I had a client who used to talk to children about the dangers of using drugs and after the class would proceed to get stoned. Many of the folks standing outside the hospitals smoking have on white coats. A parent hears his children yelling at each other then in full voice screams, “Stop yelling.” A friend points out the negative impact of judging others, then, in the same breath, does exactly what she had advised not to do. Do you practice what you preach, or do your habits get in the way?
While taking a lengthy road trip to our winter home in the sun, I found myself playing with the radio dial frequently. Country western occupied a good portion of those buttons. It’s fascinating to hear all the drama that flows through those tunes, as well as quite entertaining. One song title seemed appropriate to the lesson this week: “Less Talk and A Lot More Action.” In other words, rather than talking about and advocating to others the importance of exercise (knowing your self to be a couch potatoe) get out and exercise.
It seems a significant percentage of the population has a good idea about how to best live life, yet these people’s habits often prevent them from practicing what they preach. Habits come in different forms: stress, worry and poor diet can manifest in high blood pressure, for example. A negative attitude, defensiveness or fear of commitment can result in a broken relationship. Nervousness, avoidance or lack of emotional expression can be the foundation for the habit of smoking. Have you ever thought about the correlation between your habits and your reality?
Habits are insidious. They play havoc with our sense of personal control and convince us we are powerless. They can be the reason your life doesn’t work the way you’d prefer. Anytime you repeat something – whether it is a physical action or a thought – be aware that, if performed often enough, it can become as natural to you as satisfying your hunger. Mind your self when initiating a new gesture, expressing a belief or even simply thinking a thought. Those actions, repeated as patterns, grow stronger over time and often snowball into habits.
If smoking is your habit, you might be interested in the program below* that was devised by my brother-in-law, Dr. David Bennhoff. If you don’t smoke, please forward this lesson to someone who does, and think about what habit(s) you do have that you’d like to kick. Are you a fast food junkie? Do you drive too fast? React rather than respond? Slam doors? Leave a trail of clothing throughout your home? How about twirling your hair? What’s behind these habits? If there is a habit that’s getting the best of you, I encourage you to start the year off by making an effort to turn things around. If you’re giving advice to others but don’t follow it yourself, try to turn things around. If you think you can’t, then you probably won’t. But if you have confidence in yourself, then you can, and you probably will.
So start today by spotlighting just one habit that you want to eliminate, and assure yourself that failure is not an option (try the affirmation below). Do what it takes to empower yourself and take charge of your life. If The Attitude Doc can help, write me, as I want to support you in living this year to your fullest.
Kicking the Smoking Habit
For those of you who want to start the year kicking the smoking habit here’s how the program works: begin by smoking one less cigarette a day from the normal daily number, and progress in stages to show the withdrawal to be gradual and with minimal difficulty. For example: a pack a day smoker (20 cigarettes) would smoke 19-18-17-16 over five days. Once at 16, stay there for five days in a row. The second stage diminishes from 15-14-13- then 12, and again stay at 12 a day for five consecutive days. Next, 11-10-9-8 and then smoke 8 cigarettes for seven days, followed by 7-6-5-4. The final stage is 4 per day for seven days. “That’s it,” says Dr. Bennhoff. “Don’t try to go down to one per day. It’s too easy to psychologically rationalize just one per day.” Now you must have a party at which time you demonstrate smoking the fourth and final cigarette of the last or seventh day of your program. You make a public solemn, spiritual vow to the assembled group of friends that they are watching you smoke the last cigarette of your life. And that is your final cigarette. If you pick up one cigarette afterwards – you’ll be back again to a pack in three days. Dr. Bennhoff’s specialty is Otolaryngology, (treating the ear, nose and throat). When told of the program the patients face lights up. People have come back to him and said it works. This program relies exclusively on your self—no patch, no gum, no hypnosis, no pill. It works because of YOU.
Every minute of the day, as I breath in and out, I am reminded that I am a child of a powerful and loving Intelligence that assures me I can overcome anything I set my intention to. My strength and courage inspire even me, as I easily and naturally accomplish my desired sought-after dreams and goals.
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Any advice contained herein or from The Attitude Doc, Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D., represents the opinions of same, the author/owner of the website, and is intended for the purposes of encouraging self-exploration and personal evolution. The Attitude Doc website, Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D., articles, and any information contained herein, should be considered supplementary to and not a substitute for advice you may have received from another professional.