Feel Your Best Tip: How to Break a Bad Habit

Feel Your Best Tip: Break a Bad Habit

6/22/16 — What habits are causing you pain? It could be smoking, procrastinating, nagging, or even slouching!

Maybe destructive thinking: “I’m so fat…,” “I’m not good enough…,” “I’m not as ______ as _______ …,” the possibilities are frighteningly endless.

For me, a big one (right now) is being impatient. I’m laid back about a lot of things but when really I want something, I want it now, otherwise I’m frustrated, anxious and generally pissed off.

To break habits like this, Ana Forrest, a world-renowned yoga teacher, has a “Formula for Change” that I think is really powerful.

The first step is to catch yourself in the behavior.

Then, instead of punishing yourself (which we often do) with thoughts like “I have no self-control…” “I effed up again…” “why do I even bother…”, AND instead of justifying the behavior, take a handful deep breaks. You may even change your physical posture to reiterate this manner of switching gears.

Step three: congratulate yourself for making it to step three! Give yourself a mental high five or even a physical hug. Say good job to yourself, and perhaps find other healthy, creative ways to celebrate your mindfulness as well. You could go for a walk, give yourself a massage, or even book a massage!

The fourth step is to choose a different path: now that you’re in the moment, you’ve taken the breaths, and you’re in an affirmative frame of mind, you might compliment someone instead of nagging, for example.

In the course of this compassionate self-discipline, start to ask yourself what could underlie the habit and pain it’s associated with. Over time, that inquiry can lead to a whole new dimension of habit-breaking, and transformation.

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