Most of us experience a need to comfort ourselves, reward ourselves or feel like we deserve something to make us feel better.

This is part of being a human and very normal, though when we crave rewards and build habits that are out of alignment with who we want to be, or how we want to look and habits that are negatively affecting our health, then we don’t feel better. The relief is very temporary.

A conflict within can arise from this because although we know we would see and feel many benefits from giving up an unhelpful habit, we still believe it provides us something.

The thought of giving up our ‘thing’ can bring up feelings of deprivation and make us feel vulnerable and fearful of what will we do instead?

Most rewards of our unhealthier habits are illusions and when we begin to see through the illusionary rewards, we can eliminate the desire for the habit as we see there is actually nothing to give up and we can fill our feelings in healthier and more creative ways.

4 illusionary rewards of unhealthy habits:

Illusion: It relieves stress ❌

Reality: We all have a few everyday stressors… The habit doesn’t relieve the stress, it relieves the aggregation caused by the craving.

Illusion: It relieves boredom. ❌

Reality: Boredom is a frame of mind… The habit doesn’t relieve boredom it just temporarily distracts from it.

Illusion: It helps concentration ❌

Reality: When we need to concentrate, we engage in our habit to eliminate the distraction caused by the craving.

Illusion: It relieves anxiety and gives confidence ❌

Reality: In these situations the relief provided may ease feeling of insecurity, but this insecurity is the symptom that caused the habit in the first place.

Relief from craving is the only reward.

Identifying the reward or feeling you are looking to fill can simplify a shift in behaviour by switching your existing habit with a healthier option.

For example, you eat junk food at work at a certain time for distraction and a break. Replacing the junk with a healthier option still fills the real need for distraction and a break.

Strong habits create an obsessive craving which makes our brains operate on auto pilot. Willpower doesn’t work because the desire to do the habit always remains inside us. Also, the brain does not know the difference between what a healthy reward or an unhealthy reward is. It just knows reward.

Feeling guilty or bad about yourself for unhealthy habits only serves to keep you locked in the very behaviour you want to change. If it were always as simple as just doing it or not doing it, we’d have all conformed a long time ago.  All unhealthy habits serve a purpose.

Mindless eating can be a way of comforting yourself when you’re down or stressed out.  Browsing the internet for hours can be a release from boredom. Drinking too much may be the only way you know how to be social. A step forward with these deeper distractions is to become curious and get a sense of what the most vulnerable part of you really needs.

Thinking differently about your ability to change and envisioning yourself with new habits is a powerful process for change as neurons that fire together, wire together and you will start to see new creative possibilities for yourself.

Think back to an experience where you took a radically different perspective on an issue in your life, which then led to a creative solution.

Visualise how you want to be daily

Maybe it’s exercising and enjoying it.

Eating healthier and fitting into those clothes you really want to wear.

Seeing yourself socially confident, relaxed and engaged in conversation.

If this resonates with you and you would like more guidance, then you can download my free mini course HERE which will give you

  • A meditation to help with the visualisation process and getting the neurons to fire and wire together for a positive change
  • A tool for creating more connection in the most important areas of your life to help with some underlying factors for unhealthy habits
  • The best easy changes to make in nutrition for increased energy, weight challenges and mood improvement. Plus, some beautifully designed recipes
  • It will show you how to create more joy in moving your body
  • A four-step process for transforming triggers

Put together these things will help you make positive and healthier changes that also raise your vibrational energy. You can start today and get the course HERE.

Love and Wellness

Jayne

jaynespenceleywellbeing@gmail.com