The trick with breaking an unhelpful habit is to replace it with something preferable. Here are some of my favorite swaps :).
JUDGMENT ESPECIALLY UNFAVORABLE JUDGMENT
Swap this for the tranquility of acceptance that everything, without exception, has its place on the Ground of Infinite possibilities.
If you don’t feel good about something, focus on the feeling that you have rather than the person or thing that seems to evoke the feeling.
Then, choose a feeling you would prefer to have and allow that feeling to guide you to thoughts and actions that you desire!
Remember, it’s much more empowering to act from a good feeling within rather than insist that something outside changes first before you allow yourself to feel good :)
Swap this for the delirious realization that you are part of the play of Life. On some level, at some point, you chose to be part of this play. So play!
Decisions and choices are experimental tools and processes! If they don’t bring you the outcome you desire, modify them, change them or abandon them altogether.
But don’t doubt your ability to make decisions or choices. And don’t be crippled by false and absolute beliefs in *right* and *wrong*.
Swap this for slow, deep breaths and gentle movement.
One breath at a time. You are breathing anyway, so why not just use what is already happening to give you a break from the stress that has built up in your mind and body?
The health benefits are instantaneous countering the build up of cortisol, that stress hormone that can result in things like high blood pressure, reduced immunity and abdominal fat. (Low levels of cortisol, however, help us by enabling us to react quickly in emergencies and reducing our sensitivity to pain).
One of the best and easiest movements you can do is to bend forward from the base of your spine very slowly and gently and then relax into a rag doll.
Just let your arms fall loosely by your sides, let your head suspend loosely from your neck and breathe gently. If you need to bend your knees, do.
Then, slowly unfold yourself into an upright position. You can do this anywhere and anytime. If you’re out in public and feel self-conscious, you can always pretend you’re searching for a lost coin :).
Swap these for wild, exciting and sexy imaginings! Come on, as a child you had no trouble using your imagination.
Perhaps you’re a little out of practice but wouldn’t you rather be flooding your mind (and your body with all those corresponding feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin) with fun and exciting thoughts and feelings? Of course you would! So do!
Best part – you don’t have to act on them if you don’t want to. But whether you do or don’t, you can still enjoy the instant benefits of taking your mind to Joy Land instead of leaving it stuck in Awfulville :)
Swap this for half the amount of junk food you would normally consume and something nutritious like celery sticks or a celery shake made with organic milk or soy milk, a sprinkle of almond flakes and a dash of honey and ginger :).
That said, perhaps, like me, you're not a hard core junkie and only occasionally 'lapse into decadence'. If so, don't deny yourself such brief delights. They're some of the experiences you can afford to have from the Ground of Infinite experiences :).
You know, it's really not that difficult to swap unhelpful habits for truly empowering and fun habits. And once you start experiencing the marvelous benefits, you'll graduate from Tentative Swapper to Adventurous Swapper! Woo Hoo!!!
What are your favorite swaps? Do share them so we can all benefit more :).