To apply TIP to your own undesirable habits, examine several instances of the habit and then:
- Write down what you were thinking and feeling immediately before you did the undesired behavior.
- Develop a repertoire of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are incompatible with the negative response you had immediately before the habit was activated.
- Think of specific behaviors that will make you feel more valuable. (The bad habit was an attempt to make you feel temporarily more powerful, but resulted in more feelings of powerlessness in short order.) These will fall into one of four categories: improve, appreciate, connect, or protect.
- Imagine doing the behaviors. For instance, “When I feel that way I have to (do something that will make me feel more valuable) ______________.”
- Practice the behaviors every day for about six weeks (optimal time for building self-regulation habits).
With practice, your brain will automatically replace states of vulnerability like guilt, shame, or anxiety with more deeply empowering, solution-oriented states, which will allow you to act in ways that make you feel consistently more valuable.
Visit Dr. Steven Stosny’s website Compassion Power for many more interesting articles.
Being an emotional person is not a bad thing at all, but when certain emotional habits end up hurting your loved ones without any fault of theirs, then it is time for you to understand what is happening, and then work on it accordingly. Shifting your emotional habits from a negative place to a positive one is what you need to do.