#64 – How meditation removes your bad habits
So many people have at least one or two habits that they wish they could do away with. Some people have been smoking all of their lives and wish to quit, other people drink too much and would like to be able to reduce their alcohol consumption.
Others among us have less serious habits that we are having just as hard a time shaking, as even little things like nail biting can seem impossible to let go of. Thankfully, there are a number of different practices that we can employ to change our habits, and meditation is one of the best.
There are a couple of big reasons why meditation is so good at helping get rid of bad habits. Maybe the biggest reason is the fact that meditation creates a lot of self-awareness.
As you meditate you continuously penetrate layer after layer of yourself, moving past the lies and delusions that we so often tell ourselves.
As you meditate, it’s likely that you’ll move past those surface level lies that justify your bad behavior (things like I drink a lot to have fun) and get to the core of why we engage in these behaviors.
Once you see why you do what you do, it’s a lot easier to eliminate the bad habit from its root cause.
Meditation also helps you focus on what you really want, it helps you identify what will really satisfy you in the way that your bad behavior doesn’t, and it will help you visualize a reality without that bad behavior.
While this may seem like a somewhat abstract way to think about it, the fact of the matter is meditation actually does work to affect these changes. In a recent study (Marlatt, Pagano, Rose, Marques) researchers studied the effects of meditation and other structured relaxation techniques among heavy social drinkers.
They found that the patients with a history of heavy social drinking who began to practice meditation “ had a significant reduction in alcohol consumption.” And in the end, it’s results like those that show the power of meditation to illicit positive changes in your habits.