Team Blogshealthy habits

We all know what to do to live a healthy lifestyle. Eat more fruit and vegetables and whole foods. Move or exercise more. Sleep and rest well.

The problem lies in implementing these healthy lifestyle intentions in our busy and often stressful lives and making them stick.

have you recently set a new intention to start a new healthy habit? Are you sticking to it? Have you lapsed and given up?

The problem is the human condition, which is habitual and driven by desire. Much of the time our habits and the deeper psychological forces that are driving our habits and desires are unseen. Until we turn towards and accept these forces then the possibility for change is limited and we set ourselves up for failure.

Key principles for making a new habit stick are, one habit at a time, intention, motivation, inevitable and repeated lapses and turning towards the underlying psychology.

Our mindfulness practice can be helpful to cultivate clarity and self-awareness around what we are actually doing. Slowing down and paying attention to the thoughts, emotions, sensations and attitudes can be really helpful in those moments before, during or after a lapse.

The practice of RAIN can be particularly helpful here, when we:

Recognise – noticing what is happening while it is happening;

Allow – allowing our internal experience to be as it is;

Intimate attention – paying close attention to and allowing:

our thoughts and thinking patterns; our emotional feelings; how the body feels; and how we are relating to our experience; and then

Non-identifying – zooming out to a wider perspective in which we are not out experience, but our experience is ever changing and moving through us.

Our compassion practice can also help us to recognise the challenges of the human condition playing out in our busy and often stressful lives. Instead of beating ourselves up when we don’t meet our healthy lifestyle intentions we can offer ourselves some compassion by:

Turning towards and acknowledging that which is difficult;

Recognising that the human condition is messy and that we are driven by many causes and conditions that we did not choose; and

Choosing to be kind to ourselves.

This creates the conditions for recognising and normalising the lapses in our intention, so that it becomes less of a big deal and so it is easier to get back on track again, without recrimination.

Our insight practice is also of us as we familiarise ourselves with the workings of the desire and grasping that underpin and fuel our habits. We apply the antidote of compassion and look directly as a way of generating insights into the underlying psychological forces that drive us.

We have brought together these ideas and others in developing our Mindfulness Based Healthy Living course. In this course you choose the habit you want to change. We provide you with a range of mindfulness-based tools and strategies to support the change in an atmosphere of kindness, common humanity and non-judgement.

Here are some comments from past participants:

“The title of the course made me fearful that it would be judgemental and proscriptive….it hasn’t been”.

“Feel more in control of me, the ups and downs, the successes and failures, they happen, the changes are helping me lose soe weight, that’s the reason I started this journey”.

“It made me develop a much moderating sense of the importance of self-compassion. I feel much equipped to continue on this journey of feeling so much better”.


If this is something that is of interest to you, our next course takes place online on over eight weekly Tuesday evening sessions beginning on OCTOBER 20th – 22nd at Samye Ling. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE COURSE HERE


• Heather also teaches on our Masters degree programs, please CLICK HERE for more information.