Think that you are “STUCK” and powerless when it comes to your “old” habits? Think again! Breaking old habits we aren’t proud of is not easy but IT IS possible.
What we need to do is ‘re-program’ our pleasure response….Here is a new and POWERFUL tip to break it!
Instead of thinking I can’t do it and totally “cutting yourself off”, trying to rely on sheer will power etc., switch your thinking. Next time you are faced wanting to cave in to that bag of chips, overeating, smoking or skipping a workout… do this:
1) Allow yourself to have your ‘old ways’ however you have to…
2) PAUSE and reflect for a moment. Ask yourself
– WHAT has triggered me right now to want to (fill in the blank with your nasty habit)
– WHY am I responding this way?
– IS this going to make me feel truly better or worse?
3) Now MAKE a CHOICE. Is there a better alternative? Can you choose a healthier version, go for a walk instead of screaming at your family or pick another distraction that will help ‘calm you down/lift you up’ etc? If not and you choose to move ahead with your old habit, you do so knowingly – consciously, not subconsciously and…
4) Be FULLY engaged and present as you are doing it. Be totally aware of how you feel, look, what you taste and all the sensations going through your body right now. Be fully present in how you feel AFTER you are finished. Do you feel better or worse?
For example if you catch yourself wanting to down an order of poutine and you do make the choice to do it. How does it feel to be shoveling the food in? Does it make you feel proud or embarrassed? Fresh or greasy? What about afterwards? Is there something that would have satisfied you the same way? You can do this exercise for smoking, drinking, skipping exercise etc.
Judson Brewer suggests in his Ted Talks video that “By making a strong link to what is ACTUALLY happening, you just might find that you become “disenchanted” with your old habit and it’s power over you becomes weaker and weaker until over time your brain does not associate pleasure with it any longer!” Check out the video here!
I found this really insightful and have decided to add this as a teaching week to our 90 Day Leanout Program where we discuss cravings and strategies. How can you incorporate this strategy into your life? Try it this week and share your feedback with us!
Yours in health,