At some point in our lives, we’ve all tried to make a change. Maybe it was a new diet or a new exercise routine, or maybe we decided to stop yelling at our kids or be kinder to our husband. We have been successful with some of these changes, but often our attempts to change our behavior don’t pay off in the long run. We go back to eating impulsively or shouting at our children. Why never? In this section, we will explore how we can improve our chances of creating lasting change. This article is sponsored by BetterHelp. BetterHelp is an online treatment provider. They correspond with a licensed therapist in your area who can help with depression, anxiety, trauma, pain, and other concerns. It is really easy to sign up and try therapy from the comfort of your own home. And one of the best parts is that you can use their service to message your therapist anytime from anywhere. Treatment starts at around 6 65 per week.
It should be a fun example of how not to do therapy. That’s it – that’s it! “” Well, I’ll just have to stop it. “” Set it up. Just stopping it often doesn’t work and has negative side effects. If “just stop it” worked for every problem, then you would not take this course and no one would ever come to therapy. If we could impose our will to change, none of us would feel stuck or need help to grow. So I want you to think: what is a problem that you have encountered that comes back, a problem that you have made many attempts to change, but so far nothing has worked? What did you feel? take a minute and write, you know, what this problem was. Almost everyone who comes to me for treatment has already tried “just stop it.” And it doesn’t work. Nothing they feel is working. So one of the ways to look at it is to think, “Oh, you know, they haven’t tried the right behavior yet.” You know, try a different diet, try a different way of forcing your kids to do something. But what if the solution is the problem;
What if the focus on behavior change is at best, wasting energy, and at worst, making things worse. When we work with addicts in the healthcare industry, we have this term called Switch addiction, which is basically used to describe the cycle of behaviors that occur when we remove someone’s drug of choice. So, for example, when we accept a client who is addicted to alcohol and no longer has access to it, they will often begin to exhibit other addictive behaviors. Which, you know, depend on the occasion, but they can be disturbed or overeat. And when we try to help them change those behaviors, then they can turn into compulsive sex. And if we try to fight it, they could turn into creating community drama or obsessively reading or obsessed with schoolwork or self-harm, and the list goes on and on. Quite right? So forcing someone not to use drugs is like chasing the behavior around Mulberry.
For treatment to be effective, we need to create changes on a deeper level. The goal of this course is to help you change behaviors and change how you feel, but not by sedating or choking or simply changing behavior. This course will help you be different by changing your approach to your underlying impulses, needs and emotions. But to do this, it may be necessary to change your example. One of the reasons “just stop it” doesn’t work is that it’s based on the world view that we are, you know, bad people doing bad things. This allows for very few options for creating changes – things like, you know, punish the behavior, end the behavior, and suppress the behavior. Now, if instead we see people as inherently good, as people who generally do the best they can with what they have, then there must be a reason why they do what they do. This gives us a lot more flexibility to help them – things like solving underlying needs, trusting our emotions to have a purpose, finding an underlying function in behavior.
So when we see people as deeply good, we are more likely to help create permanent and sustainable changes in ourselves and in others. How do you see yourself? When you are confused, what do you say to yourself? Punish or criticize yourself? Did you hit yourself? Are you trying to cover up your mistakes or book? What do you say about the world view and the approach to change? Remember when we talked about primary and secondary emotions; There is an iceberg, and the part that emerges from the water
Or it could be an attempt to escape a problem that someone doesn’t know how to solve or how to deal with, you know, child abuse or poor lifestyle choices. So no matter what the underlying problem is, if we fail to address and resolve the emotions hidden under alcoholism, then we will simply play with the behaviors. Behaviors arise from underlying movements, functions, or rewards in these behaviors. So, if we want to solve problems and create lasting change, we really need to get back to the idea that every behavior has some function. Even the most self-destructive behaviors, such as alcoholism, have a function, such as making anxiety go away, even if only for a while. So, see the following example: Micah was an intelligent fourth grade student who was always in trouble. He was the clown of the class. He often interrupted class with his antics, jokes and tantrums, and the more his teacher worried about him about the impact this had on the behavior of the class, the more he tried to shut it down.
He started by asking him to stop, and then he proceeded to scold, and then he started taking the break and started taking other prizes and then started punishing him with trips to the manager’s office and phone calls to his mother. But his behavior kept getting worse. It seemed that everything he tried to make him behave simply encouraged him. After consulting some of the other teachers, Mrs. Kohler, who was his teacher, began to wonder why Micah seemed to want to get into trouble. One of the other teachers suggested that maybe Mika really wanted to be noticed, to feel important, and that the only way he knew how to do it was through negative behavior. So his basic need was to feel that someone cared. So Ms. Kohler began developing ways that Micah could be perceived every day. She made him clean the painting. She asked him to run errands for her. She invited him to teach small parts of the lessons.
And little by little, his agitation subsided, and he began to exert a more positive influence on his classmates. Our feelings and motives are much deeper than our thoughts and actions. If we want to create profound and lasting change, we need to take a look at attitudes. Take a look at the problem you are unsuccessfully trying to solve. I will ask you a series of questions that you can consider about the different ways to approach your problem. And then I just want you to write one with two of what you would be willing to try with your situation. What emotions are hidden under this behavior? what are your basic needs? these include the needs for physical survival, attachment and connection, security and love. What resources can you turn to? so, for example, which people could you talk to? Are there any books on your problem? Do you know anyone who has overcome a similar difficulty? Q, What community resources are available to you; And that, you know, this question encourages you to do some research and find out what resources are out there. So, for example, with the desire to improve physical health, an external approach is concerned with the numbers on the scale, calorie counting, mind versus body, external pressure, such as fat shame, and how people think about you and how people see you. Quite right? All of these are external elements, external sources of motivation, and about 95% of diets fail.
Diets generally use this right external approach; an internal approach would focus on how your mind and body feel each day when you exercise, listening to your body’s signs of hunger and fullness, paying attention to your sensations when you overeat, etc. and the inherent rewards are more sustainable. So the approach I just described is called intuitive nutrition, and it has proven to be far more effective in helping people maintain a healthy BMI than any type of diet. Behavior change that suppresses emotions must be constantly supported by external rewards or willpower, right; You squeeze it and that, basically, every change takes work, but deep change gets easier and more satisfying over time, while suppression-based behavior change gets harder and harder over time.
It becomes less satisfying and less motivating over time. What do you do to keep trying to fix this problem? What do you do over and over again? and then what have you never tried to solve this problem? check your skill toolbox from this course. There is some new skill you would like to apply to your problem? What are your strengths? Use your strengths instead of your weaknesses to create change, What are you really good at? How can you apply those strengths to your problem? Now, often we just don’t know the answer to these questions, but asking the question opens us up to look for more flexible solutions instead of just doing the same thing over and over again. If you really want to create deep and lasting change in your life, you need to look underneath the behaviors and look into your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and feelings. By getting creative and trying new things, you really can create lasting change in your life.