Years ago I heard a parable of a guru who told his student that while he meditated he should never think about the RED MONKEY. Of course, although he had never thought of a red monkey before, that became the image that kept coming into his mind. Research has now shown that signs that prohibit smoking actually activate a craving to light up. Just think of all the negative messages that are everywhere intended to promote public health. In The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business, Charles Duhig states that habits can never be eradicated, they must be replaced by something that is equally rewarding.
Do you have a habit you want to kick? When you first feel the craving begin, pause a few minutes and get in touch with what you are really feeling. Are you just bored? annoyed? stressed? lonely? Whatever you are reaching for is what you use to mask what you truly want. Once you have identified what you are used to masking, the next step is to make a list of other ways to satisfy or remedy the uncomfortable emotion. Will power is rarely strong enough to create a new pattern. Once you have figured out other ways to relieve stress, or boredom, or loneliness and made them readily available in your schedule and surroundings, you just might find that you are naturally smoking less, exercising more, and enjoying life more fully.
THOU SHALT NOT SAY “NO” TO YOURSELF.
SAY “YES” TO LIFE!