Feelings don’t change, but it is your thoughts and actions around them that matter!

So, let’s talk about the difference.

Our feelings, the physical and emotional. We are stressed, shoulders are tense, hands are clenching. We are happy, we have flutters in our stomach, a smile is across our face. We are bored, we are slouched, lethargic.

Our thoughts: “I know what would help!”; “I wish I could”; “I will do”.

And our actions, well they are the final step of this process. What we actually do or do not do in the end.

So, let’s start again.

We feel happy, bored, excited, or nervous.

In the early days we think “I need a drink”. Usually that is what we think, because let’s face it, we have gotten to a point where alcohol is the solution and the answer for everything.

And then our action finishes it all off and we pour a drink.

Feelings – Thoughts – Actions

But now we must mix things up. We will still feel happy, bored, excited, nervous, anything! We will still feel all the feelings. That is not going to change, nor would we want it to. Life is still life, the ups and downs are still coming. The joys, the sadness or even the despair.

But our thoughts, that is where we need to get stuck in and start mixing things up. In the early days we might think, “Oh I could go for a drink, but I need to do something else” and we have to think about something to mix it up and act differently. These thoughts must be really specific. This point is so intentional.

We need to get really deliberate, we might even be thinking “I will not drink, I will not do it, not tonight” and then we go off to our alcohol-free toolbox and act differently. We do something that we have learned will help, a bath, a call to a friend, an AF drink.

This part between thoughts and action feels difficult and quite laboured in the beginning. As we progress along our Alcohol-Free path we might start to think “I would have had a drink in the past here”, “I fancy a drink” the thought is still there, but we learn to acknowledge and let it pass. The actions may not be as deliberate or required any more. We notice our thoughts and we let them go. Thought, notice, pause, pass.

We start to realise that we are not our thoughts. We do not need to act on our thoughts, we can notice them, let them go and pass. We can even act the opposite way altogether.

For example, it was my sister’s wedding the other week. As we started to get ready and the closer it got to us all walking down the aisle I was nervous, I felt jittery, I wondered how it would all go. These are the feelings.

I thought “I would have had a drink by this point” “I need to calm down” “What can I do?”

But what were my actions, well I took myself off to the bathroom for a few rounds of box breaths, poured an AF fizz, remembered how much I wanted to be reliable and dependable for my sister, to be present for my wee boy, be up and ready for the next day hangover free and be proud of myself.

So, I did not drink. I do not drink!!!!

As I said, the feelings won’t change, but your thoughts and actions do.

This does take practice and talking it through can really help.

If you are struggling to identify the thought process and take new actions please do get in touch and we can help you through this. It really does make all the difference once we realise we are not our thoughts.

If you want to join our alcohol free community, the doors for our next intake open on the 30th of October. You can sign up to the waitlist below. See you there!

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