Yesterday I talked about stopping negative thoughts by wearing a rubber band around your wrist and popping yourself with it when bad thoughts start to surface. I realize that there are a number of other behaviors you could modify the same way. Maybe it’s too much to do with a single little rubber band, but I might start trying to use it for a lot more than just negative thinking cessation:
- Overeating. Before getting up for seconds, or eating that donut, just pull back and SNAP! Make sure that you only use this when you’re already full, because otherwise you’ll just be creating some ugly associations with food in general. But every time you look at a candy bar or potato chips, POP! You’ll learn to avoid them.
- Not exercising. Taking the elevator? POP! Get on the stairs instead.
- Smoking. Every time you reach for a cigarette, pop yourself hard with the rubber band instead. If you have to have a smoke, just keep popping yourself the whole time you smoke with your free hand. Eventually the welts will make it painful to even pick up a cigarette. Many can agree that it is a very good way to kick out the habit.
- Drinking soda. I didn’t need the rubber band to quit diet sodas, but if you were tempted I think this would cure you of a desire for Nutrasweet-laden diet Pepsi caramel watermelon or whatever horrible flavors they have now.
- Speeding. Got a lead foot? POW! Slow down and reward yourself by stopping popping yourself.
- Buying stuff. If you really feel you need that iPhone or purse or new screwdriver, stare intently at it while hammering away at your rubber band. As soon as you turn away, stop. Before long you’ll associate consumerism with pain instead of pleasure and ‘stuff’ will become your kryptonite.
- Watching TV. Everybody Loves Raymond reruns on again? If you sit there idly popping your rubber band against your wrist while you watch TV, eventually you’ll want to turn it off.
- Waking up late. Pop yourself once for every hour of the day. Wake up at 10? 10 pops. Wake up at 6? 6 pops. It’s better to wake up at 6, isn’t it?
- Gossiping. This one should more or less be required. I’m even guilty of this, recently. If you utter the name “Britney Spears” pop yourself until you fall on the floor crying. You have to do this for the sake of our country.
- Reading the news. If you are watching anything about politics, pop. If you are watching a report about a murder in Portland, and you live in St. Louis – pop yourself, you don’t need to know.
And finally, you can use it to cure yourself of annoying sports affiliations. Every time the Red Sox get a base hit, POP! Before long you’ll be wearing pinstripes. And that will really make the world a better place.