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4 Keys To Altering Unhealthy Behaviors

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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 concentrate on males’s work and males’s points.

Now as we get into at this time’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. How you can change unhealthy behaviors.

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

  • Do you end up repeatedly 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 actually need 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. The truth is, I’ve finished 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 approach that’s devoid of judgement and disgrace.

You could be questioning how can I do that? Properly, hold 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 think about 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.


, I’ve been concerned in subject of counseling and training for practically twenty years and I’ve labored with nearly each sort of individual you’ll be able to think about – from the varsity janitor who has discovered himself hooked on ache killers to the company government hooked on grownup vids.

Some had been so poor they couldn’t afford the $2.00 bus experience 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 individuals – no matter their life station – was a powerful need to create change. And as I speak about 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 scuffling with a sequence of life issues. He was in his late 30’s, obese and hooked on booze and adults vids.

In an effort 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 lots of of {dollars} on the weekend at therapeutic massage parlors – and once I say therapeutic massage, I’m speaking about locations that provide a contented endings, should you 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 sort of ridiculous that we criminalize that sort 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 best way he appeared, he hated how he had turn out to be 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 dropping his job as a fork-lift driver.

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

And so, Mike desperately wished to turn out to be a brand new individual. For him, he had gotten so depressed and accustomed to hating on himself that the person might barely take 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 individual I’ve turn out to be.”

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 all the pieces higher.

However the unhappy fact 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 will be superb! 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 may also help 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 some extent of disaster? Can something be finished? Properly, I’ll let you know precisely what I instructed 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 most certainly.

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

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

Like should 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 improper with me?

Nope – the disaster half occurs once you lose the final $20.00 to your identify on a poker recreation and understand, “Holly crap, I’m fully broke. I don’t even find 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 recreation?

You see, that’s disaster. That’s when life will get actual. And once more, it’s the time limit when change is most certainly. Comply with me?

All of this brings us again to our major subject – how can I alter an unhealthy conduct? Properly, now could be 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 Habits 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 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 will immediately repair any sort 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: Calm down

For this specific key, I want you to return to that one factor I discussed at the beginning of the podcast you need to change. It may very well be your relationship with alcohol, it may very well be another substance, or it may very well be a conduct.

And what I’d such as you to do is mission a thought bubble above your head. Yep, a thought bubble – sort of like what you may see in a comic book ebook. 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 finished 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 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 wonderful – simply go together 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 together with it and see how issues shake out.

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

If you’re questioning how lengthy you have to be holding this psychological picture, there isn’t a proper or improper reply. Since our objective is so that you can merely observe – devoid of judgement – the period of time will fluctuate. For some individuals, reaching a spot of non-judgmental commentary takes just a few moments. For others, it may take a number of minutes – or extra – as a result of the item itself is emotionally charged.

Your unconscious will let you realize once you’ve reached the suitable place. If you want to pause this a part of the pod and are available again to it – that’s wonderful 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 conduct you might be holding, it’s time to guage. Discover I mentioned consider and never decide as a result of there’s a giant distinction between the 2.

After we decide, we make a willpower a couple of given conduct and its virtually all the time destructive. And truthfully, 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 conduct as a result of it enables you to escape from the guilt.

After we consider, we merely take 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 turn out to be 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 engaging?
  • 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. 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 toes. 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 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 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 finished 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 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 said 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 could 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 – every time 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 finally finish smoking. The extra I instructed 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 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 called 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, 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 could need to mediate on it or chances are you’ll need to write it down on a sticky observe and slap it up subsequent to your laptop 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 instant 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 vegetation 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 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 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 night time, when he got here house from work, as an alternative of sitting down on the sofa and having a number 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 individuals, 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 alternative. As an alternative, he left open the chance that he might nonetheless drink. However right here’s the factor and it sort 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 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? Properly, 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 scuffling with 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 constructive psychology to assist clarify this extra so you’ll want to test it out.

With all of that mentioned, 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 sequence 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 strategy. Nothing ever could be assured. However I’ll say that when we plant the seeds of change, it has a humorous approach of taking place.

So, what’s happening with Mike at this time? 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 appeared so completely different. I imply yeah, he had aged however sincere to goodness the man appeared nice. He had misplaced weight and managed to maintain it off.

He appeared properly rested, and I might even see there slightly sparkle in his eyes. Lengthy story brief, we did the hi there 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 realize 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 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: Calm down

Step Two: Consider

Step Three: Set an intention

Step 4: Take Motion

If you’re fascinated with a workbook that comprises 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 lined so much in at this time’s present, don’t you suppose? Not solely did you find out about a way 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 high 100 podcasts for males.

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

there’s numerous methods to succeed in me. You may go to web site, Man Counseling Dot Com – and there, you will see a variety of articles I’ve written, together with a type to fill out to get my publication.

You too can discover me on social media. I’m on Instagram at Man Counseling – and I’m on Fb and Twitter on the identical deal with.

So, there now we have it, one other present. Make it your objective at this time to place a smile on another person’s face. I hope you might have an incredible day!



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