My Unhealthy Mental Habits and How I Changed Them

The author with his very nice, well-intentioned parents.

The author with his very nice, well-intentioned parents.

Living on your own for the first time is a difficult transition for anybody. Your parents, God bless them, try to prepare you as well as they can for the real world. My parents did a great job. They taught me how to be studious. They taught me the importance of healthy eating and budgeting. They taught me honesty. But one thing they never had the opportunity to show me was how to properly handle my own emotions. How to handle anger, sadness, and frustration was an enigma to me. I’ve used music and songwriting throughout the majority of my life to help but that can only go so far. You can’t leave in the middle of a disagreement to go write a song about how pissed off you are at the other person!

The author in the studio. “Songwriting helps,” he says, “but it can only go so far.”

The author in the studio. “Songwriting helps,” he says, “but it can only go so far.”

“I didn’t fully connect with this book,” says the author, “but it did ignite my curiosity.”

“I didn’t fully connect with this book,” says the author, “but it did ignite my curiosity.”

The best, and worst, part of living on your own is it helps show you what habits you have in your life. Whether they be good habits, like waking up early to go to the gym or making study time every evening, or bad habits, like finishing a 12-pack alone when you’re feeling overwhelmed  or using negative internal dialogue in your everyday life. Habits can make or break a person, make or break a career, and make or break someone’s dreams and aspirations. This past year I have been studying the power of habits and the one consistency I’ve noticed is nearly every major success story surrounding an individual was built off of a strong foundation of healthy habits! 

The best lesson I’ve learned through my journey of bettering my habits is that it only takes one small step to start. The first step I took was picking up a self-improvement book about Ayurveda. Although that first book didn’t connect with me as well as it could have, it ignited my curiosity. What other self-improvement books are out there? What other unhealthy aspects of my life have I been ignoring? 

The author with his friend and mentor, D Grant Smith (on the right).

The author with his friend and mentor, D Grant Smith (on the right).

This curiosity into bettering myself only grew when I began working with my now friend and mentor, D Grant Smith. On a whim, I decided to take a session with D who works as a life coach for personal development. One conversation later and I knew I had some work to do. After our first talk, D instructed me to begin a new daily ritual: affirmations. Immediately upon waking up and right before bed, I was supposed to read my list of ‘affirmations’. Honestly, the first time he pitched this idea to me, I disregarded it mentally. “Isn’t that what losers do? Tell themselves they are awesome and great? Why would I need to tell myself that? Shouldn’t I just know it?” I know. That’s some pretty ass-backwards logic.

But after thinking about it, what did I know? Here I was, 23 years old, I hated myself and I hated the choices I made on a daily basis. Why not try something new, even if I did think it was crazy mumbo jumbo? So once again, I took a first step into a new habit.  

Picking up the habit of daily affirmations was a bit rocky at first. I really only did it once a day every now and again. But I kept at it. Thankfully I had the support of those around me to stick to these new habits. Even though it took a few weeks, I eventually was saying my affirmations once or twice a day probably five days a week. It had reached the point to where I was now thinking of these affirmations during my normal workday. And I wasn’t just saying these affirmations, but I was believing them too. I was living them. I am confident. I am passionate. I am great! 

And all of this began because I took one small step. I picked up a book two years ago. Then I took another small step, I had a consultation with a life coach. Then step-by-step I started my journey to becoming a better person. Now, I write my affirmations every morning and evening in my journal where I also write my goals for each day, and my gratitude list. This is just a small part of the habits I’ve been able to use to improve my life but it all started with just. One. Step.


jon pattie music

Texas born singer-songwriter Jon Pattie’s passion for songwriting was clear from an early age. “Pattie’s soul-shattering vocals have the power to provoke a profound response,” says fans.

Pattie is currently preparing a four-part EP project that will take his artistic development to the next level. Each album will recount a new portion of Pattie’s journey about his search for who he is and the man he wants to be. The first album, Reflections Volume 1, released on November 7th, 2018.

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