The beginning of change starts with self awareness, and that begins with identifying where you are now. Fair warning, this may bring up emotions and thoughts that you have been pushing away for a very long time, if you start to feel triggered use some tapping, go for a walk, do something to self soothe. If you are triggered that is actually perfect because it means you are getting to the core of the problem. Just remember part of the journey of change is developing different behaviors, coping strategies, etc… So use this exercise as a tool to do something different. The answers that come up are the exact things to tap on, meditate about, or just sit with and realize that you can. When we are caught up in our compulsive behaviors we get so good at pushing things away that it becomes our autopilot, I am asking you to be with rather than avoid whatever comes up.
So I have a list of questions that are a great place to start.
How is my problem currently showing up in my life?
What exactly am I doing now?
What are my habitual behaviors? Triggers?
What have I decided will happen if I don’t engage in the behavior?
Could I tolerate the consequences of not engaging in the behavior now?
What purpose is the behavior serving for me? Escape, numbing out, avoidance?
Would it be possible for me to be with whatever that is?
Is there a positive aspect of this that I could fulfil in another way?
Now let’s get to the emotions around the behavior.
What do I hate about this?
What makes me angry about this?
What makes me sad about this?
What makes me lonely about this?
What makes me worried about this?
What makes me afraid around this?
What feels overwhelming about this?
So again if this brought up some uncomfortable thoughts use EFT (or if you use another modality use that now) to help lessen the intensity of the emotion. I would encourage you to come back to these questions multiple times, when we are caught up in addictive behaviors we become great escape artists, pushing away feelings, thoughts, memories. Bringing them back to the surface will actually give you the power to release them and finally be done with them, and each time you answer the questions more things will come up. In EFT speak we call those different aspects.