How often do we get ourselves into predicaments because we do things that are not helpful to us? What if we tried to decomplicate (new word) our lives by simply stopping the things that are not good for us? As a former therapist, I realize this is easier said than done. Or is it?
For instance, I have a strongly held belief that I can’t resist desserts when they are offered to me freely. I can, however, resist them much easier when they’re offered for a charge. I attribute this weakness to a complicated addictive tendency that can be traced back to the good feelings I get in the pleasure center of my brain when I eat a delicious dessert. These good feelings mask any negative feelings I might have at the time. Therefore, when I’m offered the dessert, instead of saying “No, thank you,” it feels much better to say, “Oh, absolutely. Could I have two?”
I could spend a lot of time analyzing this issue, with the help of a counselor, trying to understand the origin of my addiction but in the big scheme of things, I would probably be better served if I simply stopped eating every dessert that’s put in front of me. Because, in all honesty, as one of the most self aware people you’ll ever meet, I know that just because I understand the basis for my behavior, I don’t necessarily change it.
How about you?
Where do you need to just stop it? Is it a bad relationship? Is it procrastination? Is it an addictive tendency that’s spiraling out of control?
The great thing about stopping our unhelpful habits is that we find new ways to get the same satisfaction we thought we were getting by hanging onto to the old ones. The problem is, we don’t realize this until we look back later and have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.
Essentially, our wellbeing is contingent upon doing things that are good for us more often than doing things that are bad for us. So, take an inventory and figure out what you need to stop.
And then……wait for it……just stop it!