By Trisha Fuller
What’s your Achilles heal? What’s your weakness? The thing you can’t resist? Chocolate? Pizza? Wine? Pick the item, craving, favourite thing that you have a hard time turning down, the temptation that you can’t refuse. The crutch you have.
Can you bring it into your mind? Do you have it?
Now pretend you are three years old… stomp your feet, make fists with your hands, swing your arms and yell “I want my…! I want it now!” (Chocolate, chips, cigarette, fill in the blank with your temptation or habit)
It doesn’t physically look like this when you give into your temptations, but, if you think about what’s going on in your head, you might be saying things like this: “I am a good person, I worked hard today, I am an adult (I don’t have to report to anybody), and I deserve that … (fill in with your temptation or habit).”
This is one way that your mind is rationalizing why it’s ok to “give in” to these temptations, even if that temptation is making you fatter, or causing you harm. It has become instant gratification justification.
Regardless of what that temptation is, or even bad habits, it’s not the food or substance that causes the craving, it’s the mood that makes you want it. Providing a solution for the mood takes away the craving.
Moods like: Boredom, Stress, Tired, Sadness or Loneliness
Your mind always has a positive intention for any habit that it adopts. Sometimes, however, the positive intention has a negative side effect, like gaining weight or difficulty breathing due to smoking.
To discover what mood or moods you are trying to fill, you could ask yourself questions like these:
- Is your temptation filling your time, giving you something to do?
- Is your habit your excuse to be able to take a break?
- Is your habit helping you to stay awake?
- Are you using it to prevent you from saying something you will regret?
- Is it something you associate with relaxing?
- Does your temptation remind you of the care or love you received from someone previously, like a warm hug?
When you discover the mood that needs to be filled, ask yourself, “What are three creative options that would work as well as or better than the old habit ever did at solving your mood?”
If you don’t know, that’s ok! Start testing ideas like throwing spaghetti on the wall – test until something sticks!
Remember, you have to try something new more than once to discover if it’s a good option. That’s why your mom had you try broccoli more than once, why you practiced an instrument or a sport more than once… and believe it or not, you didn’t love your old habit the first time you tried it either. Repetition was the key that made it a habit.
Now, use your creative options habitually to create a new healthy habit that works better than the old habit ever did!
Creative Solutions for Moods
Boredom – What’s an activity that you used to do as entertainment? When you were a kid you might have been told to go play outside, ride your bike, colour a picture, phone a friend, play a game. As an adult, these would still work, right?
Stress – STOP and Breathe. I’m sure you have heard this before, but, have you ever actually done it? Most smokers find that smoking relaxes them, it’s because of the deep breathing – not the smoke. Take deep belly breaths. As you breathe in, blow up your belly like a giant balloon, then breathe out as though you are blowing out a candle. Make sure it is at least 10 deep breaths.
Have a bath or shower and imagine washing away the mood.
Tired – Hmmm sleep? Give yourself the permission to go to bed earlier or to have a 20-minute nap. Having food as a stimulant to keep you awake only makes you gain weight and feel more tired.
If it’s not a time to sleep and you feel tired, what you might actually need is movement. Dance to a good song. Go for a five-minute walk. Go jump on the trampoline with the kids. Get out of the vehicle and do some jumping jacks.
Sad/Loneliness – This can be retrospective. Memory-based. Remembering what you once had, a feeling of loss. There is no way to move forward if a person is always living in the past. You can’t drive down the highway if you’re looking in the rear-view mirror. Focus on how you want your future to go. With whom, what, where and when you want to find connection. What would that look like, sound like and feel like? Make a plan. Even if the plan isn’t possible at the moment. Just taking the time to plan a future adventure will shift your mood.
How would you tell a child to go make friends? We teach this to children and then forget that the same principles apply to us as adults. Join a group. Go take a class that interests you. Volunteer. Open yourself up to the opportunity of bringing new people into your world. Fill the void with curiosity.
Instant mood-changer…What is the one song that makes you smile? Even better, make a playlist of five or more songs that always make you want to get up and move. Have them handy, at your fingertips, so you can take action and press play. This would empower you to control your mood, instead of your moods controlling you.
To discover creative solutions for YOU…Call Now for your Free Screening to see if hypnosis and NLP can help you.
Hypnosis Training – Learn Hypnosis for personal or professional use.
Trisha Fuller, Master Hypnotist/Trainer