We all do things we wish we didn’t. Bite our nails, procrastinate, eat junky food or spend too long at the office. I don’t believe in blaming it on habits, though. We do things for a reason. If you can find the reason, it’s a whole lot easier to stop the behavior. For example, if you stay late at work to feel productive, are there other things you can do to make your day feel productive? If you bite your nails to feel calmer, would putting lotion on your hands be just as calming?
Some questions to ask when you’re doing the thing:
- How do I feel right now, as I am doing this?
- How was I feeling just before I started?
- What could you be doing that would make you feel happier at this moment?
Some questions for when a time when you’re not doing the thing?
- What purpose does this behavior service in the moment I do it?
- What purpose does it serve in the long term?
- If I truly wanted to stop doing it, what would I do?
- Do I truly want to stop, or just feel like I should want to?