“If you keep doing what you’re doing, you are going to keep feeling how you’re feeling”. This is one of my favorite things I say to clients to get their attention. It makes so much sense, don’t you think? Why do we like to convince ourselves that maybe, just maybe it will be different if we keep doing what we are doing? Maybe if I continue to talk down to my spouse and withhold affection our relationship will get better. Maybe if I continue to spend money that I don’t have I will get out of debt. Maybe if I continue to not exercise and eat more than what my body needs I will lose weight. Maybe if I continue isolating myself I won’t feel lonely and will make friends. Maybe if I keep using drugs I will eventually get to that one high that I’ve been reaching for, even though it’s never happened. Maybe, just maybe, it will be different this time.
NO! If you are doing negative behaviors and feeling bad about it, you will continue to feel bad if you have that behavior. The problem is, I believe, people want to have the positive feelings BEFORE they change their behavior. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You have to change the behavior first. And that takes work, usually lots of work because the behavior has more than likely become a habit. Did you know it takes 21 days of doing something over and over before it becomes a habit? That seems like a long time when it’s changing a behavior. But that is a good guideline to begin feeling differently and seeing yourself not struggle as bad with a behavior. There are exceptions, particularly with addictions that have been going on for a long time. It takes more than just stopping. You need additional help and support.
So, is there anything you keep doing and feelings that you keep feeling that you wish would go away? Is it possible you are thinking this way? Stop the insanity!!
Thank you for reading and have a great week!
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.