To quit or not to quit? That is the question.
A good friend of mine has just left social media. Goodbye Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Soon the chattering voices will quieten down and there’ll be no more pictures of food, cats or inspirational quotes about following your dreams.
Stopping is the new starting, I reckon.
Years ago, people would host parties with cheap Spanish plonk and show cine film from their fortnight in Torremolinos. Yesterday, someone I know tried to show me a hundred pictures of her holiday on her phone. The tragedy is that I’d already seen them on Facebook, but still had to go through them all again making interested noises.
Owning smart phones mean that we are plugged in 24/7 - we can’t escape the notifications, even when we are on the toilet. We are addicted to tittle tattle and its stressing us out, me included.
Taking a break can save our sanity. We all need time and space to reconnect with ourselves and slow down. Money aside, most of my friends say that the biggest thing they need is time to themselves.
Self-hypnosis is good for this. It takes twenty minutes and you can do it from your armchair. I teach my clients how to do it. It’s great for managing anxiety and re-connecting with yourself. You’re worth twenty minutes of peace, aren’t you?
Instead of taking a break from something, you might want to go cold turkey. What do you have in your life, that if you quit today, would make your life better? The big three are- smoking (expensive and deadly), alcohol (same but with guilt) and a bad diet (the whole lot). There are dozens more, we are all different. Most of my clients come to see me to quit something.
When we stick with bad habits we lie to ourselves. Smoking doesn’t calm you down, it raises your blood pressure. It squeezes your heart and lungs, takes the moisture out of your skin and makes you look older. Some people however, want to spend their money more wisely.
I once asked a woman to put the money she’d have spent on tobacco in a jam jar. At the end of the year she got in touch to say that she’d booked a holiday for her and her son with the money she’d saved. She’d imagined that in our first session and now it had happened.
How do you give things up? You focus on how great you will feel in the future when you’ve done it. You design the life you want to have when you’ve accomplished your goal. Make that goal really special and you’ll drive yourself forward.
It feels good to give things up. It’s easier than you think too. You just have to imagine what you’ll get out of it and it really works.
Stopping is the opposite of starting. When you stop doing something, if you know what I mean, you don’t have to actually do anything at all. Easy eh?
John Cooper (Peterborough Telegraph September 2018)