How to get into a healthy lifestyle with high emotional intelligence.
Here’s the process to switch out bad habits for good ones.
Please note this takes practice!
- Identify meaning of emotional signals
- Identify reward of bad habit
- Substitute self-care behavior for bad habit and make sure it gives you the same rewards.
Now, please also bring an attitude of learning to this process.
When you start, you won’t be certain as to what your negative emotional signals are trying to tell you. Also, your self-care skills will be relatively weak so the rewards will be less satisfying than the bad habit.
When you do succumb to your bad habit, do so mindfully. Don’t disconnect. Don’t beat yourself up. Try to enjoy the experience actually.
Afterwards reflect more about what lead to the situation, what could have been done differently, and what you learned.
How do you beat bad habits?
Beating bad habits is extremely tough.
And the way to beat these bad habits can be likened to the ancient martial art of Judo.
In Judo you take someone’s power and use it against them.
In the case of habits, the power of bad habits comes from how good these bad habits make you feel.
So we have to keep this power of feeling good but then redirect it.
Here’s the lesson you can get the same good feelings without using food.
Let’s say you are an emotional eater.
So you are feeling bad.
You eat food. You feel better.
Well, it’s possible to feel good without eating food.
Yes! This is true!
However there are a few prerequisites that are very important.
First, you must have eaten!
You can’t be hungry or not eating enough and expect to be able to resist food cravings. Heck no!
Second, you must expect failure.
Failure is the key to this whole thing.
By this I mean that your bad habits, they won’t stop right away!
They will continue to nag at you and eat at the back of your mind.
So you need to expect this in the beginning. That’s how to get into a healthy lifestyle.
Because if you think that magically the bad habits are supposed to go away, you’re in for a nasty surprise!
So the bad habits, they are your teachers.
And you MUST learn from them!
But how do you learn?
First you must really get clear on all the rewards that these bad habits give you.
Relief from anxiety? Relief from boredom? Or excitement? Pleasure? Good taste? Give your brain a break from thinking?
But most importantly and what I talk most in this video about below is …
Understanding your negative emotions.
Your negative emotions are signs that you have unmet needs.
You must face your negative emotions as well.
These needs are valid!
What do you need?
You must get clear on these negative emotions! What are they telling you?
First, where do you feel the negative emotions? In your gut, heart, shoulders, head?
Then what does it feel like?
Anxiety, depression, anger, stress, boredom, tension, etc?
Only you can know.
Then you must pick a self-care behavior that gets you the same rewards and matches your emotional needs.
This is ultimately how to get into a healthy lifestyle!
But be careful because this is the tricky part!
This is where you will need to practice!
This where you will find yourself, you will feel bad and have a craving to eat food.
But before you eat this food …
You must pause and think!
What is causing me to feel this way?
Am I hungry? Lonely? Angry? Tired? Stressed? What’s going on?
And then you start to see …
The truth. That you must meet your emotional need!
If you are angry, you must pick a self-care behavior that matches your emotional need to calm down.
If you are sad, you must pick a self-care behavior that makes you happy.
This is where so many people struggle.
They don’t understand their negative emotions.
And then they think they failed.
Because they believe they failed, they don’t try to understand their negative emotions.
When they do sit down and try to understand their negative emotions, they get frustrated because things aren’t clear.
They then feel like they failed again.
So the next time they feel bad they just eat instead of reflecting.
They feel like they made zero progress.
But that’s not the right attitude.
The right attitude is learning.
The right attitude is learning from each time you do your bad habit.
Learning is the key.
Do not judge yourself that you are doing your bad habit.
Just watch the bad habit unfold with mindfulness.
Don’t disconnect or get angry.
In fact, try to enjoy your bad habit, even though you know it’s bad for you. Really try to savor the bad habit.
This is a huge eating enlightenment!
What do you think? Let me know.