How not to pull the trigger.
August 6, 2012, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Behavior, Mind

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Habit energy is strong! Why is it strong? Because it is strengthened over time by repetition and practice. When we continue practicing a bad habit we allow it a small control in our lives. These small actions add up to habits.

Work in behavioral health focuses on changing particular actions – modifying or managing one’s behaviors.

Focus on choices or behaviors is different than focusing on thoughts and feelings, which can tend to be abstract, fleeting or subjective.

Through applied behavior analysis (ABA) one can breakdown the antecedent of the behavior (what happens before the behavior,) the behavior itself and the consequence of the behavior (what is the result of the behavior having occurred.)

For example:

(Antecedent) The waiter at the party approaches you with a plate of hors d’oeuvres.

(Behavior) You eat two or three.

(Consequence) You’re too full to finish your dinner (or you eat all your dinner, too and overeat.)

If you have a goal of changing your diet or eating habits, you must be aware of your antecedents or your “triggers.”

(Antecedent) A family member or friend makes a snide remark about one of your past mistakes at a party.

(Behavior) Your heart races, you see red and you tell the person off in front of the group.

(Consequence) Social embarrassment and strained relations with the individual.

If you have a goal of controlling your temper or increasing your ability to use coping skills, being aware of the triggers that ignite your spark of anger are important to your maintenance of the behavior.





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