Many of us have habits we would like to break – biting our nails, drinking coffee, checking our phone or social media accounts, eating lunch ‘on the go’, saying ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’, snacking, watching TV…and so the list goes on. Habits are patterns of behaviour which are repeated regularly and tend to occur without conscious thought. Therefore, becoming ‘habit aware’ provides an opportunity for us to break free from our habits.
Try this 3-step process for releasing a habit:
1. When you notice a habitual draw towards something, become aware of your accompanying internal experience (thoughts, emotions and physical sensations).
2. Next, explore more closely the physical sensations related to the urge to perform the habit. Which is the most noticeable sensation? Be curious. What do you notice about it? What type of sensation is it? Does it have a shape? A size? A temperature? A texture? Does it stay the same or change? And are there other, less noticeable sensations too?
3. Then, take a moment to consider how you would you like to respond. Habitual urges eventually diminish so is it possible to allow the sensations to be there, just as they are, without reacting to them?
© Michelle Drapeau, 2017