Secrets to conquering bad habits

Torah lights up the world

In this week’s Torah portion (Tetzaveh), God instructs Moshe to command the Jews to bring olive oil that is pure and finely crushed. The Zohar, metaphorically, explains that olive oil refers to Torah. The ideal way of learning Torah is with pure intentions and full energy as if you are “crushing” your body (i.e using up all your energy).

 

92% of new years resolutions fail

We all have a difficult time breaking addictions and habits. We may have tried to diet, exercise, save money or cut back on alcohol without success. In fact, greater than 80% of people give up on their new year’s resolutions by February.

 

Secrets to breaking a bad habit

The secrets to breaking bad habits and improving our character traits are the same as those outlined by the Zohar. You must have clear and pure intentions. Make a list of the benefits of change and focus on them. Envision obstacles you may face and strategize how to overcome them. Inform those around you of what you are doing and ask for help to keep you accountable. Invest all your energy into this endeavor. There will be multiple times when you encounter strong temptations to give up, but if you exert your willpower and keep your intentions pure, these temptations will diminish over time.

Ariel Mintz, MD

Founder and President at Refuat Hanefesh
Dr. Ariel Mintz grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After spending two years learning in Israel, at Derech Eitz Chaim and Shaalivim, he earned his BA in Psychology at Yeshiva Univesity in New York. He went on to obtain his MD at Oakland University William Beaumont School of medicine. He is currently a licensed physician working to complete his training in General Psychiatry at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. After that, he hopes to subspecialize in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has a supportive and talented wife and two wonderful children. He is very passionate about destigmatizing mental illness in the Jewish community and bringing comfort to those who are suffering. Ariel can be reached at [email protected].

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