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4 Keys To Altering Unhealthy Behaviors

how to change behaviors man mind electricity

How To Change Unhealthy Behaviors

Hi there 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 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 subject. The best way to change unhealthy behaviors.

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

  • Do you end up frequently 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, regardless that you realize 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 actual fact, I’ve accomplished 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 means that’s devoid of judgement and disgrace.

You might be questioning how can I do that? Nicely, dangle 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 think about that one factor – that one habits – 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 recognize, I’ve been concerned in subject of counseling and training for almost 20 years and I’ve labored with nearly each kind of particular person 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 automobile.

However no matter their background, the frequent bond that united all of those folks – no matter their life station – was a robust 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 fighting a sequence of life issues. He was in his late 30’s, chubby and hooked on booze and adults vids.

To be able 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 after I say therapeutic massage, I’m speaking about locations that provide a contented endings, for those who observe my drift.

Now I discussed that final half to you not as a result of I imagine comfortable endings are a foul factor or that intercourse work is unsuitable. 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 rationale 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 comfortable 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, possibly a few of you’ll be able to relate?

And so, Mike desperately wished to develop into a brand new particular person. 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 these items. I don’t just like the particular person 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 thing higher.

However the unhappy reality 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 scenario. That may 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 can assist an individual to facilitate change, however the precise technique 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 accomplished? Nicely, 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 time limit when change is probably.

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

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

Like for those who 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 unsuitable with me?

Nope – the disaster half occurs if you lose the final $20.00 to your identify on a poker sport and understand, “Holly crap, I’m utterly broke. I don’t even come up with the money for now to purchase myself meals – and the hire is late, and my automobile observe is late, and oh my God, my cellphone 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 probably. Observe me?

All of this brings us again to our major subject – how can I modify an unhealthy habits? Nicely, now could be a great time for me to acquaint you with a method 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, you’ll want to try episode 33.

Now as we go over REST, needless to say this system 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 alter. Does that make sense? I simply wish to be clear about that as a result of anybody who says they’ll immediately repair any kind of ordinary 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 specific key, I want you to return to that one factor I discussed initially of the podcast you wish to change. It could possibly be your relationship with alcohol, it could possibly be another substance, or it could possibly be a habits.

And what I’d such as you to do is undertaking a thought bubble above your head. Yep, a thought bubble – type of like what you may see in a comic book guide. And inside that bubble you’re going to position 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 accomplished this, all I need you to do is observe that bubble. Yup yup, simply observe it. If you’re 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 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 nice – simply go along 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 downside, 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 strong software referred to as mindfulness. Consider it as your very personal super-power. Bear 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 unsuitable 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 could possibly take a number of minutes – or extra – as a result of the article itself is emotionally charged.

Your unconscious will let you realize if you’ve reached the proper place. If you’ll want 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 simply’re in a position to consider this habits you might be holding, it’s time to guage. 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 habits and its nearly at all times adverse. 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 prone to have interaction 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 develop into an unhealthy behavior.

In taking a look at 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 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 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 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 attempting to resolve the issue. All we’re doing is evaluating it’s worth in our life? Does that make sense?

Now dangle 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 accomplished the 1st 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 solely 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 might be forcing your thoughts into nook. And with unhealthy habits and even dependancy, we don’t wish to do 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 area. It solely needs what it needs – at any time when it needs 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 in the end finish smoking. The extra I advised myself “I wish 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 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 called the mind’s pleasure middle. And in my hack, I launched the potential of change with out freaking it out.

If you set your intention – verbally after which in writing – you might be shifting your mindset slowly and regularly. And in my expertise that’s how lasting change occurs, after 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 might wish to mediate on it or it’s possible you’ll wish to write it down on a sticky observe 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. After all, if I’m hooked on alcohol, or nicotine or meals or no matter it is likely to be, I’m going to wish to expertise quick outcomes.

However let me ask you a query: If you’ve gone for fast outcomes prior 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 vital. 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 among the best 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 habits. 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 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 number 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 chance that he may 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 may 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? 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 night time 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 fighting alcohol abuse. He started creating change across the issues that had 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 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 stated, I’m not going to sit down 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 sequence of begins and stops, slips, and falls, till in the end, we’re on the trail we wish to be.

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

So, what’s happening with Mike right this 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 properly rested, and I may even see there a bit of sparkle in his eyes. Lengthy story brief, we did the hi there factor and shook fingers. 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 could possibly simply inform that the reward 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

If you’re inquisitive about 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 Abilities Workbook on Amazon.

We coated lots in right this moment’s present, don’t you assume? Not solely did you study a method 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 prime 100 podcasts for males.

And people, now could be a great to for me to say that for those who beloved this present or any of my previous podcasts, please take a second proper now to depart a evaluate on no matter platform it’s possible you’ll 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 exhibits up within the listings.

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

You can even 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 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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