How NOT to give in to irresistible cravings


Do you engage in destructive behaviors like overeating, over-drinking, overspending, wasting too much time on social media, (insert vice here)?

We all do.

Why do you self-sabotage and do things you KNOW are bad for you?

One simple answer: you’re unwilling to feel the craving and not fulfill it. The craving can be caused by many things — dopamine or other hormones, low blood sugar, addiction, habit, anxiety, stress, uncomfortable emotions…

Whenever you have an urge, every part of your reptilian brain wants to scratch the itch. We evolved running towards pleasure and away from pain. It’s gotten us this far, but now, instead of progressing, we’re regressing. We’re unwilling to feel that gaping void that remains if we DON’T give in.

So how do you stop doing the thing that’s keeping you fat, sick, broke, unhappy, unproductive, addicted and stuck on the hamster wheel?

You need to be willing to sit in discomfort, to be with whatever urge is arising and not react as you always do.

How can you be with whatever urge is arising and simply observe it? Allow it to be there, without indulging it?

First of all, get over the false belief that you should somehow feel good all the time. And if you don’t, there’s something wrong with you. If you embrace the truth that half of the time the emotions you experience might be undesirable, and the other half, they will be pretty good; then maybe you won’t feel the need to escape when it’s not all sunshine and roses. Discomfort won’t kill you.

Second of all, practice observing without judgement. The moment you step out of your experience to witness it, it lessens the intensity. By watching it, you become less entangled in it. It creates space between you and your craving and you’re better able to choose your response to it.

Third, drop into the physical experience of your craving and notice how it feels. Where does it reside in your body? What sensations are you experiencing? Can you describe what is happening?

Lastly, if you can stop, drop, observe and investigate…you will notice that when you don’t feed the craving, it eventually subsides. You stop reinforcing the bad habit and eventually it no longer has such a strong hold on you. You gain your power back and slowly, over time, you’re no longer addicted.

This takes practice and commitment. It takes time and effort.

But imagine…

What if you could stop eating too much? Drinking too much? Shopping too much? How would that change your life? Wouldn’t it be worth it? Are you willing to do what it takes to get there?

Most people are not. Not until that thing gets so bad that the negative repercussions of compulsive habits start seriously disrupting their life. Then they try a few quick fixes (that never work), or they replace one bad habit for another one, or they get decide ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. And that is when real transformation is possible.

You CAN change. You don’t need to be a slave to the destructive behaviors that create pain and suffering in your life. You just need to want change so badly, that you’re willing to do the real work to get there. You need to be willing to try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, until one day you try and succeed. And then, all that commitment and dedication will have paid off. So the question is…

How badly do YOU want to be free?

What addictive behavior do you need to STOP?

Dana SkoglundComment