When I noticed the book How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price on the Summer reading list for both of my teenage kids this year, I decided to read it myself. I highly recommend this book for ANYONE who finds themselves attached to their phones (honestly, who isn't?) Within the first few pages, I realized that the craving to check my phone is much stronger than I ever realized. Could cell phone cravings be as strong as sugar cravings? The good news is, effective strategies for habit change can be applied to breaking up with ALL types of cravings, including sugar.
First of all, what is a habit? A true habit is something that you do without taking too much thought. It's something you just DO, vs. something you "should" or "need to" be doing.
While a habit is something that you do without thinking, breaking a habit requires a LOT of thought. When a craving comes up, stop and take a moment to really understand the craving. Don't try to push the craving away (although distractions and substitutions may be there to help). Instead, feel what you feel. Listen to the cravings, and identify the real source.
To do this, Price suggests that we ask ourselves 3 questions:
What for? (why is this craving coming up)?
Why now? (what is happening in this exact moment? What am I feeling that is triggering this craving)?
What else? (...could I be doing)?
Take a moment to journal your answers...
THEN, after checking with those cravings to get to understand them a bit better, take that one extra step and ask yourself:
How will I feel AFTER I give in to that craving?
How will I feel if I DON'T?
Sit with the answer for a moment. You are in control of your choice. You are in control of how you want to feel.
Once you know WHY the craving is coming up, WHAT else you could do, and HOW you will feel with or without the food that you're craving, you will be equipped to make the CHOICE.
Remember, it's never too late to course-correct, and if you make a choice that doesn't feel right to you, the next moment is an opportunity to choose something different.
Creating a new habit is nothing more than making a new choice, over and over again. Eventually, certain actions will become automatic, but in the meantime, take it one day, one meal, one CHOICE at a time.
Read it! You'll be amazed at how good you feel as you can start to wean away from the cell phone and open up space for the creativity, joy, and connection that you're truly craving.