How to break a bad habit
Transitions are tough. Everything in our physiology naturally goes into resistance when facing a transition. The brain loves to create patterns. With patterns (even, unfortunately), negative patterns, the brain is wired for comfort simply because the pattern is known to you.
Patterns govern our lives. For example, most parents feed their kids the same time each day. It helps kids feel stable, safe and grounded. But what about patterns that start out as healthy and after time become unhealthy habits. For example, a drink after dinner starts out as a way to relax, but slowly over time, you find yourself dependent on it for relaxation. Stopping at the gym every night on the way home from work started out as a good idea when your wife was in a bad mood but turned into a way to avoid staying in the ring to work through the difficult conversation.
If you grew up in a home where there was a lot of unpredictability you may find yourself challenged when going through big changes. Patterns of transition are imprinted in our cellular memory from early childhood. In a stress filled house-hold, children marry change with feelings of fear, then as adults we may find even positive transitions (moving to a new home, starting a new relationship or job) to be unusually troubling.
For example, as the oldest of four siblings, you might have learned to be wonderfully resilient in crisis. You became great at making big (adult) decisions quickly to take care of your younger siblings. However, as an adult, you feel burdened by your automatic tendency to take on more than your share of responsibility for others, then feel resentful. Your brilliant leadership in childhood helped you survive childhood, but now this tendency may (subconsciously) interfere with your adult relationships and health.
To grow we must change. When change occurs, early cellular wiring, rebels. Our cells have LOTS of needs when going through big changes. It can be super helpful to know how to have a conscious/subconscious dialogue with your cells. A healing dialogue between your cells and higher (subconscious) mind, might sound something like this…
Cells: What on earth do you think you’re doing!!!?
Higher Mind: You know we have to________________ . (Fill in the blank with YOUR transition, ie. “Stop eating sugar.” “Move.” “Break-up.” “Quit that job I can’t stand anymore.” “Go to that doctor’s appointment I’ve been avoiding.” “Purchase that house that’s more than I thought I could spend.”)
Cells: No, no, we have a routine, its status quo. We’re good. Don’t do it! You feed us junk food when we’re nervous and if you stop, I’ll have cravings. I’ve grown to LOVE my junk food and you know how irritable I get when you take it away!
Higher Mind: Yeah, but you’re not healthy! You’ve gained weight, you have energy drops throughout the day and you’re moody. Look, we’ll get a massage, go to the park, out to dinner. Just keep doing deep breathing and remember this is temporary.
Cells: Okay, Okay, but this is a stretch for me. It’s a leap of faith because my cells don’t know this one!
Higher Mind: I know, but this time we’re going to go through change differently. We’re going to get you a ton of support and it won’t be painful the way it’s been in the past.
Moral of the story:
Every time you break a habit, a natural stage of chaos occurs first. Remember this is natural. Remind your cells they are safe and won’t die as you pass through transformation before finding homeostasis in your new pattern.
Have a healing dialogue with your cells and your higher mind. Let your cells talk to you! They have a lot of wisdom if you simply pay attention.
Getting better at change requires correct understanding and practice of new skills. Use deep breathing or meditation to stay centered. Get support from a friend or a professional. Transitions don’t have to be so stressful and get easier with practice!
Managing transitions in life relationships is part of a healing process. Transpersonal Energy Healing works with body/mind psychology to facilitate healing of stress, anxiety, trauma and life changes. If you’d like to learn more with a 15-minute free consultation, I’d be happy to talk to you about how Transpersonal Energy Healing, heals illness rooted in toxic stress and trauma.
Laura Fine, MFT, MA, has two Master’s Degrees, one in Marriage and Family Therapy, a second Masters of Arts Degree. She is director of the Transpersonal Energy Healing Certification training with the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology.
Laura is author of 4 books: The Exceptional Practitioner: Transpersonal Energy Healing, Laura’s New Heart, A Holistic Healer’s Spiritual Journey Through A Heart Transplant, Taming the Restless Mind, The Best Kept Meditation Secret on the Planet and The Exceptional Actor: The Seven Step System to Charisma, Chemistry and Magnetism. You can learn more about Laura from her website: www.LauraFineOnline.com or contact her for a free consultation at: LauraFineOnline2@gmail.com.