Nest time you feel like you are about to do something that you have promised yourself not to do - ask yourself this simple question.
This is one of the most easy tools to begin to replace habits step by step.
You are not going to replace a habit or rewire your brain overnight to crave something different. However, what you can do is to simply practice your emotional intelligence by checking in with yourself during recovery and any time you feel vulnerable to act in ways that are not serving you - whether it is yelling and screaming or going back to your primary addiction or some other self-destructive habit.
While it may seem like a waste of time - it is the very small steps of beginning to practice mindfulness that counts. It is when we refuse the small steps that we are actually capable of taking, that we stay stuck.
Stuck in our misery, stuck in the past, stuck in the quicksand of our situation.
Learning to take stock of the situation is one of the fundamentals of self-care. When things are really rough, I usually find that I haven’t HALTed in ages. And usually I am one or all four - and instead of dealing with it, life gets chaotic and the hamster wheel pulls you in. HALT works regardless of dealing with addiction, mood issues or simply just having one of those days. Now it won’t solve all your problems, but it will make you as well-equipped as possible to deal with those problems.
Furthermore, the act of waiting just a teeny bit before reacting, slowly creates new paths in our brain, so we are less prone for compulsive behaviors.
We begin to build up a bit of self-control and sense of who we are, and what we need to not suppress it with food, drugs or alcohol.
It's small steps and it takes time, yet it works if you work it. Everyday, no excuses - ask yourself those 4 critical needs before you react next time. With time you will be able to then take action on those needs, but first you need to observe them and feel the needs as they manifest. Otherwise how can you ever feed something that you don't allow yourself to feel?