woman planting in little orange clay pots

Transforming Your Habits to Transform Your Health Part 20

Now we are making some progress! We’ve recognized our cravings. We understand that they’re not personal, that they developed over time, and that we have a strong desire to create new pathways that result in the behaviors we want. The process to achieve this is based on a relatively simple concept. In fact, it’s so simple, people often won’t try it. They just don’t believe it’ll work. I discuss it in my book, Authentic Health.

Essentially, when you experience a craving, regardless of what it is, whether it’s to smoke, eat, drink, watch television, or any other behavior that’s not supporting your best health, you will pause and observe it. You’ll remind yourself of what you want for yourself, meaning you’ll use the power of desire and future continuity. You will not beat up on yourself for having this issue, as you actually have strong desires to be the best version of you. And you will then pick an activity that provides well-being. Pick from the list we described in our post, “Is Well-being Something I Have or Something I Feel”? Perhaps it’s gardening, or taking a walk with your dog, or meditating, or turning on some music. But you will pick a new activity that promotes higher mind activation and well-being.

Couple walking hiking boots in woods fall

Give yourself at least 10 minutes in the new activity before reexamining the craving. You should take that 10 minutes and engage in whatever the new activity was, whether it’s taking a walk or some other activity. You’re allowed to consider giving into the craving after that 10 minutes. But you don’t have to. You’re not fighting it. You’re just accepting it for what it is and creating a new pattern.

Essentially, when you experience a craving, regardless of what it is, whether it’s to smoke, eat, drink, watch television, or any other behavior that’s not supporting your best health, you will pause and observe it.

As you do this, you’ll begin to create a new pathway in your brain in response to the craving that results in you doing something good for you.

Ten minutes later, after you’ve been working in your garden, you’ll probably find the craving has diminished significantly. It has far less power over you. So then you should just continue the activity that’s giving you true well-being. I want you to pick something and practice this.

You can try different activities and journal about it, figuring out which ones are the most powerful and effective for you. With regular application, strong future continuity can change this pattern for you. I promise you, you can do this. This is based on a mindfulness process that has solid science to support why it works. You can trust this process. But you do have to actually do it.


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