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You Are Capable of Change

(Julian Ford, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Change is painful and can feel impossible sometimes because it triggers our body’s inner alarm system. The alarm in your brain, the amygdala, doesn't like it when something is different. Different could mean trouble. So the alarm tells our body to pump out the stress hormones and pulls up distressing thoughts and feelings from our memory centers, in order to drive us to get back to what seems like a comfortable place of old habits…
The key to sustained success in making a planned change is to pay as much, if not more, attention to the push-back from your brain’s alarm as to the change itself.
We’ve found a good way to do this is to create a new habit that is mindful, rather than mindless like most other habits. The habit is mental focusing. It is as simple as one-two-three, or as we’ve learned to do it, S-O-S:
1.    Sweep your mind clear, take a break from all the racing thoughts and just be quiet for just a few seconds.
2.    Orient yourself by choosing one thought that expresses what you value and who you are as a person—the thought might be deep, like thinking of someone you love, or very ordinary, like picturing a place or activity that makes you feel peaceful and happy.
3.    Self-check your stress level (from 1 to 10, no stress to the worst stress ever) and your personal control level (from 1 to 10, feeling confused and out of control to thinking so clearly that you can handle anything)…
Once you’re focused on what you value and who you are as a person, change makes more sense and becomes real. But you can’t do this just once or twice and expect dramatic results—to harness the power of your brain to make important changes, it’s necessary to live every day in a focused way. Not every moment, but returning to your focus repeatedly during the day…
When change is based on what we deeply value and believe in, then change is not just a temporary diversion, but a return to who we truly are as a person.
Community: Improving impulse control can make us better able to accomplish behavioral change.
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Please do not give advice. We can best help each other by telling what works for us, not what we think someone else should do.