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4 Keys To Altering Unhealthy Behaviors

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How To Change Unhealthy Behaviors

Good day 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 right this moment’s pod, please make sure 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 choice to psychological well being counseling and I’m not your private therapist.

Alrighty – let’s soar proper into our matter. How one can change unhealthy behaviors.

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

  • Do you end up recurrently participating in issues you realize 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 realize you don’t really want them – and admittedly 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 actual fact, I’ve completed 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 sincere with your self about what’s happening. And once I say sincere, I’m speaking about doing it in a approach that’s devoid of judgement and disgrace.

Chances are 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 just some minutes as a part of exploring the 4 keys to altering habits.

However only for proper now, I need you to consider that one factor – that one habits – 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 understand, I’ve been concerned in discipline of counseling and training for practically twenty years and I’ve labored with nearly each kind of individual you possibly can 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 journey 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 robust need to create change. And as I discuss this now with you, I’m considering 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 fighting 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 bunch of {dollars} on the weekend at therapeutic massage parlors – and once I say therapeutic massage, I’m speaking about locations that supply a contented endings, if you happen to observe my drift.

Now I discussed that final half to you not as a result of I imagine completely satisfied endings are a nasty factor or that intercourse work is improper. Nope. Personally, I feel it’s form of ridiculous that we criminalize that form 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 change into hooked on alcohol, and he wasn’t completely satisfied 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 possibly can relate?

And so, Mike desperately wished to change into a brand new individual. For him, he had gotten so depressed and accustomed to hating on himself that the person may 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 this stuff. I don’t just like the individual I’ve change 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 reality 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 might be superb! However the actuality is the method of change begins with every of us – it begins with you.

Right here’s a grimy 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 a degree of disaster? Can something be completed? Effectively, I’ll inform you precisely what I advised 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 most definitely.

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

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

Like if you happen to 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 improper with me?

Nope – the disaster half occurs once you lose the final $20.00 to your title on a poker recreation and understand, “Holly crap, I’m utterly broke. I don’t even manage to pay for now to purchase myself meals – and the lease is overdue, and my automobile word 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 most definitely. Comply with me?

All of this brings us again to our principal matter – how can I modify an unhealthy habits? Effectively, now can be a great 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 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 to try episode 33.

Now as we go over REST, needless to say this method can be utilized as a part of a change course of. It isn’t designed to immediately cease an undesirable habits 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 vary. 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 routine or addictive downside 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 want you to return to that one factor I discussed at first of the podcast you need to change. It might be your relationship with alcohol, it might be another substance, or it might be a habits.

And what I’d such as you to do is mission a thought bubble above your head. Yep, a thought bubble – form of like what you would possibly see in a comic book e-book. And inside that bubble you’re going to position 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 completed this, all I need you to do is observe that bubble. Yup yup, simply observe it. In case you are struggling to provide you with 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 concept.

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 effective – simply go together 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 downside, however I’d nonetheless such as you to go together with it and see how issues shake out.

By participating on this step, you might be using a strong instrument referred to as mindfulness. Consider it as your very personal super-power. Bear in mind, all we’re doing is observing. Comply with me?

In case you are questioning how lengthy you need to be holding this psychological picture, there is no such thing as a proper or improper reply. Since our purpose 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 remark takes just a few moments. For others, it may possibly take a number of minutes – or extra – as a result of the article itself is emotionally charged.

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

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

Step Two: Consider

Now that you simply’re capable of consider this habits you might be holding, it’s time to judge. Discover I stated consider and never decide as a result of there’s an enormous distinction between the 2.

After we decide, we make a willpower a few given habits and its virtually at all times damaging. And actually, do you really want to put anymore guilt upon your self? After all you don’t as a result of all that does is make you extra more likely to interact in that undesired habits as a result of it helps 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 night time I’ve discovered myself consuming quick meals and it’s change into an unhealthy behavior.

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

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

By evaluating a habits as a substitute of judging it, the habits itself has much less energy over us? Does that make sense? Now right here’s the factor with this step. It is very important not over analyze. All you need to do is assess this factor in your life from the vantage level of 30,000 ft. 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 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 just some moments, we’re going to go over the opposite two steps.

Stick round.

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

OK, so that you’ve completed the first 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 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 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 needs what it needs – at any time when it needs it – and it doesn’t like taking orders.

Actual fast, I keep in mind the primary time I attempted to vary my relationship with cigarettes and finally finish smoking. The extra I advised myself “I need to give up” 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 doable. I used to be in a position 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, often known as the mind’s pleasure heart. 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 along with your intention. Chances are you’ll need to mediate on it or you could need to write it down on a sticky word and slap it up subsequent to your pc display screen. 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. After all, if I’m hooked on alcohol, or nicotine or meals or no matter it could be, I’m going to need to expertise speedy outcomes.

However let me ask you a query: Whenever you’ve gone for immediate outcomes prior to now, 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 crops 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 among the finest methods to do that is to start out off with the query WHAT.

In different phrases, what is one small factor you are able to do to create change with a given habits. 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 night time, when he got here dwelling from work, as a substitute of sitting down on the sofa and having a couple of glasses of scotch, he determined the one small factor he may 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, truly it was simply the alternative. As an alternative, he left open the likelihood that he may nonetheless drink. However right here’s the factor and it form 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 wouldn’t it be like if I selected to an apple as a substitute of a donut? What wouldn’t it be like if I used my creativeness once I self-pleasure as a substitute of video? What wouldn’t it 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 night time and never drink, what else can I do?”

And that’s when the wheels actually began turning for him. He joined a help group for others fighting alcohol abuse. He started creating change across the issues that have been robbing him of his shallowness, 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 to test it out.

With all of that stated, I’m not going to take a seat right here and inform you 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 approach work for everybody? After all not. This is only one method. 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 right this moment? Simply to be straight up, I’m not 100% certain 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 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 may even see there just a little sparkle in his eyes. Lengthy story brief, we did the whats up factor and shook arms. However earlier than we may do any actual catching up, his cab had arrived. Seconds later, he was gone.

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

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 considering a workbook that incorporates a handout on the REST method, together with different DBT strategies, I’ve put a hyperlink in present notes to the DBT Abilities Workbook on Amazon.

We coated rather a lot in right this moment’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 folk, now can be a great to for me to say that if you happen to cherished this present or any of my previous podcasts, please take a second proper now to go away a assessment 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 go away a assessment, the upper this program reveals up within the listings.

You understand there’s a lot of methods to achieve me. You possibly can go to web site, Man Counseling Dot Com – and there, you’ll find quite a few 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 similar deal with.

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



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