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3 habits that show you don’t care about you

That’s right, there’s things you do that show you’re not actually prioritising care for your wellbeing.

Yes, you’re eating healthy foods, doing the gym workouts and completing online assessments and declarations – that’s wonderful! And all these make a significant dent on the pocket too. By the way, you must have tallied just how much you do spend on healthy foods (fruits/veggies/meats/fish) and gym (fee, trainer, meals and drinks, attire, extra classes, parking). Therefore doing these activities is worth it, because you’re investing time and money into your physical health. Let’s add to that all that personal grooming attention you do so you can look good and feel even better – getting awesome manicures/pedicures, facials, massages, hair treatments, manscaping – it’s endless. Again, justified expenses towards predominantly physical wellbeing.

Yes, the dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters kick in with these activities, but it’s short lived. For example, after 20 to 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise, endorphins are released and will result in a mood and energy boost for two to three hours, and a mild buzz for up to 24 hours. According to Psychology Today magazine,

dopamine causes you to want, desire, seek out, and search. It increases your general level of arousal and your goal-directed behaviour. Dopamine makes you curious about ideas and fuels your searching for information. Dopamine creates reward-seeking loops in the sense that people will repeat pleasurable behaviour…”

Here is the thing though: you are more than just your appearance.

You feel (the breadth and depth of which is sometimes unfathomable).

You strive ambitiously (and win or lose).

You measure yourself against others (dangerous territory).

You criticise (passively mostly, underpinned by your web of personal experiences).

You self-deprecate (often out of fear or self-doubt).

You think (up to 60000 per day and at least 80% are negative and 95% are repeats from the previous day – what a lot of energy!).

You believe (and disbelieve).

It’s quite a spectrum from positive to neutral to negative. All of these affect your neurotransmitters and can often undo your 1 hour gym session or feeling great about your cut & colour pretty quickly.

It has been described that a person with high levels of dopamine, due to temperament say, is a sensation seeker. In this case, he/she would see potential stressors as challenges to be overcome rather than threats that might crush them. This mindset is a buffer against the stress of life and increases their hardiness and resilience in the long term.

What are you doing to prioritise, manage and grow the inner you? How do you manage that range of emotion? What’s helping you keep this in check to ensure you’re not looking at a mouse and seeing a lion/making a mountain out of a molehill/can’t see the wood for the trees?

Here’s what you’re currently doing that’s not helping you at all:

  1. You don’t know how to say no which means you take on more than you can chew. You’re almost-always never switched off because you have deadlines and commitments to deliver on. You take leave from work but aren’t actually on leave because you’re responding to emails, calls, texts, documents. Boundaries are vital to keeping your sanity in check, both at work and at home.
  2. You don’t have a support structure in place to be able to develop from or even vent to. A counsellor who can help you deal with deep rooted anxieties emanating from your past. That mentor who directs you where you need to go. The coach who empowers you to test your limits and push beyond. Each level of guidance benefits you materially in your past, present and anticipated future vision of you.
  3. You don’t build in inner me-time daily. Meditation, reflection, gratitude, personal attributions are just a few examples. Channelling some of those 60000 thoughts to “how am I actually doing today?”. Often the most powerful revelations and solutions can come from these, because you’re choosing to focus on listening to you.

Prioritising your emotional and mental wellbeing can turn you into that resilient sensation seeker who can weather more storms productively while finding more opportunities to conquer. Thus, how much is considered mental stability and peak mental agility worth to you?

Change your routine habits by investing (time, money, effort) into new ones that extend the hard buzz for longer and reap the benefits of inner self care in all spheres of your life.

Find Your Prerna (inspiration). Be bold. Be brave