How to overcome compulsive behaviors?
This topic has been of pretty good interest to me for the past few days. I too sometimes struggle from compulsive behaviors and wonder how I will come out of it. When I say compulsion, I mean that I involve myself repeatedly in an action that is excessive. I may be pretty well aware of the negative outcomes of it but still may engage in it. For example, you may tend to eat four heavy chocolates daily. You may know that it is not good for your health but still do the same. Besides, you may keep checking the phones often, in an excessive manner, that it can have a negative impact on the quality of your work. Or you may even be involved in excessive shopping, thereby spending lot of money. Hence, this article concentrates on how to handle compulsive behaviors.
Don’t get into euphoria when you are able to control it
You may be trying to control something that you are doing on a repeated fashion. You may be trying to stop checking your phones on a repeated basis, eat one chocolate instead of three chocolates, not to do shopping on a frequent basis, not checking many times whether you have turned off your stove etc. The feeling to do it stops suddenly and all of a sudden rises again. So don’t get overconfident when you are able to control the pattern.
Don’t get bogged down just because you are not strong-willed to control it
And yes, if your will power doesn’t help you in controlling the compulsive behavior, don’t get disappointed. This is mainly because the more we try to give up some negative behavior, the more you will be inclined to repeat it. Don’t blame your will power for not mastering the temptation to the repeated action.
Find some other constructive way to deal with it
Lets take the example of binge eating which is one type of compulsive overeating. We all eat a lot at specific events but it becomes a matter of concern only when we do it in a repeated manner. You may even eat a huge amount of food in a short span. One way to stop doing this is to exercising mindfulness in whatever you are doing.
Engage in something that you find happiness and satisfaction
When you tend to involve in compulsive behavior like excessive shopping, then try to involve yourself in something that will give you peace of mind. You can be mindful of what you are doing at this point so that when you enjoy the fruits of success, you can celebrate it.
Don’t feel ashamed of yourself
When you are tempted to involve in compulsive behavior, don’t be harsh with yourself. And also don’t label it as an addiction which is out of your control. For example, when you check things again and again including whether you have locked your door, it is only your drive towards perfection that makes you do so. You can slowly and steadily conquer this pattern.
Keep doing your work diligently and stop analyzing your compulsive behavior to a great extent. But as mentioned before, exercise mindfulness while you tend to engage in compulsive behavior like shopping and binge eating.
Do some relaxation technique
You can also follow some relaxation technique like yoga or meditation, whichever is suitable for you, to come out of this compulsive behavior.
These are all normal things that we can control by ourselves but seem to threaten us. Don’t attach big terms to these and be the master of your life!