Habit Energies

I have a book that I’ve been reading off & on, whenever I feel intrigued, about Buddhism. Underlining quotes, making notes, bending pages to look back on later. Their views and ways of thinking are very similar to mine, I like to think of it more as a way of living, than religion.

The Heart of Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh

I reread something that had direct correlation with my current situation. & I thought I would share with ya’ll! (Bethany that was for you ;))

Habit Energies

They can be good or they can be bad. I  have been very guilty of the bad habit energies which is why I was so pulled toward this topic. Habit energies are routine habit behaviors that you do so often that you don’t even think about it while doing it. It’s just habit. That can be anything from being able to drive while changing the station/talking to passengers, biting your nails, or to extremes like drug addictions.

Our habit-making behaviors are in the same part of the brain that plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories, & pattern recognition. The decision-making is in a different part of your brain, and once a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain kinda goes in ‘sleep-mode’. The brain will start working less & less when habit behaviors form.

Habit energies can have an emotional effect; constantly checking social media, using vices when you’re feelin’ down or bored, trying to get back with your ex when you know you shouldn’t, etc. And even though you know you shouldn’t be doing something, you do it anyways. Then regret comes not too much later. Habit energies are strong, and they can bring a lot of damage to ourselves or others.

My habit lately has been social media. It sucks me in. It’s just always an option when I have down time for even a second. If I didn’t have social media on my phone then it wouldn’t be a problem. I’ve done it before & I don’t have to urge to take the time to download the apps, because I know it’s not worth it. But when I have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram apps ALL just sitting on my phone waiting for me, I don’t have the self-control to not check it. It’s just habit.

I don’t know why it’s so ‘important’ to me to know what every single person is doing at every single second of the day. Or why I feel the need to inform everyone what I’m doing? I know how dumb it is, yet the force to do it overpowers my guilt.

Habit energy.

This book explains well of how to overcome these. It all comes down to mindfulness, which I have already talked about in another post. It’s being mindful of everything you are currently doing at that moment in time. It’s all about being aware. Stopping & realizing what you are doing. Is it benefiting you, or hurting?

“We are always running & it has become a habit. We struggle all the time, even during our sleep. We are at war with ourselves, and we can easily start a war with others. We have to learn the art of stopping – stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us. When an emotion rushes through us like a storm, we have no peaceHow can we stop our fear, despair, anger, and craving? We can stop by practicing mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful smiling, and deep looking in order to understand.”

“We need the energy of mindfulness to recognize and be present with our habit energy in order to stop this course of destruction. With mindfulness, we have the capacity to recognize habit energy every time it manifests…mindfulness is the energy that allows us to recognize and prevent it from dominating us.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

I had to quote that, because I don’t think it could be explained more perfectly.

Once you take a step back, realize what you are doing, realize it is not benefiting you, you can embrace the realization, accept it..and move on. You can get deep & understand why you are letting this habit energy take control. Imagine that you have seeds of thought planted all throughout your brain. Jealous seeds, happy seeds, sad seeds, etc. Just because you have jealous seeds, doesn’t mean you need to nurture them & let them grow! No one likes the feeling of being jealous or envious. So, accept that you felt that, acknowledge it, and dismiss it. Don’t let it grow. But, happiness seeds? Water the shit out of those! Give ’em plenty of sunshine, let those good ol’ happiness seeds grow. Turn the jealousy/envy to motivation seeds, then water the shit out of those motivation seeds! YOU choose how you want to feel. Everyone has all these seeds, good and bad, but it’s all what seeds you let grow, what you nurture and become bigger.

Nurture & care for the beneficial habit energies.

Acknowledge & dismiss the bad habit energies.

It’s amazing how much control we have on our own happiness & lifestyle.

Take charge, my friends!

until next time,

• morgan


6 thoughts on “Habit Energies

  1. Ali says:

    I’m adding it to my list. Thanks! I’ve been reading Buddhist Boot Camp for a year now. I would highly recommend it if you haven’tread it yet. I just read a chapter hear and there. I absolutely love it and am always very inspired.


  2. trinitybarker says:

    Hey, Morgan! It’s such a weird coincidence that you posted this the week that I started looking for books about and embracing Buddhism! I actually bought this book right after I finished reading this, haha. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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