I hate to be the one to break this to you but…. you can’t break a habit!!
So often we just pass through our days in a sort of automatic state, not really conscious of why we do the things we do. Our habits are leading us through the day.
The brain just sort of gets on with the routine stuff like eating, driving, taking a shower etc etc so that you can concentrate on the other stuff… drafting that email, phoning a client, reading a report.
Often these routine behaviours or habits actually started out as something we had to concentrate on or make a conscious decision to do in a certain way, like driving a car.
Driving Lesson Habits
Do you remember your first ever driving lesson.. one wheel, three peddles, three mirrors, two indicator levers … not to mention the sticks and nobs in the middle!!!!
I don’t know about you but my mind was blown by the amount of stuff there was to concentrate on in those first lessons.
These days I don’t even give how I drive a second thought… though if any of her majesty’s constabulary are reading this of course I’m a very mindful driver!!! But really I just get in the car and drive, I can listen to the radio while I drive, I can hold a conversation and drive, I can even read a map and drive.. My brain knows how to drive and so it just gets on with it… its the prefect time and energy saving system.
Except… that this same time and energy saving system is why it is so easy to get stuck in a food and poor eating rut.
Mindless Eating Habits
Your brain is looking for the easy, energy saving solution for you. You are a busy woman, there are so many claims on your time and your conscious attention. So your helpful brain creates some eating habits…that way you don’t even need to think about them at all.. you can just eat without thinking about it.
The problem with eating habits is that they tend to focus on food that is convenient, fast and often time also rewarding…food that quickly makes you feel better. Step forward Carbs, Fats and Sugars… or the heavenly trio of all three (pizza anyone!!)
The first couple of times you eat this mindless way you actually feel good, it wasn’t at all stressful thinking about what to eat, the reward centres in your brain had a party with the quick release energy surging in your system. Its felt like a winning habit….
But then .. the habit starts to stick… and before long you really are stuck in the habitual mindless eating. Now it’s not so good, you stared to put on weight, your energy levels are unstable, you don’t feel great. You really want to change…but its so hard to kick the habit.
Heres the thing about habits… you can not break a habit!!!
Bad news indeed!!!
But the good news is that you can create a new habit…one that very soon becomes stronger than the old unhelpful unhealthy habit. Yes it will take time, a little effort and some conscious attention… remember those early driving lessons..
Creating New Habits
Its not easy but it is simple. Think about one of your unhelpful or unhealthy habits, one that you really want to change. Now think about a new healthy helpful habit that you would like to replace it with… keep it real here…you wont go from snacking on a family sized bar of Dairy Milk during Eastenders to knitting bedsocks but you can switch the choc bar for a handful of seeds and nuts or a small plate of crudities. You are replacing one behaviour with a new one. Soon the brain catches up and the chocolate is forgotten. Then you can move on again… make sense?
It can be hard to challenge old behaviours and habits thats why behavioural change is the heart of every one of our residential retreats. Whether its the habit of not sleeping, the habit of always saying yes, getting the afternoon munchies, sweetie scoffing on car journeys we have helped hundreds of women turn their back on on old unhelpful habits and embrace new healthy habits instead.
If you feel that you need help to get some new healthy habits nailed then get in touch.