The Truth About Finding Yourself in a Repeating Situation

Many of my clients complain about these repeating situations:

  • The moment I wake up I grab my phone and start checking emails, messages, and scrolling. I am up and running with my work. I love it! But I am constantly stressed, have rashes all over my body for years, and life kind of sucks in general!
  • My day starts with a cup of coffee. I cannot function without it! But throughout the day I am full on fire and by night find it hard to get a proper rest. I feel exhausted all the time.
  • I used to have this nice ritual of having a glass of wine at the end of a big day. Then one glass got many and my day was a constant waiting for the ritual to start. I guess something is off!

It doesn't have to be that way. 

Imagine yourself feeling peaceful and content in your skin in the morning instead of a machine ready to get on with its chores. 

Or how would it feel to genuinely celebrate the happenings of a grand day, feeling complete and open to connect with your loved ones instead of dating Netflix or a bottle?

In this video, I will tell you how to break this vicious cycle.

Habits and Repeating Situations

We human beings are creatures of habit. Literally, 43% of our day passes by as a habit. As if we were running on autopilot.

Do you ever think through your morning routine; how exactly do you brush your teeth or is there any change in the way you shower from one day to the next?

Not really, because our brain is designed to create patterns of behavior. Therefore putting the effort once or twice to `record` the routine and then not wasting much energy on it. It is super efficient. 

The bummer is that our beloved brain does not discriminate at all about what habits to store and which ones to dump out as they may not really be serving us. 

When I was trying to learn how to drive a car I truly believed there was no way that a human could master all of these acts at once; pedals, gears, signaling, and steering while keeping an eye on everything going around through multiple mirrors! No way! But now I don't even have to think about what to do to drive the car (and I still drive a stick!!) and I can keep my attention on the road and my destination. Why, because my smarty smart brain stored it all up for future use and runs by the actions effortlessly. 

That is a good habit. 

Now imagine a situation where your brain decides that it is a good idea to stuff yourself with whatever is in the fridge whenever you feel low for the temporary `good feels` when your stomach lining is stretching. Well, that habit sucks.

Or the weekend is coming and you find yourself lonely. You get onto your dating apps and jump into the next available encounter without really feeling ready and open. `I just want to run away from the icky feeling`. Yep, that is also a habit. 

There is of course a very efficient way to change them. And I will tell you how. 

Acknowledging How Habits Work

However first you need to understand that the habits are taking action through parts of our brain that indeed run on autopilot; they bypass our rational, thinking mind. Acknowledging that may help with cultivating more self-compassion. You definitely need it in this journey. 

It takes an effort to make our minds do stuff. As yogis say, the mind is like a crazy and drunk monkey bitten by a scorpion. Exercising control and creating lasting change in our minds is serious work. I have done dozens of 10-day or longer silent retreats where all I had to do was sit and meditate exercising some minuscule kind of control over my mind. It was exhausting 15 years ago and it still can be exhausting now!

Habits keep us in a comfort zone. 

Minding your business and avoiding open communication may be the comfort zone of a couple in a relationship; until one or the other (or both) realize that their needs are not met at all and everything crumbles down to pieces. 

Ok, it makes sense; let's push the boundaries of the comfort zone then. How?

Habits and Comfort Zone

There are several aspects to consider here;

For one; you need to notice your habits. They may be so ingrained into your life that you may not even be noticing them. That is how they are designed. 

Now let's take the example of a person with commitment issues. Serial dating and not really feeling loved, cared for, or connected. There is a cue (like the weekend if coming and I don't have any fun plans) that triggers the routine (let's hop on the app and get things moving) leading to a reward (got me a date, yay!). This might be a fantastic scenario in a different context but for our case here it is just a habitual behavior to avoid pain, which by itself aggravates that pain. 

Once you are aware of the habit; you then check the cue that kickstarts the behavior. 

The question is then what kind of change do I need to create not to fall into the rut? If the one little snack you pop into your mouth is the kickstart of an entire day of munching on whatever you find, keeping no snacks at home might be an idea!

If you know that every time you go out with a certain crowd you end up losing count of drinks or more, well not walking into that cue may be another idea instead of blaming yourself for not having enough willpower. Remember, habits don`t come from your thinking parts! 

You do need to use those thinking parts and lots of intentionality to break them though. 

This work requires a lot of mindfulness and awareness. If you haven't tried to find a good technique for cultivating these techniques, now is the time. I am happy to support you and find the perfect one for you!

Our next convo will be about how to introduce good habits into our lives. Stay tuned!

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