“How do I stop cravings?” is one of the most common questions I get. It’s hard to stick to our plan once a craving hits.
What to do?
Here in lies the question we all face: Do we listen to our short term / irrational self or our long term / rational self when it comes to our cravings?
Our short term self tries to convince our long term self we want those cookies or chips or whatever. That same short term self would try to convince a drug addict that just one more hit is okay.
Our long term self is what motivates us to get out of bed. To eat healthfully. To exercise. To evolve. To improve. To achieve. To read these very words…
So who the heck do we listen to?
Well, I believe when we listen to our short term self we are being impulsive, which means, we’re indulging in pleasure.
Big difference between being impulsive and spontaneity, in my opinion.
A life filled with short term pleasures is very different from a life of happiness, satisfaction and empowerment.
I don’t think pleasure and happiness is the same.
Pleasure = fleeting. Satisfaction = fulfilling.
Let’s take the person who only eats salty and sugary foods, as an example. Sure, they might enjoy it on the way down while they’re eating it. But, they don’t feel so good afterward. It lasts, maybe, 15 minutes, if they’re really savoring it. The after can last up to 24 hours, and it also pays off in how they look and feel.
So how do we get over cravings? After all, cravings are a big part of what drives us to indulge in pleasure.
Well, I think the challenge with cravings is that we entertain them to much. We pay too much attention to them! In fact, when we have a craving, typically, that’s all we focus on.
You know why? We’re stuck in our own damn head.
Let’s try something next time we face a craving. It’s simple, unselfish and will benefit others (and you too).
Ready? When a craving hits simply:
Think away from yourself.
Get out of your damn head! Think about someone or something else.
Pro Tip: Call, text or email (whatever your preferred method of communication) a friend or family member and ask them how they’re doing. Getting involved in someone else’s life besides our own is the key.
The idea is to think about something else. Ultimately, we want to immerse ourselves in something else.
As the warden sorta said in the movie Shawshank Redemption, “That craving will vanish like a fart in the wind!”
Today was the beginning of Lent. A Christian tradition in which through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial – believers prepare for Easter.
For those who celebrate Easter many of you told me what you intend on giving up for Lent.
Let’s talk about how to be happier for a second…
There are two ways to make ourselves happier:
1. Do less of what makes us feel bad.
2. Do more of what makes us feel good.
It turns out, the best way to stop doing things that make us feel bad is to replace them with things that make us feel good.
1. What if we listened to music every time we had a craving for junk food?
2. What if we drank sparkling water every time we wanted soda?
3. What if we had frozen berries every time we wanted ice cream?
4. What if we walked in place instead of sitting on the couch while watching TV?
It’s very hard to quit behaviors and habits.
It’s less difficult (not saying it’s easy but certainly very doable) to replace them. This is the best way to give up something for lent.
What will you do INSTEAD of what you’re giving up? Answer this question and our odds for success go way up.
In the spirit of Lent, let’s focus on something we’d feel comfortable giving up for the next 45 days.
But let’s say Lent wasn’t 45 days. Let’s say it was only a week. And let’s pretend for a second we could only focus on the benefits of giving that thing up – whatever it might be. Thinking about the discomfort we’d face isn’t an option right now.
Got that one thing?
Remember: Using it or eating it or doing it makes you feel bad after you’re done.
So, you’re giving up something that makes you feel bad. Just for a week though.
I got mine.
Now, what if I said it’ll be just for the next 24 hours instead of a week.
Less daunting right?
Let’s try it just for the next 24 hours, and see how we feel once it’s over.
For the next 24 hours, starting right now, let’s have our own mini-lent. (For those already giving something up for Lent, let’s pick something else.)