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4 Keys To Altering Unhealthy Behaviors

how to change behaviors man mind electricity

How To Change Unhealthy Behaviors

Hiya and welcome to episode 41 of the Males’s Self-Assist Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. John Moore, and I’m a licensed psychotherapist out of Chicago, Illinois and I focus on males’s work and males’s points.

Now as we get into at the moment’s pod, please you’ll want to hit that subscribe button so that you by no means miss one other present. Fast disclaimer, this podcast isn’t designed to behave as an alternative to psychological well being counseling and I’m not your private therapist.

Alrighty – let’s soar proper into our matter. Easy methods to change unhealthy behaviors.

As a place to begin, I’d wish to ask you a few questions.

  • Do you end up recurrently partaking in issues you aren’t good for you?
  • For instance, do you drink to a lot, smoke an excessive amount of or eat an excessive amount of?
  • Have you ever been over-buying issues on-line, though you don’t really want them – and albeit can’t afford them?

If any of this sounds acquainted, welcome to the membership! If we’re being actual about it, all of us are imperfect – and that features me. Actually, I’ve carried out nearly everybody of these issues I simply ticked off with some greater than others.

And I’m saying this as a result of so as so that you can create a shift in one thing, like an unhealthy behavior and even an dependancy, you’ve obtained to be trustworthy with your self about what’s happening. And after I say trustworthy, I’m speaking about doing it in a approach that’s devoid of judgement and disgrace.

It’s possible you’ll be questioning how can I do that? Effectively, hold tight as a result of I’m going to go over all of this with you in only a few minutes as a part of exploring the 4 keys to altering conduct.

However only for proper now, I need you to consider that one factor – that one conduct – you’d like to vary and simply tuck it in your again pocket, as a result of we’ll be coming again to it.


You realize, I’ve been concerned in subject of counseling and training for almost 20 years and I’ve labored with nearly each sort of individual you’ll be able to think about – from the varsity janitor who has discovered himself hooked on ache killers to the company govt hooked on grownup vids.

Some had been so poor they couldn’t afford the $2.00 bus journey to get to my workplace and others so wealthy that they pulled up in a chuffer pushed automotive.

However no matter their background, the widespread bond that united all of those individuals – no matter their life station was a powerful want to create change. And as I discuss this now with you, I’m pondering of a consumer I as soon as labored with named Mike.

Now when Mike got here to see me round 15-years in the past, he was battling a sequence of life issues. He was in his late 30’s, obese and hooked on booze and adults vids.

With a purpose to get his sexual wants met – as a result of hey all of us have that a part of us that wants nurturing, he’d spend tons of of {dollars} on the weekend at therapeutic massage parlors – and after I say therapeutic massage, I’m speaking about locations that provide a contented endings, in case you observe my drift.

Now I discussed that final half to you not as a result of I consider blissful endings are a nasty factor or that intercourse work is flawed. Nope. Personally, I feel it’s type of ridiculous that we criminalize that type of factor between two consenting adults – and the key phrases being consenting adults.

However I digress – again to Mike. The explanation he got here to see me was as a result of there was part of him who realized that his life was spiraling uncontrolled. He didn’t like the way in which he appeared, he hated how he had develop into hooked on alcohol, and he wasn’t blissful about his relationship with video or the therapeutic massage parlors.

What’s extra, he was terribly in debt and was on the verge of dropping his job as a fork-lift driver.

As I share a few of that with you, perhaps a few of you’ll be able to relate?

And so, Mike desperately wished to develop into a brand new individual. For him, he had gotten so depressed and accustomed to hating on himself that the person might barely take a look at himself within the mirror anymore.

He was depressed, lonely and even feeling a bit suicidal.

I can nonetheless hear him now saying to me: “Dr. John, please assist me cease doing this stuff. I don’t just like the individual I’ve develop into.”

And also you see that is what occurs when a person like Mike involves an individual like me. They desperately hope that the counselor can magically “repair” them and make every little thing higher.

However the unhappy fact is it doesn’t work that approach. I imply hell yeah I want I had a magic wand and will do an abracadabra on somebody in that state of affairs. That will be superb! However the actuality is the method of change begins with every of us – it begins with you.

Right here’s a unclean little secret: Therapists and coaches might help an individual to facilitate change, however the precise means of transformation begins with the person.

So, what occurs to a man like Mike who had clearly reached some extent of disaster? Can something be carried out? Effectively, I’ll let you know precisely what I instructed Mike all these years in the past and its truly excellent news.

Are you prepared? Right here it goes:

Disaster is the cut-off date when change is almost definitely.

Let me say that once more: Disaster is the cut-off date when change is almost definitely.

And this is sensible, doesn’t it? We by no means actually wish to change a conduct if it’s not inflicting us issues, significantly if it brings us pleasure, proper?

Like in case you simply stepped away from a slot machine after profitable the $10,000 jackpot, you aren’t going to be working round saying, “Oh man, I actually tousled. I simply hate myself for profitable all that money. What the hell is flawed with me?

Nope – the disaster half occurs if you lose the final $20.00 to your identify on a poker recreation and notice, “Holly crap, I’m utterly broke. I don’t even have the funds for now to purchase myself meals – and the lease is overdue, and my automotive notice is late, and oh my God, my cellphone is about to get shut off. Why did I blow all my cash on that poker recreation?

You see, that’s disaster. That’s when life will get actual. And once more, it’s the cut-off date when change is almost definitely. Observe me?

All of this brings us again to our fundamental matter – how can I modify an unhealthy conduct? Effectively, now can be time for me to acquaint you with a way referred to as REST. Let me repeat that, REST and it stands for RELAX, EVALUATE, SET AN INTENTION and ACT.

Now as a matter of full disclosure, I didn’t make REST up. It involves us from the world Dialectical Habits Remedy or DBT -and it was conceptualized by the American psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan. If you wish to know extra about DBT, you’ll want to try episode 33.

Now as we go over REST, take into account that this system can be utilized as a part of a change course of. It isn’t designed to immediately cease an undesirable conduct or magically repair it.

As a substitute, REST can be utilized as a part of discovering the motivation to place you on the trail to vary. Does that make sense? I simply wish to be clear about that as a result of anybody who says they will immediately repair any sort of routine or addictive drawback is yanking your chain.

OK, let’s get to it:

Change Behaviors Mystical Bird Water
Change and private transformation

Step One: Calm down

For this explicit key, I want you to return to that one factor I discussed firstly of the podcast you wish to change. It may very well be your relationship with alcohol, it may very well be another substance, or it may very well be a conduct.

And what I’d such as you to do is venture a thought bubble above your head. Yep, a thought bubble – type of like what you would possibly see in a comic book e book. And inside that bubble you’re going to put the picture or phrases of that one factor you are attempting to vary.

If it helps, take a deep breath and maintain it for the rely of 4 after which launch.

When you’ve carried out this, all I need you to do is observe that bubble. Yup yup, simply observe it. If you’re struggling to give you a picture, it’s OK to drag out a pen and paper and write down the phrase that represents that factor you wish to change. For instance: Alcohol, playing, smoking, video – you get the concept.

The thought right here is to create emotional distance from that one factor you wish to change.

If this feels a bit unusual to do, that’s fantastic – simply go together with it. There could also be a part of you who’s immune to this sort of factor as a result of it feels too woo-woo. No drawback, however I’d nonetheless such as you to go together with it and see how issues shake out.

By partaking on this step, you’re using a robust device referred to as mindfulness. Consider it as your very personal super-power. Keep in mind, all we’re doing is observing. Observe me?

If you’re questioning how lengthy try to be holding this psychological picture, there isn’t a proper or flawed reply. Since our purpose is so that you can merely observe – devoid of judgement – the period of time will range. For some individuals, reaching a spot of non-judgmental statement takes only some moments. For others, it could actually take a number of minutes – or extra – as a result of the item itself is emotionally charged.

Your unconscious will let if you’ve reached the fitting place. If it’s essential to pause this a part of the pod and are available again to it – that’s fantastic and dandy.

As soon as you’re prepared, let’s transfer to step two.

Step Two: Consider

Now that you simply’re capable of consider this conduct you’re holding, it’s time to judge. Discover I mentioned consider and never decide as a result of there’s a giant distinction between the 2.

After we decide, we make a dedication a couple of given conduct and its nearly all the time unfavourable. And truthfully, do you really want to put anymore guilt upon your self? In fact you don’t as a result of all that does is make you extra more likely to have interaction in that undesired conduct as a result of it helps you to escape from the guilt.

After we consider, we merely take a look at one thing objectively to find out its worth. Right here’s an instance. Let’s say in my thought bubble I’ve projected a hamburger with fries as a result of each evening I’ve discovered myself consuming quick meals and it’s develop into an unhealthy behavior.

In that psychological image, I’m merely going to consider what worth that conduct is bringing to my life. Some inquiries to ask as a part of this step embody:

  • Is it serving to me to look bodily match?
  • Does it make me extra enticing?
  • Has it helped me to maneuver nearer to my objectives or additional away?

By evaluating a conduct as a substitute of judging it, the conduct itself has much less energy over us? Does that make sense? Now right here’s the factor with this step. You will need to not over analyze. All you wish to do is assess this factor in your life from the vantage level of 30,000 ft. If you’re utilizing a microscope, throw it out guys as a result of it’ll shoot you down a rabbit gap.

At this level, we aren’t making an attempt to unravel the issue. All we’re doing is evaluating it’s worth in our life? Does that make sense?

Now hold with me as a result of in only a few moments, we’re going to go over the opposite two steps.

Stick round.

Go to Higher Assist utilizing this hyperlink for a really particular supply to the listeners of the Podcast.

OK, so that you’ve carried out the 1st step and projected that factor you’d like to vary in your thought bubble and also you’ve additionally taken care of step two, which is just observing it and evaluating it’s presence.

Now we’re going to maneuver to step three, which is:

Step Three: Set an Intention

And with this one, you you’re going to be doing just about what it suggests. I’ve discovered step three works greatest when it’s verbally acknowledged after which adopted up by writing it down.

Right here is an instance of setting an intention:

I wish to transfer nearer to stopping my relationship with video.

Discover I didn’t say: I’ll by no means watch video once more. You see, in case your intention is one thing like that, you’re forcing your thoughts into nook. And with unhealthy habits and even dependancy, we don’t wish to try this as a result of there might be part of ourselves who rebels. Name it a youthful model of the self and even what Sigmund Freud described on the ID. And the ID is devoid of time and area. It solely desires what it desires – at any time when it desires it – and it doesn’t like taking orders.

Actual fast, I bear in mind the primary time I attempted to vary my relationship with cigarettes and finally finish smoking. The extra I instructed myself “I wish to stop” the extra I felt myself wanting one other cigarette. And the rationale for that’s as a result of it seems the phrase “Give up” makes the unconscious thoughts really feel prefer it’s giving one thing up, prefer it’s being punished.

It was solely till I shifted my intention – I shifted my language did I discover lasting change attainable. I used to be in a position to do that by creating the next various intention:

I wish to transfer nearer to stopping my relationship with nicotine.

Do you see what I did there? The phrases MOVE CLOSER aren’t as scary. Furthermore, I hacked into my brains Nucleus accumbens, an space of the pre-frontal cortex, often known as the mind’s pleasure middle. And in my hack, I launched the potential of change with out freaking it out.

Once you set your intention – verbally after which in writing – you’re shifting your mindset slowly and step by step. And in my expertise that’s how lasting change occurs, once we make changes incrementally and never immediately.

As a part of this step, I encourage you to spend a while together with your intention. It’s possible you’ll wish to mediate on it or you could wish to write it down on a sticky notice and slap it up subsequent to your pc display. Consider your intention as planting a seed.

And of this all goes again to that magic wand deal – that abracadabra factor I talked about earlier than. In fact, if I’m hooked on alcohol, or nicotine or meals or no matter it is perhaps, I’m going to wish to expertise fast outcomes.

However let me ask you a query: Once you’ve gone for fast outcomes previously, how did that work out? How lengthy did that change final? In all probability not lengthy, proper?

That’s why setting your intention after which spending time with it’s so necessary. It vegetation the seeds of change.

OK, the ultimate key or Step Quantity 4

Step 4: Take Motion

With this one, we’re transferring from a spot of thought to motion. And probably the greatest methods to do that is to begin off with the query WHAT.

In different phrases, what is one small factor you are able to do to create change with a given conduct. Right here’s how Mike used this step. He requested himself:

What’s one small step I can take to vary my relationship with alcohol?

And when he requested himself this query, he realized that a part of the rationale he drank at dwelling was as a result of he was feeling bored and lonely.

And so, at evening, when he got here dwelling from work, as a substitute of sitting down on the sofa and having a number of glasses of scotch, he determined the one small factor he might do was half-hour of cardio at his native health club. This allowed him to be round individuals, which chased away the loneliness, and permit him to do one thing good for himself.

What he didn’t do was say, “I’m not going to drink anymore.” Nope, truly it was simply the other. As a substitute, he left open the chance that he might nonetheless drink. However right here’s the factor and it type of pertains to physics.

Motion encourages extra motion – in different phrases movement continues to speed up on itself till one thing stops it.

Utilizing that what query as a part of step 4, taking motion, you would possibly ask your self:

What would it not be like if I selected to an apple as a substitute of a donut? What would it not be like if I used my creativeness after I self-pleasure as a substitute of video? What would it not be like if I spent 5 minutes studying an article about nicotine dependancy, as a substitute of instinctively lighting up?

You see, it’s the WHAT query that infuses the shift and sparks motion.

So, how did this search for Mike? Effectively, merely put, he began to construct momentum and speed up the change course of. He thought to himself, “If I can do cardio at evening and never drink, what else can I do?”

And that’s when the wheels actually began turning for him. He joined a assist group for others battling alcohol abuse. He started creating change across the issues that had been robbing him of his vanity, like how the booze was making him really feel crappy and the way grownup imagery was dishonest him out of significant intimacy.

Now right here’s the deal. A few of these realizations occurred as a part of counseling, the place we used a strength-based strategy to assist him draw upon his personal to empower change. I’ve put a hyperlink to the web site optimistic psychology to assist clarify this extra so you’ll want to test it out.

With all of that mentioned, I’m not going to sit down right here and let you know that his transformation was quick or that he Mike didn’t expertise some setbacks. He completely did. However you see, that’s how change works. It’s a sequence of begins and stops, slips, and falls, till finally, we’re on the trail we wish to be.

Does the REST approach work for everybody? In fact not. This is only one strategy. Nothing ever might be assured. However I’ll say that after we plant the seeds of change, it has a humorous approach of taking place.

So, what’s happening with Mike at the moment? Simply to be straight up, I’m not 100% positive as a result of the final time I bumped into him was round three years in the past. It was in entrance of Water Tower Place, in a stretch of land referred to as “Chicago’s Magnificent Mile”.

He was ready for a cab and shouted out to me as I walked into the constructing. At first, I didn’t acknowledge him as a result of he appeared so totally different. I imply yeah, he had aged however trustworthy to goodness the man appeared nice. He had misplaced weight and managed to maintain it off.

He appeared effectively rested, and I might even see there somewhat sparkle in his eyes. Lengthy story quick, we did the hi there factor and shook fingers. However earlier than we might do any actual catching up, his cab had arrived. Seconds later, he was gone.

However what, I didn’t want Mike to inform me how he was doing. It was apparent. I imply, you can simply inform that the reward of change had visited him. That’s fairly superb, ?

Alright, earlier than we shut out this pod, let’s recap the 4 keys to altering unhealthy behaviors:

Step One: Calm down

Step Two: Consider

Step Three: Set an intention

Step 4: Take Motion

If you’re considering a workbook that incorporates a handout on the REST strategy, together with different DBT methods, I’ve put a hyperlink in present notes to the DBT Expertise Workbook on Amazon.

We coated loads in at the moment’s present, don’t you suppose? Not solely did you study a way to create change round unhealthy behaviors, however you additionally realized a mind hack.

I’d wish to take a second to thank the web site FEED SPOT for itemizing this pod among the many high 100 podcasts for males.

And folk, now can be to for me to say that in case you cherished this present or any of my previous podcasts, please take a second proper now to depart a evaluation on no matter platform you could be listening. It solely takes a minute – as a result of it’s like this. The extra individuals who depart a evaluation, the upper this program reveals up within the listings.

You realize there’s numerous methods to succeed in me. You possibly can go to web site, Man Counseling Dot Com – and there, you can see a lot of articles I’ve written, together with a kind to fill out to get my publication.

You may as well discover me on social media. I’m on Instagram at Man Counseling – and I’m on Fb and Twitter on the identical deal with.

So, there we’ve got it, one other present. Make it your purpose at the moment to place a smile on another person’s face. I hope you have got a tremendous day!



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