What is the connection between habits and circumstances when living with a chronic condition?
If you are someone living with a chronic condition, or a family caregiver, how would you describe your current circumstances?
Overwhelming and beyond your control? Or calm and fulfilling?
What are your daily habits? And how do habits influence your circumstances?
Consider this thought from Matthew Kelly. He says:
“Habits have an incredible power in our lives. Often we think about the power of things we cannot control or the power of things beyond our influence. Often we think about how powerfully circumstances affect our lives, good or bad… And very often we get caught up in sort of the misery of circumstances that are beyond our control, that we find disheartening, or that suck our hope away from us, we find discouraging.”Matthew Kelly, Best Lent Ever
So, he is saying that often we get caught in a loop of negative thoughts that create worry, stress, or anxiety. And those thoughts then lead to circumstances where we feel powerless, discouraged, or even hopeless. When we feel powerless or discouraged, we keep thinking negative thoughts. And a destructive cycle persists.
But then he goes on to give an encouraging message. “Focus on the habits that can overwhelm the circumstances. The habits that can triumph over the circumstances of our lives.”
The Connection Between Habits and Circumstances
So, that got me thinking. What are my daily habits? And what’s the connection to my circumstances? Do my habits create stressful circumstances? Or do my habits create circumstances that help me or my family live as well as possible?
So, I made a list and thought about the effect each habit has in my life.
Let’s start with the bad habits.
I have a habit of drinking too much coffee and not enough water. This leaves me dehydrated too often and affects my energy levels.
I have a habit of buying expensive ice cream treats for my family every Sunday. That works against my physical health and financial health.
I am often running late. I always try to finish one more thing before I shut down work for the day to take the kids to after school activities. And guess what? We are late and I create stress for myself and the kids.
Another bad habit is watching the news at night. This often creates worry or negative emotions just as I am trying to get ready for bed.
If these were my only habits, what would my life or circumstances look like? What voids would exist? Would I be living as well as possible?
Fortunately, I have other habits too.
I exercise everyday, even if I only have time for a 20 minute walk. That positively influences my physical health.
Twice a week I pray the rosary. This builds my spiritual life.
Several times a week I journal to work through my worries, helping me manage my mental well-being.
I use an app on my phone to record every purchase I make. This strengthens my financial health.
Habits And Circumstances To Live As Well As Possible
Returning to Matthew Kelly one more time, he also says, “Our lives change when our habits change.”
So, as I looked at all my habits, I saw some good and some bad. And I wondered, “How would my life change if I could build up more good habits, and decrease the bad?”
So, what about you? What’s your connection between habits and circumstances when living with with a chronic condition? If you feel discouraged or hopeless in your circumstances, what habits could you add to help you:
- manage stress better
- find peace with current circumstances or
- create better relationships and connections
- or maximize your physical health?
What habits would help you overwhelm your current circumstances? And change your life for the better?
If you need help figuring out your connection between habits and circumstances, let’s work together. Click here to learn more about one-one-one wellness coaching options.
Disclaimer: This blog is a resource through which you may obtain information regarding your health and wellness. Information is intended for the general reader and is not a substitute for medical advice. The content in this blog is intended to be informational only and not interpreted as specific advice for you. There may be delays, omissions, or inaccuracies in information contained in this blog. You should always consult with a licensed healthcare professional who is familiar with your health and past medical history before making any changes you may read about in this blog.