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4 Keys To Altering Unhealthy Behaviors

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How To Change Unhealthy Behaviors

Whats up 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 specialise in males’s work and males’s points.

Now as we get into as we speak’s pod, please make sure you 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 choice to psychological well being counseling and I’m not your private therapist.

Alrighty – let’s leap proper into our subject. The way to change unhealthy behaviors.

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

  • Do you end up often participating in issues you already know 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, although you already know 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. In truth, 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 acquired to be sincere with your self about what’s happening. And once I say sincere, I’m speaking about doing it in a means that’s devoid of judgement and disgrace.

You could be questioning how can I do that? Nicely, cling 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 alter and simply tuck it in your again pocket, as a result of we’ll be coming again to it.


You understand, I’ve been concerned in discipline of counseling and training for almost twenty years and I’ve labored with nearly each kind of particular person you’ll be able to think about – from the college janitor who has discovered himself hooked on ache killers to the company govt hooked on grownup vids.

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

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

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

As a way 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 a whole lot of {dollars} on the weekend at therapeutic massage parlors – and once I say therapeutic massage, I’m speaking about locations that provide a cheerful endings, in case you comply with my drift.

Now I discussed that final half to you not as a result of I imagine pleased endings are a foul factor or that intercourse work is incorrect. Nope. Personally, I believe 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 regarded, he hated how he had turn into hooked on alcohol, and he wasn’t pleased about his relationship with video or the therapeutic massage parlors.

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

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

And so, Mike desperately wished to turn into a brand new particular person. For him, he had gotten so depressed and accustomed to hating on himself that the person might barely have 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 these items. I don’t just like the particular person I’ve turn 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 thing higher.

However the unhappy fact is it doesn’t work that means. 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 wonderful! 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? Nicely, I’ll let you know precisely what I advised Mike all these years in the past and its really excellent news.

Are you prepared? Right here it goes:

Disaster is the time limit when change is more than likely.

Let me say that once more: Disaster is the time limit when change is more than likely.

And this is smart, doesn’t it? We by no means actually need to change a conduct if it’s not inflicting us issues, notably 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 operating round saying, “Oh man, I actually tousled. I simply hate myself for profitable all that money. What the hell is incorrect with me?

Nope – the disaster half occurs once you lose the final $20.00 to your title on a poker sport and notice, “Holly crap, I’m utterly broke. I don’t even manage to pay for now to purchase myself meals – and the hire is overdue, and my automobile be aware is late, and oh my God, my telephone is about to get shut off. Why did I blow all my cash on that poker sport?

You see, that’s disaster. That’s when life will get actual. And once more, it’s the time limit when change is more than likely. Observe me?

All of this brings us again to our fundamental subject – how can I alter an unhealthy conduct? Nicely, now could be a very good time for me to acquaint you with a way known 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 Conduct Remedy or DBT -and it was conceptualized by the American psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan. If you wish to know extra about DBT, make sure you try episode 33.

Now as we go over REST, understand 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 an alternative, REST can be utilized as a part of discovering the motivation to place you on the trail to alter. Does that make sense? I simply need to be clear about that as a result of anybody who says they’ll immediately repair any kind of recurring or addictive drawback is yanking your chain.

OK, let’s get to it:

Change Behaviors Mystical Bird Water
Change and private transformation

Step One: Chill out

For this explicit key, I would like you to return to that one factor I discussed in the beginning of the podcast you need to change. It might be your relationship with alcohol, it might be another substance, or it might be a conduct.

And what I’d such as you to do is challenge 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 alter.

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. In case you are 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 need to change. For instance: Alcohol, playing, smoking, video – you get the thought.

The concept right here is to create emotional distance from that one factor you need to change.

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

By participating on this step, you might be using a robust software known as mindfulness. Consider it as your very personal super-power. Bear in mind, all we’re doing is observing. Observe me?

In case you are questioning how lengthy you need to be holding this psychological picture, there isn’t any proper or incorrect reply. Since our objective is so that you can merely observe – devoid of judgement – the period of time will fluctuate. For some folks, reaching a spot of non-judgmental commentary takes only some moments. For others, it might take a number of minutes – or extra – as a result of the item itself is emotionally charged.

Your unconscious will let you already know once you’ve reached the appropriate place. If it is advisable to pause this a part of the pod and are available again to it – that’s nice and dandy.

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

Step Two: Consider

Now that you just’re capable of consider this conduct you might be holding, it’s time to judge. Discover I stated 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 destructive. 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 prone to have interaction in that undesired conduct as a result of it permits you to escape from the guilt.

After we consider, we merely have 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 turn into an unhealthy behavior.

In taking a look at 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 targets or additional away?

By evaluating a conduct as an alternative 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 need to do is assess this factor in your life from the vantage level of 30,000 toes. In case you are 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 resolve the issue. All we’re doing is evaluating it’s worth in our life? Does that make sense?

Now cling 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 first step and projected that factor you’d like to alter 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 finest when it’s verbally acknowledged after which adopted up by writing it down.

Right here is an instance of setting an intention:

I need 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 might be forcing your thoughts into nook. And with dangerous habits and even dependancy, we don’t need to try this as a result of there may 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 house. 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 alter my relationship with cigarettes and finally finish smoking. The extra I advised myself “I need 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 “Stop” 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 potential. I used to be ready to do that by creating the next different intention:

I need 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, referred to as the mind’s pleasure middle. And in my hack, I launched the opportunity of change with out freaking it out.

Whenever you set your intention – verbally after which in writing – you might be shifting your mindset slowly and progressively. 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. You could need to mediate on it or you might need to write it down on a sticky be aware 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 likely to be, I’m going to need to expertise instant outcomes.

However let me ask you a query: Whenever you’ve gone for fast outcomes up to now, how did that work out? How lengthy did that change final? Most likely not lengthy, proper?

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

OK, the ultimate key or Step Quantity 4

Step 4: Take Motion

With this one, we’re shifting 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 alter my relationship with alcohol?

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

And so, at evening, when he got here house from work, as an alternative of sitting down on the sofa and having a couple of glasses of scotch, he determined the one small factor he might do was half-hour of cardio at his native gymnasium. This allowed him to be round folks, 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, really it was simply the other. As an alternative, 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 an alternative of a donut? What would it not be like if I used my creativeness once I self-pleasure as an alternative of video? What would it not be like if I spent 5 minutes studying an article about nicotine dependancy, as an alternative 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? Nicely, 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 combating alcohol abuse. He started creating change across the issues that have 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 method 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 make sure you test it out.

With all of that stated, 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 collection of begins and stops, slips, and falls, till finally, we’re on the trail we need to be.

Does the REST method work for everybody? In fact not. This is only one method. Nothing ever may be assured. However I’ll say that when we plant the seeds of change, it has a humorous means of occurring.

So, what’s happening with Mike as we speak? 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 known 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 regarded so totally different. I imply yeah, he had aged however sincere to goodness the man regarded nice. He had misplaced weight and managed to maintain it off.

He regarded nicely rested, and I might even see there a bit of sparkle in his eyes. Lengthy story brief, we did the hiya factor and shook arms. However earlier than we might do any actual catching up, his cab had arrived. Seconds later, he was gone.

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

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

Step One: Chill out

Step Two: Consider

Step Three: Set an intention

Step 4: Take Motion

In case you are enthusiastic about a workbook that incorporates a handout on the REST method, together with different DBT methods, I’ve put a hyperlink in present notes to the DBT Abilities Workbook on Amazon.

We lined so much in as we speak’s present, don’t you suppose? Not solely did you study a way to create change round unhealthy behaviors, however you additionally discovered a mind hack.

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

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

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

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

So, there now we have it, one other present. Make it your objective as we speak to place a smile on another person’s face. I hope you’ve gotten a tremendous day!


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