My Enlightened Delights

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To enjoy good health,
to bring true happiness to one’s family,
to bring peace to all,
one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.
If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment,
and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
— Buddha

The Mindful Diet Days 19-21

 

Week 3: Replace Old Vices with New Routines

Days 19-21: Experiment with different rewards.

Rewards are powerful because they satisfy our cravings, says Duhigg. To help you pinpoint a routine’s reward (i.e., is it the cookie itself—or is it simply stretching your legs or talking to co-workers?), try giving yourself a new, different reward when the craving strikes. For example, you might take a walk, have an apple, or chat in the break room without indulging in a cookie. Write down how you feel after you’ve tested each new reward. Are you relaxed? Maybe what you needed was fresh air or social interaction. Still hungry? That apple either did the trick—or clued you in to the fact that you’re not eating enough or the right things for lunch.

 

Smart Rewards

Want to connect with others?

Instead ofhaving a third cup of coffee in the hopes that someone will be in the break room when you pour it
Tryscheduling a walk-and-talk break with a colleague.

 

Want to combat boredom?

Instead ofmunching on gluten-free cookies
Try…doing a self-care ritual, whether it’s a 10-minute home yoga session or giving yourself a mini-facial

 

Want to decompress after a tough day?

Instead ofdiving into your dark-chocolate stash
Trycalling a friend on your drive home to vent and laugh together

 


This is a great opportunity to be creative! I love the "Smart Rewards" suggestions from the article, but everyone has their own habits and reward systems. Regardless of how they differ, our rewards should ignite some dopamine in our brain to give us that "feel good" feeling. Remember, we are working to create the positive habits we desire. These little rewards can be used when you avoid a bad habit or successful incorporate a good habit into your day! Avoid getting upset when something doesn't go exactly according to plan, and use that energy to focus on the positive habits you are trying to create.

   

I recommend making a list of potential rewards to keep it on hand for when you need a little reward. 

Don't use your reward as an excuse to have an unhealthy activity or snack

Do use different rewards so you don't get bored

Don't be afraid to try something new

Do find something that truly brings you happiness

 

Namaste!