How to stop cravings

“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!”

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