Practice Believing in Yourself

We fall prey to our self-critical voices when we forget how incredible we are, when we forget our own magnificence. This practice is about coming back to or developing an inner voice that really believes in you and your ability to go through the pain to get to the joy.

Do this practice any time of day or night, when you notice that you are wanting to do or are doing a substance, behavior, or attitude that feels good in the moment but has negative side effects.

Directions:

  1. Put your hand on your heart. That will signal your brain to release oxytocin, which suppresses cortisol (a stress hormone) and is a feel good hormone.
  2. Think of a person or a pet that you love. That will release more oxytocin.
  3. Take a few long deep breaths and relax your body. It will help the executive functioning part of your brain to get in charge so it can say, “This is not a good thing to say [or do, eat, etc.] right now. You know you'll feel better if you don't give in to the strong desire.”
  4. Use all your internal resources to find an angel voice inside or borrow one from a trusted friend and have it say something like this to you: “You are an incredible human being. If you put your mind and heart to this and have courage, you can get through it. This is a moment to love yourself with all your heart despite the feeling that you have warts and blemishes. You're still a great person.”
  5. If you do succumb to the behavior, attitude, or substance, be gentle with yourself and be self-compassionate. Criticizing yourself will just make you want to do the addiction more. Loving yourself is the way to the other side.
  6. If you are able to love yourself enough that you can resist the temptation, then celebrate. Even a small 'go girl' or 'atta boy' releases dopamine and gets your brain more motivated to persevere.
  7. Then, celebrate even more. Tell a friend what you just did that you're proud of or write it in a journal where you're practicing taking credit which, by the way, is another great practice for shifting out of the negative state that pulls you into addictions into a positive and optimistic state.

Write in with your experiences, thoughts, and questions. Enjoy the journey.

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