But what if you are having trouble becoming aware of your thoughts that are connected to the habit you are trying to change?
This does happen. Sometimes our thoughts are going by so fast it feels like we can’t catch them or it feels like we aren’t having any thoughts in particular before we engage in or fail to engage in a habit.
If you ever feel that way—like you can’t catch your thoughts or like you aren’t having any, then you can try catching your mood instead—become aware of your mood.
Perhaps you feel a certain way, like depressed, before you overeat on the sweets. Perhaps you feel nervous before you start biting your nails. Perhaps you feel angry before you start smoking.
Even if you fail to discern your very particular thoughts, if you discern your mood, you probably will have a good idea of approximately what some of your thoughts probably were. And if you can do that, then you can think up opposite thoughts to tell yourself to counteract the ones that are contributing to your habit problem.
It usually works best if you actually tell yourself out loud, those things that you determined to be the opposite to your trigger mood. Again, positive affirmations are most effective if worded in the first person, present tense, as in “I am…”.
There is more than one way to help you with your habit change. Typically, most people need to use lots of different techniques simultaneously in order to be successful. Let me know if the mood awareness technique was helpful to you in your habit change journey by leaving me a comment below.