Changing Habits – Shifting Perspectives
How do we do that?
Addiction can actually encompass way more than what we may think. Most of us are familiar with the addictions to drugs, alcohol, and caffeine. But what about other things?
First – what is addiction?
You can look it up on Google, but the definition I found used the word addiction in the description . . . haha . . so . . .
Here’s my definition:
Anything we do repeatedly either on a daily basis or regular basis in a semi unconscious mindset, therefore making it unhealthy for us. Something we habitually do that may not actually be serving us for the better and may be keeping us stuck in some form or another. Where we don’t have a full understanding of why we are doing it and there is that underlined reason not fully at the surface yet.
Here are some examples outside of the typical ones:
- over exercising
- too much of even a healthy food
- our cell phones
- certain relationships
- negative thought patterns ( this is a big one. Self sabotaging mind chatter. Every person deals with this )
In essence, anything we feel we have to do to find relief in some sort of way. ( finding relief in and of itself is not bad and can be a very healthy way of moving through a difficult time, but lets make sure what we end up doing to find that relief is through something that benefits us in the long term )
If we are having to ‘do something’ to feel good, something might be off.
So how do we break the habitual pattern if we feel we might have one, or maybe a few?
Well we all know about the cold turkey method. But who wants to hear a child scream when you rip the lollipop from their fingers . . . not me. That creates more issues.
So lets try this instead:
It might sound counter intuitive at first, but hear me out, cause it works. And can work very fast.
Don’t worry about stopping your pattern just yet ( unless it is immediately threatening your life, then seek further guidance ). Be aware of when you’re doing it and then begin to find something else similar, yet better, to take its spot. So when you see yourself go to grab or do your pattern, switch it out for this new thing.
Add in to crowd out
For instance, I really like peanut butter. There’s nothing wrong with it. Its healthy. Full of healthy fats. However, I came to a point where I was using it like a box of cookies and out of almost complete unawareness. It became that Oreo I’d go grab when I was feeling low or so focused on something else that all the sudden I was in the kitchen scooping some up. I would scoop out a huge chunk of peanut butter from the jar ( it was even homemade most of the time ), and then add coconut syrup, coconut sugar, and some cacao nibs. So again, nothing unhealthy here, but the way I was treating it was. And I would do it multiple times a day.
There are many layers to why we do what it is we do. But to gently transition myself out of an unhealthy pattern, I started by replacing the peanut butter with coconut cream.
A healthy fat and just as delicious, but with the extra goodness of its incredible health benefits; but enough of a shift to bring even more awareness to the cycle and give me momentum to continue in the same direction.
It’s not the food, person, or thing that is necessarily bad . . . Its the intention behind the act that we want to focus on and make sure is pure.
We don’t always have to completely eliminate it either. Now, if your habit is very detrimental to your health and has no positive aspects to it, then yes, start creating these gentle shifts with an end goal of completely removing it.
However, if it is not something all that bad in itself, then it’s not about eliminating it all together. Instead, its about shifting the intention, the reason behind why it is you are doing what you’re doing, to make sure the act isn’t actually covering up a deeper reason you might be avoiding looking at.
Bringing awareness to these areas, and breaking these cycles, allows for stress and worry to fall away. It makes space, and opens up time, for new and better things to take place that bring about more joy and love into your life.
Breaking addictive cycles can be hard, and take a lot of time, patience, and strength.
If you feel you have a pattern that needs to be broken, or maybe you have been trying already to break a pattern, but haven’t been able to fully follow through yet, sometimes we need some guidance, accountability, and support to get us through.
If this is something you are looking for contact me below, or read about the Wellness Coaching I offer here: