Break a Bad Habit this New Year

How we think, can break a bad habit.

We have all tried to break a bad habit for a New Year’s resolution, yet here we are, going backwards again!

You may be feeling like you are going in circles and not getting anywhere, again! Why does this seem so familiar? We start out with great intentions, and

push that willpower button and start in a direction toward our goal and then distrations take over and we lose momentum.

If we can take a look at willpower like the key or start button on our car, it gets everything in the motor started and it’s full of intention to take off down the road! Yet here we are still sitting in the driveway, with New Years eve long behind us, not getting anywhere.

How do we get going? The same way we drive our car. We need to get in the drivers seat .

Lets play with this a little bit and put our nervous system in this scenario.  Imagine that our nervous system has two parts. The sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic side is the driver with the foot on the GAS. The parasympathetic is the passenger with their foot on the BRAKE.

An easy way to see this is if S is for sympathetic or Stress response. And P is for Parasympathetic or Peace response.

When we are going full tilt down the road, it can be stressful.  When we have trouble getting motivated, it can be too much on the peace side. If our foot is heavy, down on the gas, the fuel will run out quickly. Just like our car, our body cannot run on empty.  Feeling low and unmotivated is too much brake and not enough gas to move forward. When the stress is high, the peace passenger can end up in the back seat or the cargo area by the rear bumper.

It creates imbalance that feels like stop/start/stop/start. An internal power struggle further complicated by the spin cycle of thoughts going on in our mind.

All of this is triggering responses in the brain and the body.  All those  feelings, thought chatter, negative self talk, working on autopilot. Suddenly we find ourself quietly being pulled back to what has been a familiar pattern, and we are sitting in the driveway, again.

Very simply, what is going on in our mind, our thoughts, creates our life. When our thoughts and beliefs are familiar, the results are also familiar.  So many times I hear from a client that has frustration with the same scenario repeating in their life.  The mind is how we react to our experiences which can create happiness or struggle.  The mind is like a processor with electromagenetic connections that drives everything, This impacts the brain and body which can show up as health or health issues.  All of this begins in the mind so it would make sense that if we pay attention to our mind, we have the potential to reduce or improve connected issues.

There has been scientific support for this, again, by three 2022 comprehensive research reviews according to Dr Leaf, of mindbodygreen.

Recognizing that symptoms or signals of imbalance in our body; and anxiety and depression in our minds, could simply be a reaction to our experiences.  Dr. Leaf has spent decades working in research and clinical application and found it is possible to redirect your mind, thoughts and change the impact on the brain and body.

Very interesting, because this puts every person potentially, more in control of everything in their life, than they ever thought possible. In the drivers seat taking your life to new possibilities, goals and positive outcomes.

I hope you find this as motivating as I did when I read about her work on the IACT site.

The truth is, the human brain and therefore the human experience has not changed since Aristotle was a child. The symptoms of human struggle today, are similar to then.  What has changed, is knowledge, science and research of how the human brain works and treatments to overcome issues.

Some of the questions we ask ourselves when we plan a road trip could also apply to our thinking, hoices and goals.

Do you have a clear destination ?

Can you see the path like you can with a map app? Are there foreseeable roadblocks or traffic jams that you are aware of and can avoid?

Do you have a full tank of fuel ?

Are there places along the way you can sleep and  recharge your battery ?

Is there a park where you can reconnect with nature and disconnect from technology when you need it?

Are you eating healthy on this trip or filling up with the wrong fuel?

Are you ok with what you are leaving behind? Can you focus on the road ahead or are you driving while fully focused on the rear view mirror ?

Are these some of the unspoken questions in your mind that are causing you to be held back, instead of getting to your destination?

Could it be that inhibition, avoidance and maybe a dash of denial are also coming from that passenger with the foot on the brake?

The logical thing to do, the conscious mind talking here, is to just stop that and get that part of us outta the car. If it were that easy, it would not be an going issue . The conscious and subconscious mind don’t always get along. The balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic sides of our nervous system can be tricky. If the conscious mind had the answers, there would be no need for any type of therapeutic approaches in the world.

Just like any road trip, awareness of the signs and symptoms help us along the way.

When we can see that our emotions, thoughts, behaviors form a complex equation for us, we can have more understanding of how we function.

Remember polynomial equations from highschool? Complicated!

Even though we think we got it figured out, none of us can be our own therapist.

The subconscious mind files away every experience we have. It uses this information for everything in our life to help us sort through all the experiences that we have minute by minute, day by day, and it is familiar.

When we want to change to create different outcomes, there needs to be change at a deeper level to get the new roadmap in sight. Basically, we need to delete out the old app we have in our mind, and upgrade to a new app. Not totally wiping a device; that’s not possible with the human brain. But offloading old thinking that is negative and unhelpful, in favor of new, positive thinking, is possible.

What we feed our bodies, shows up in our health. What we feed our minds, shows up in our life .

Making changes to either, makes a difference.

Making changes to both, creates alignment.

Alignment clarifies our focus to get what we want in our life.  This is where hypnosis sessions are helpful.