Posted by: Cathy | November 11, 2015

Coach Nibble: Mindless Habits

Coach nibble Today, let’s talk about something I’ve been struggling with recently – mindless habits.

Maybe you can relate to this. I’ll get in a zone of mindlessness and notice I’m in the middle of something that isn’t serving me (skipping a workout, eating too many crackers, etc.) and part of my brain says “Oh hey, that’s not a choice in line with our priorities” and another voice says “Oh yeah, f-you, I can do whatever I want.”

When this happens, I know it’s a reaction to stress or an unpleasant event but, when I’m in reaction mode, how do I stop long enough to shift into mindfulness? Especially when the reactive voice is rebelling?

The first step is noticing the issue, and I am noticing it. I know a pattern-interrupt is needed, something to crack into the bad mood and allow some light and fresh air. But when you’re in a hard-core reaction and seeking comfort, the last thing you want to do is make an effort to do something extra.

Ergo, I know the pattern-interrupt needs to be something fast, simple, and easy; something soothing in a different way than the mindless habit; something that can shift the energy.

The first thing that is coming to mind as a pattern-interrupt is to watch a Maru video (Maru is an adorable cat in Japan). Maru always makes me smile and I find him comforting. There are Maru videos ranging in length, so I could have a quick, 45-second fix, or sit and watch a 5-minute video or an infinite series of videos.

I will need to give this a try, bookmark Maru on my computer and on my Kindle, and see if it works. If not, I’ll need to brainstorm some more pattern-interrupts. Also, different mindless habits might need different pattern-interrupts. For example, if I’m skipping a workout, looking at an inspiring yoga pose in a beautiful location might help me more than Maru.

What might work for you as a pattern-interrupt? What favorite images or objects could help you shift out of a bad mood or mindless habit? Share your ideas in the comments or on Facebook!

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Check out the coach nibble information page if you’d like to submit a topic for a future coach nibble. All suggestions are entered in a monthly drawing!

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