Why quit drinking? Because those around you deserve moreMay 31, 2023
In our Live Online Groups this week we've been going through Step 4 where we look at common blocks that get in the way of us sticking to good habits and intensions.
We use a framework by the writer and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin where she identifies Four Tendencies in how we deal with expectations around habits.
In the groups we found that many people identified with the Obliger tendency, which has people pleaser aspects and tends to put the needs of others before their own.
This is obviously a great quality to have as a human being right up to the point where we deprioritise our own needs such that we can't help as helpful or useful to others.
This can show up as us not meditating when we could be doing something to help others or it can show up as us going along with someone else's suggestion to drink because we don't want to let them down.
Rather than fighting these natural tendencies, instead we can work with them. Someone in our US group came up with a great way to reframe her obliger tendency so that it meant she could feel more comfortable in taking care of her own needs before (or equally to) those of others.
Like in the safety demonstration on a plane if oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, place your own mask on before attending to others. We can only give what we have and will be no help at all if we become incapacitated, either physically or psychologically.
"They deserve more"
When thinking about how she was around others, with friends and loved ones, the participant reframed things as "they deserve more".
They deserve the best version of her the version who is calm after meditating, the version that isn't slurring or not paying attention because she's drunk.
If she told herself "they deserve more" she was able to prioritise her meditation and moderating drinking because it framed this self-care practices in terms of other people's needs and the benefits that her actions would have for others.
When we meditate, we're nicer to other people and we're better to be around. The same when we refrain from drinking or over-drinking.
By taking care of our own needs and sticking to our goals and intentions around meditation and drinking, we're actually doing people a favour.
Below are some more strategies you can use to balance you people pleaser tendency with developing a consistent meditation practice.
Understand the benefits
Recognise that practising meditation is not selfish but rather a way to improve your overall well-being. When you take care of yourself, you become better equipped to help others. Understanding the positive impact meditation can have on your mental and emotional state can motivate you to prioritise it.
Make self-care, including meditation, a non-negotiable part of your routine. Just as you make time for others, carve out dedicated time for yourself. Set boundaries and communicate your needs to others. Remember that taking care of yourself is essential for your long-term ability to support others effectively.
Start small and be consistent
Begin with shorter meditations, 10 minutes, and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. Consistency is key, so commit to a specific time each day or habit stack, and treat it as an appointment that you cannot miss. Set reminders or integrate meditation into your existing daily routine, making it easier to stick to.
Let go of perfectionism
People pleasers often have high expectations for themselves. Understand that meditation is a practice, and it's normal to have thoughts or distractions during your sessions. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on progress and the intention behind your practice. Accept whatever arises during meditation and be gentle with yourself.
Find an accountability partner or group
Connect with like-minded individuals who are also interested in meditation – like in the Wise Monkey Way Live Online Group!
Share your goals, challenges, and progress with them. Having someone to hold you accountable and provide support can help you stay on track.
People pleasers tend to be hard on themselves, often placing unrealistic expectations and criticising their perceived shortcomings. Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness and understanding. Remember that forming a habit takes time, and it's okay to have setbacks. Approach yourself with the same empathy and compassion you offer to others.
Reflect on the benefits
Regularly remind yourself of the positive effects meditation has on your well-being. Notice how it helps you feel more centred, calm, and present.
Reflecting on the benefits can reinforce your commitment to the practice and motivate you to continue despite any challenges.
Start improving your life now. Meditate more, drink less.