Now THERE is a topic to bring up!
Anyone else other than me struggling with giving into cravings or bad habits?
Just as I have been struggling with a few of my own cravings and bad habits (having to cut out my absolute most favorite hot beverage; green tea latté because of recent problems with my kidneys and having to work hard to get out of a funk around the anger and the hurt about having to choose between teaching yoga at what was my most favorite place in the world to teach or to build my business) I come across this amazing TEDx talk about self-control. I just love that when the student is ready the teacher appears!
The TED talk on the secret to self-control is by Jonathan Bricker. The 15 minute talk is worth watching over and over again. He is well spoken and actually quite funny. He introduces the concept of ”willingness” which I would regularly refer to as ”mindfulness” during yoga, meditation or wellness coaching sessions. I kind of laugh a bit when he says that the ”willingness” method is a scientific breakthrough and is now being used by professionals to help people with addictions, anxiety etc. I totally agree with the method that he describes but know that this is actually a very old, widely used method by yogis and those who meditate. That said, kudos to the professionals out there who are open minded enough to help people using this method…. WATCH the video his wisdom is fabulous.
He talks about the failure of past methods to get rid of bad habits or cravings such as avoiding the craving, avoiding thinking about it, distracting yourself from it. The best one is: ”go ahead, turn it off… just stop it”
Ya, those don’t work!
Here is, in a nutshell, what he suggest we should do instead to succeed:
– Notice (be mindful of) where you feel the craving in your body
– Notice (be mindful) that the cravings are generally in the background and you often are living on autopilot
– Journal the cravings and track the intensity over time
– Notice (be mindful of) what you are thinking about or how you feel just before you act on the craving.
He then asks you to do an exercise that will give you a little bit of space between you and your thoughts. He says that it is in that space that you can choose not to act on your craving or bad habit.
The exercise consists of acknowledging that you are having the thought that you are craving whatever you are craving. You then can add the next layer: I am noticing that I am having the thought that I am feeling a lot of stress (or whatever you are feeling) right now. I really need a ________ or I really want to do_______.
His secret to self-control is to give up control. That is a tough pill to swallow when you are a tad bit of a control freak. And when I say you, I actually mean me! I am working on it LOL!
I definitely agree with him that whatever choice you make, try to bring a spirit of caring and kindness to yourself.
I will be continuously implementing these methods in my life. Let me know how they work out for you!