One Mindful Moment

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Before you sabotage yourself, here’s a list of questions to consider.

It’s a challenge to live healthier – and treat ourselves better – today than we did yesterday. This is especially true if we’re addressing compulsion, addiction, or emotion-numbing behaviors. No matter what we’re trying to overcome, mindfulness can be our greatest ally.

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The next time you’re itching for a fix, 1 before you pick up and check-out, ask yourself one or all of the questions below.

  • What am I feeling right now? 2 Why is it OK to feel this way? To let the feeling run its course?
  • What do I stand to lose if I do this? 3 What do I stand to gain? 4
  • What might I do instead? 5 What’s keeping me from exploring those alternatives? 6
  • If I choose to use, 7 how will I feel about my choice once the dust settles?
  • If I ride this feeling out, how am I likely to feel later?
  • What action 8 can I take in this moment that would result in a greater sense of peace moving forward? 9

If you’ve got the time and the inclination, 10 designate a notebook for your answers. Later, when the same old behaviors and desires surface, 11 looking back on what you’ve already written can be a source of strength.

Of course, you don’t need to write anything down to benefit from this exercise. Print the questions and keep them handy. Skimming the page may be all it takes to keep you, your good health, and your priorities in perspective.

Notes:

  1. of nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, TV, sugar, processed food, Homeland, gambling, anonymous sex, eBay, opiates, chapstick, Diet Coke…
  2. Feelings include sadness, anxiety, anger, joy, fear, etc. They do not include wanting an Alabama Slammer, needing a smoke, or jonesing for a gingerbread cookie.
  3. Money, time, a feeling of wellness, sleep, a period of sobriety, freedom…
  4. Cravings, handcuffs, debt, herpes, a hangover, unnecessary fat
  5. Take a walk, talk to someone, take a nap, cook a healthy meal, hug someone, masturbate, write a letter, wash a dish, brush my teeth, take a bath, stretch, dance, compliment a stranger…
  6. Inertia, habit, laziness, handcuffs…
  7. G’head – say “use” – if it feels like an addiction, it’s the appropriate language.
  8. or non-action
  9. Breathe, Sweetheart. This, too, shall pass.
  10. …and are way better about this kind of thing than me – I can’t tell you how many “Diaries” I started when I was a kid. Ask me how many I wrote in more than twice. That’s right – zero.
  11. as they are wont to do

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