email at jeangilliswellness@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

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