How do your modify your behavior? Especially deep-seated habits and patterns that seem to operate of their own volition? Well, first, awareness both around the triggers and whatever emotional need, real or perceived they are addressing. Beyond that, try “DEADS”:

Delay: Many cravings subside after 10 or 15 minutes. I often tell myself “yes, you can have that…AFTER this or that”. Often by that time the hankering has passed; I use this most often with food!

Escape/Evade: Awareness/Journaling/Introspection/Reflection all help you know and understand yourself; I learned to practice “scripts” in advance to politely, diplomatically retreat from social situations/temptations that were high risk for relapse.

Avoid: Most folks with terrific self-discipline are really excellent evaders i.e. they know their triggers and/or high temptation situations and far stay away. PS: it helps to hang around people who share your growth values!

Distract: “Pattern Interrupt” is a powerful technique to break any gathering momentum; a rapid intervention can derail mindless behavior patterns.*

Substitute: A choice between something and nothing is no choice at all! Always think it through in ADVANCE; have alternate behaviors set up. Set aside a cache of attractive opportunities: a jigsaw puzzle/book/streaming episode you’ve been looking forward to, whatever works for you.

*Under the heading of “Distract”: Tony Robbins once had a client in the grip of a powerful negative thought loop who insisted that it was “impossible” to think about anything else. Tony threw a glass of water in their face, quickly interrupting their pattern and introducing a whole new thought process into their reality. Perhaps a bit extreme but certainly effective. 🙂

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier