An astute observer of human interaction will note the small number of authentically creative choices that people make in a typical day. Numerous scientific studies have recently been popularized in books such as The Power of Habit and relate the potentially problematic effects of our behaviorally coasting on automatic.
Habit loops not only inhibit our ability to deal with novel problem-solving needs in the workplace, but can also be deleterious to our inter- and intra- personal relationships as well. Emotional-reaction routines often direct us along well-trod terrain to a destination that, while comfortable due to its familiarity, is potentially not what we actually desire. Repetition compulsion and it’s obverse can lead to what Freud called endopsychic conflict. The reason for this is that formulating a novel response to a new and distinct set of circumstances that would likely better serve us requires reflection and commitment that, in the heat of the moment, can be difficult to consider and hold to. However, failure to adapt and relying instead upon the smoothness of habit can lead to feelings of fear, depression, isolation, anger, generalized anxiety or social discord.
One of the problems in addressing these disempowering habits on a personal level and in relation to other people is resistance to logical interrogation. Intra-personally our inchoate “others” advocating for a different path are often weak and quickly silenced. Inter-personally people often take offense when someone claims that the presuppositions under-girding our response-patterns may be faulty in some manner. Talk therapy seeks to surpass these limits through the transference of aspects of the therapist’s consciousness to the patient, but relying solely upon this dynamic to help engender change significantly limits the possibilities for positive affective adaptation. Another manner for creating the conditions for reterritorializing unwanted and undesired thoughts and behaviors involves something that you already know but have just not considered in the right light – your body.
Studies on the components of human interaction have definitively proven that the body’s placement and gestures compose the majority of any given communication. No wonder than that when you or someone else is literally embodying upset, anger, or depression that it can be difficult to get them to alter their emotional state. And yet to rid oneself of this feeling requires your to simply shift your attention, change your body’s position and engage in energetic cleansing.
To accomplish this, first take a deep breath and bring your attention to the sensation of your lungs filling with air and your feet pressing against the floor. As you continue to breath in and out slowly move your focus upward to your knees, your hips, your heart, your throat, the space just above the center of your eyeballs and then a few feet above your head. Doing this will give you increased control of your energetic state and thus make it more difficult for habit to control you. Chances are after doing this you will feel yourself standing taller and immediately feeling more at peace. The energy you felt before will still be present, but it will no longer have a specific label associated with it and you can thus direct it in a manner more appropriate to maintaining peace. This shift in breath and scanning of your body’s meridians, to use a clichéd phrase, breaks the mold. A fitting turn of phrase considering in many ways that’s precisely what the labels are, affective tropes which limit freedom. Engaging in this practice that shifts your body’s state will allow you to regain it.