Habits of Mind and Feeling - from the Health and Healing Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar introduces the topic - Habits of Mind and Feeling -

How to understand - and break free - from the mental habits that stress our day.

About Habit

Habit refers to something that we have done many times before - and that we can now do routinely - without needing to think through each of its steps.

It is an over learned behavior that has printed its pattern within our body and brain - like typing on a keyboard - riding a bicycle or driving a car.

Habits develop for the sole reason that we do the same thing over and again.

They do not distinguish between things that are healthy or correct - from those that are not.

Therefore a habit can serve us well - or it can cause us a great deal of difficulty.

We learn our deepest habits as children - when we first learn how to think, feel and relate to each other.

We may be taught healthy ways or not. But regardless - these habits become a part of our adult personality.

It is these habits we are least likely to see - and have the greatest difficulty to change.

It is important to remember that once a habit has formed - we do not see the many parts hidden within it.

And once we have become accustomed to a habit - we don’t even pay much attention to its occurrence.

It’s like a building that is made from bricks and wires and plumbing tube.

Once the building is completed - we do not see all of its pieces - we just see the building.

And once we have passed by the building a few times - we don’t give it much notice.

Mental Habits

When we do notice the habits of our mind and feeling - we accept them as personality.

Beliefs - Assumptions - Rationalizations and Expectations - are really just habits of thought - that have taken hold deeply within our mind.

They determine the course of our day - without our questioning their truth in each moment.

Habits of reaction - and association - commonly occur within our mind and body.

A memory comes to mind - and the same feeling as always - spreads through our body.

We think of a favorite food - and our mouth begins to water.

We feel angry and want to lash out - at our self or another - depending on our usual reaction.

Habits of avoidance are also common - and can rule a great part of our day.

To avoid guilt - we say Yes - when we want to say No.

We snack on food - rather than taking the time to understand our feelings of anxiety or stress.

Habits of avoidance also disconnect us from feelings hidden within them.

The burning feeling of anger is unpleasant - but not so much as the fear and vulnerability that hides behind it.

Habits of avoidance cover layers of memory and feeling - left over from our past - and allowed to control our actions today.

Letting Go of Habit

The first step to change any habit - is to see it for what it is.

Talk with others - Listen - Journal write - Learn meditation - Question - Consider and Reflect.

A break in the day and a look inside - are the ways to learn - about the stuff that is happening inside of us.   

Notice the times when you are stressed - or struggling with a difficult situation.

Take a step back - a few moments to take a breath in through your nose and deeply to the bottom of your belly.

Let go of your breath - the tension in your face - and take a few moments break from struggle.

Question your role - in creating your stress.

Have I set my self an impossible deadline? Am I once again assuming - that others think the same way as I do? Am I expecting too much of my self - or that others will attend to the things that I need? Have I let feelings pressure me to say Yes - when I wanted to say No.

Take a break from one habit today.

If you know that you agree out of habit - or say Yes to avoid guilty feeling - Just say No for one day.

Don’t apologize - Just say ‘No - I can’t do that. I’m taking the day to look after myself.

The only way to know the thoughts and feelings buried within your habit - is to step out of its routine - and to do something different today.

Just say No. Then notice how you feel. Talk about it with a close friend. Journal write. Take some time to just sit - and to question your feeling. Wonder - why you let it push you around.

Learn the ways to care for, calm and to express your self - and use these ways to face the feelings that have been buried within your habit.

Attend to one issue at a time. Your confidence and ability will grow.

It is by learning to sit with the feelings that follow change - that we retrieve the power given over to habit.

In Summary

Unhealthy habits of mind and feeling create a great deal of the stress that we find in our day.

Assumptions - Expectations - Habits of Association - Reaction and Avoidance.

Take a break from one habit today. And learn the ways to face the feelings that have been hidden within it.

You have now reached the end of Habits of Mind and Feeling.

Look for this and other Learning Seminars at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.