A couple of days ago I was reminiscing about a flat I used to live in before I was married, saying how much I loved the area, how vibrant it was and how good the transport links were, the buzz, the constant activity. My husband was amazed, ‘But it was so noisy, I don’t know how you put up with it!’ And you know, when I first moved in thought so too, but I soon got used to it and enjoyed the benefits much more than the inconvenience of the noise. And quite quickly, I didn’t even notice the din of traffic, sirens, aircraft & people outside. I was always surprised if anyone ever mentioned it!
I started to think about how easily I had slipped into not even noticing the noise and other nuisances, they just became normal and everyday for me. I started to wonder about all those other things that just become normal, everyday or become a habit.
Let’s look at some examples:
That cake you once treated yourself to in the coffee shop, so easy to now have one every day.
That cigarette you accepted, because ‘one won’t hurt, I haven’t smoked for months’ before you know it, you are back to smoking every day and have hardly noticed how it happened.
The extra glass of wine, before you know it, the bottle’s empty.
Staying in on a couple of cold days instead of going for your usual walk or run.
Yes, I know they sound very simple and possibly trivial examples, but how quickly will they become something that you don’t even notice you are doing? How will doing these things effect your life and your health? How easily will yet another thing be added to that list.
The good news is that we can easily stop these things becoming habits - easy come, easy go! I can be tempted by a cake in the coffee shop, but I also am working to reduce my weight - a cake a day is not going to help is it?
So how can we put a stop to these little things becoming habits? A technique I use to great effect is my ‘Pause Button’
When that temptation hits, I imagine I have a remote control in my mind, like the ones we have for our TV, and I hit that pause button. Then I forward wind to just after I have had that cake, and take notice of how I feel, being there in the moment, how I look, what I am saying to myself. Once I have that experience firmly in my mind, I rewind.
Then once again I forward wind, this time I have chosen not to have that cake, I notice how good I feel, how I now look and sound, how my stomach feels, all those great feelings. Once I have really been in that experience, I again rewind back to the starting point.
Now I have seen the consequences of my action, I make my choice.
Try if for yourself, use your remote control and wipe out those unwanted habits that sneak into your life!