How to address bad habits
Here’s the common scenario, you’re feeling tired, stressed, worried, frustrated, bored or restless so you look for something to relieve it. Chocolate, sweets, TV shows, wine, beer, sex, porn, social media etc. Whatever that form of release comes in, it provides you with a burst of excitement, numbness and pleasure but afterwards you crash back into feeling tired, stressed, worried, frustrated, bored or restless. In addition you now have the guilt to deal with.
That act of instant gratification repeated over time is forming neural pathways in your brain. The behaviour becomes so automatic that you sometimes act on impulse without even questioning the implications first. I won’t go into the neuroscience of it all by writing about the brain’s chemical messengers like dopamine. That is a nice to know. What you need to know is this, those neural pathways can be replaced. Your unwanted pattern of behaviour can be eliminated if you’re willing. Are you willing? Really?
I don’t have any quick fix program, the world has enough of them. They’re not sustainable long term as they don’t address the root cause of the bad habit. Through initial enthusiasm, hope and novelty of a new quick fix program we tend to push through days and weeks doing better but we eventually slip back into our cycle of bad habits. The catalyst usually being an unwanted trigger.
Yes, by making good decisions to not indulge over time rewires the brain but my point is to address the root cause first. So next time that negative feeling arises causing the urge to indulge, try to catch it with the breathe. Write about it. Work on it. Accept it. Release it. Visualise the aftermath if you indulge. Ask yourself whether the behaviour is going to get you what you really want for your life. I’m talking about observing it as if it’s laid out in front of you. It can be uncomfortable to do this at first but trust the process and the urge will subside. The long term payoff is powerful. With practice you will instinctively pass up any temptation as your brain relearns, it will understand the habit isn’t worth it. Life is much better without it.
Now we can implement good habits, the habits which steer us to feeling healthy, positive, vibrant, social and abundant long term. Habits that align to what you really want for your life. There are so many and we each fit some over others. My coaching can help rid the negative, discover the new and support you in embedding the good habits so they become the norm.