When you are in the grip of an all-consuming need for discipline, no matter the form it takes, you know you’re going to have to ride it out. Your lack of discipline might last a day or two, or it could go on for much longer.
Maybe you’ll have someone you can talk to about it, such as a professional or a friend. I’m available, of course, to coach you through such moments. If you’re really lucky, or just super-organised, you’ll find someone you can partner with to help you deal with it in person.
But what if you can’t do that? What if you have to ride it out alone?
You probably have old methods in place to handle it as you’ve always done. You can try to ignore it or deny it. You can forcibly squash it in your mind. You can get busy to distract yourself from it. You can drive your car too fast in an attempt to outrun it, or play sports to burn it off. You can watch a streamed TV series and try to forget yourself and your needs for a while. In the end, you will probably search the internet for content, or to connect with like-minded people in an attempt to get some relief from it.
These are all ways of passively resisting it. They don’t work for long and they don’t help you to feel in control of the urge.
Instead, I suggest that you take charge of it; right where it’s lodged, deep within your body. Basically, it acts like a pool of energy and it will build and build until it spills over or is released in some way.
I’m going to teach you a breathing exercise that will help shift the energy from where it is stuck within you. You will learn how to gently encourage the wave of energy to flow through you rather than pooling inside you. You may have to practise this exercise multiple times in a day when the urge is great, so be prepared to do that.
Some parts of this exercise may look familiar. Some parts may even look too simple to be effective. If you feel like laughing and being cynical, by all means, have a chuckle, but then I want you to test this method and tell me how laughable it is once you feel it working.
Do this when you’re in the grips of an urge
It is a breathing exercise with an inbuilt mindset adjustment.
It is best done standing to allow for full use of your lung capacity and diaphragm, although you can also remain sitting in your most upright position.
This is the basic breathing cycle:
Breathe in for a count of 4.
Hold for a count of 4.
Breathe out for a count of 4.
Now we will add some words as you breathe.
As you breathe in, repeat these words quickly in your head:
“I feel the urge, I feel the urge, I feel the urge, I feel the urge.”
As you hold your breath, repeat this phrase in your mind:
“I acknowledge this urge within me…”
As you breathe out, say this in your mind:
“And I choose to let it go…let it go…let it go…”
Keep saying “let it go” until all air has left your lungs. Imagine the urge flowing through and away from you as you say this, like water vaporising and drifting away in a cloud.
That was one cycle.
Do this cycle at least 4 times for best effectiveness.
As I said, it seems pretty simple. That’s because it is. The simplest things in life are often the most powerful.
Repeat the exercise as often as is necessary, and then decide to get back to the task at hand. You will find it easier to shift your focus to being productive once you learn how to let go of the urge in this manner.
I encourage you to do this exercise whenever you feel a need to regain control of yourself.