Habitual Thinking

Bad habits can become good habits with the proper help, determination, and a healthy belief system……in my personal experience.

Many, many years ago I realized that what I thought about I will focus on it and believe it. Of course, it was a ton of negative things about myself. I was never perfect enough. I thought about my past and berated myself for doing stupid things.

I learned how to stop the negative thinking but never replaced it with anything positive. I existed in a kind of limbo. I worked on blocking negative thoughts on a daily basis until I finally thought I had control of my life.

When I received my lung cancer diagnosis, all that practice washed away in an instant. I smoked when I was younger but had stopped 23 years prior to my diagnosis. This was my payback for being so reckless with my health all those years ago. Maybe I ended up with cancer for all the stupid things I had done in my past. Every bit of anger I held, every bad word spoken, every thought….I was being held responsible, and paying the consequences for my actions.

With the help of some medications that were right for me and help from my therapist, I relearned how to block the negative thoughts but this time I replaced them with positive thoughts.

I have been striving to change my thoughts for five years this time. Since I had spent so many years already blocking negative thoughts, that part was a bit easier to rebuild. Replacing those thoughts with positive ones has been a challenge.

I wonder why evil has always prevailed over good in my life.

I allowed it to happen.

I created a perception of myself through false thoughts. I lied to myself over and over. Not that I’m perfect, I’m human after all. However, I’m not bad either. I just had to believe it.

I have a habit of sitting cross-legged. Everywhere. Wherever I have space, I cross my legs. Not like a lady, like a kid in kindergarten….crisscross applesauce. You see, I have a bad hip and this type of sitting brings on extreme hip pain. I can’t sleep on that particular side or I wake up in pain….all night long. A habit I’m struggling to change. I would think that I would do anything to avoid physical pain since I have been trying to avoid anything that causes mental pain.

So why is it so hard?






About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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21 Responses to Habitual Thinking

  1. On the cross legged sitting…have you considered it might be an act of defiance from your subconscious to either assert control (like a “f-you body, I’m going to keep doing this because I want to and you need to learn to deal with it”) or it might be a form of self sabotage to try and convince/reinforce negative thoughts. I could be completely off base but I know that’s usually the reasoning behind why I have trouble changing behavior that isn’t ultimately good for me.

    • April says:

      Good one! I hadn’t thought about my subconscious reinforcing negative thoughts. I think I have to look a little deeper. I know that if I want to do something, I have a lot of trouble getting started–like making my environment more organized. I’ve never understood why I do this when I want something. I’ve trained myself pretty well with self sabotage.

  2. This is random, but your post made me think of a book I recently read — Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. It’s all about habits & how different personalities establish them based on 4 types she came up with. I…am what she called a Rebel. No pattern to how I go about things, and it was eerily accurate. Rebels can establish & change habits but they have to figure out what works for them as individuals & aren’t people who follow scripts & rules. Sigh…so, i have no idea if this is you, but you have made a lot of positive changes so I’m certain you will be able to make this necessary change. Good luck!

    • April says:

      I would really like to check that book out. Maybe if I understood why I do the things I do I can change what I want.

      • It was helpful to me in many ways. The only part I didn’t like was that the author had a very different temperament than mine & I didn’t feel like she gave much time to the “Rebels” so in some ways I walked away with a better understanding of how others establish habits, which left me feeling a bit misunderstood. It’s a good book but might need to keep a copy of Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown nearby in case you feel down on yourself. Just excuse all the self help I’m throwing at you today. Been that kind of week. 😊

  3. joey says:

    I like your metaphor.
    I sit cross-legged all the time at home. Often, my mother does as well. My grandmother did til the day she died. I’m not comfortable any other way. I have a bad hip, too, thanks Sassy, but as long as I switch legs, I’m good. I do think it makes spider veins? But, as I wrote, I’m not comfortable any other way, and I’m not particularly vain.
    I wish you luck finding a new position, one that better suits your long-term comfort 🙂

  4. mewhoami says:

    Bad habits can certainly be changed into good ones; it just takes work. I’m currently working on a few myself…long process though. I like to sit cross-legged too and also have a bad hip. Hmmm….there seems to be a pattern here. All three of us who sit that way have hip issues. Maybe our cross-legged sitting has contributed to that?

  5. Bradley says:

    This post, because of crossing your legs knowing they’ll hurt , reminds me of a story in Robert Fulghum’s book “It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It” In this true story the fire department rescued a man whose bed was on fire and had spread. When they asked him how the bed caught on fire, the man said, “I don’t know. It was on fire when I lay down on it.”

    It’s a fun book, similar to the Chicken Soup books, but don’t cross your legs while you read it. 🙂

  6. It is just a lifetime of thinking that way about yourself April. We all do it in some way or another.
    The best way to change that thinking is remove the belief….which is understanding ‘why’ we think that way, and usually based on our fears.
    Look deep, find the ‘why’ of your thinking back in your childhood, that is where they begin, hence the locked in thinking patterns.
    When you can truly look underneath them, slowly or even those ‘aha’ moments will set you free…because when you understand ‘why’ you have acted all your life in a certain way, that understanding stops it dead in its tracks. The fear loses its power because you now understand ‘why’ you acted as you did, and in that understanding you release it, and now have the choice of how YOU want to be, instead of being manipulated by those fears.
    Understanding is the key to set you free…you have let the universe know that you are ready…you have begun the path to release what no longer serves you. Yes, it can be hard, but it is in fact you loving yourself by understanding and releasing those things that hold you back. And the fact that you would not appreciate the journey if the answer was just given to you. You will have worked very hard to find your truth, and in doing that, you are being loving to yourself, releasing low self worth and negativities that we all have, and becoming the love that we seek.
    Enjoy the journey, it is built on a love like no other….when you see it for what it is, out the other side…you will smile within for the first time…a smile that WILL be happy, that happiness that we have searched for all our lives 🙂

    • April says:

      I always enjoy your comments. They make me smile and let me know I’m on the right path.

      • Thank you April 🙂 That path is just one step at a time, and even the odd backward step has purpose in showing you something so you can just let it go for what it was.
        Hey, go step in a puddle, you may be surprised in the ‘hidden child’ that comes to the surface to play 😀

  7. Glynis Jolly says:

    I haven’t been able to cross my legs Indian-style since the stroke. I can do it actually, but I pay dearly for it because the nerves in my right leg go bonkers. That means I can’t walk at all until they settle down. But I love sitting Indian-style. I’m a natural manipulator. I find ways to get what I want without causing friction with body, soul, or mind, whether it by mine or someone else’s. I, now, sit half Indian-style. One leg is crossed under. The other is laying straight. Not quite as good, but better than not doing it at all.

    Why do I go on like this in your comment section? Maybe you need to learn how to become a manipulator. Do the old routine: have lemons? make lemonade.

    • April says:

      I’m trying to remind myself to sit just the way you described. I’m also focusing on getting my core muscles in shape so that I can practice sitting up straight instead of slouching.

  8. reocochran says:

    I like that you have three kids like I do and you have had a successful relationship with your husband, April.
    I am so glad you mentioned some of those negative thoughts are being replaced by positive ones. It is hard to know why good and nice people get cancer. . .
    I think my 42 year old friend who died with a two year old, 3 teenagers and a husband made no sense. A farmer’s wife who taught special needs preschoolers with a family was so very much needed. By the way, she never smoked not drank, except occasionally wine at holidays. Don’t worry nor blame yourself. Live well, sweety! ❤

    • April says:

      I know older people who have lived a life of drinking and smoking and have lived until quite an old age. It makes no sense when the good ones (especially kids) who have to deal with cancer.

      • reocochran says:

        It is hard to figure out, makes no sense, April. Thanks for understanding my ramblings. Sometimes, I think that knowing we have some kind of “purpose” for being alive helps. Mainly, being glad we are is good enough.

  9. When we are crossing either our arms or legs, it is often because of self-protection, against what?
    I found this pillow, as I know, when we sit on it, it is more difficult to cross the legs without getting the feeling of falling: https://www.google.es/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fimages-na.ssl-images-amazon.com%2Fimages%2FI%2F61QItR0nLTL.SL1000.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2FPhysioRoom-Seating-Wedge-Posture-Cushion%2Fdp%2FB0057EQJUE&docid=KprcpfmD6gzksM&tbnid=iEh8VZ1lpDLMSM%3A&w=1000&h=1000&bih=636&biw=1024&ved=0ahUKEwjE7Z2JoNfPAhVMVhQKHblADLE4ZBAzCDsoOTA5&iact=mrc&uact=8

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