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How to Deal with Cravings

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Hi Everyone, 

I get asked about how I deal with cravings a lot. Below is how I typically deal with them. 

Cravings are something that many recovery and focus programs revolve around. You can basically only focus from periods of 30 to 60 minutes without having a lapse. In recovery, you might sway from one end to the other because of random willpower levels. 

Cravings are best described as the acronym HALTED. Hungry, angry, lonely, tired, environment, and dehydration. 

Next time you have a craving, take a few moments, like 10 to 30 seconds and close your eyes and scan yourself like you'd scan a homework problem. If any of those emotions are prevalent then deal with them. Those emotions are causing you to crave a solution to cure them and because our brains are wired to gaming, you'll naturally crave gaming. This is how you train yourself. 

The toughest one to decipher is environment. That's 3 parts: social environment, mental environment, and physical environment. You might hate the room you're in, then people you're with, or the way you're feeling from something you're doing. Changing your environment is key to solving all of this. 

You could be bored with a group and crave a multi-player game for example. Or you could be making no progress on homework and want some fast progress from a game etc. 

Learn about yourself and you'll learn about these cravings. My current biggest craving is tired. At my old job, it was environment. 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting with how this ties in with short attention spans Matt. Short attention spans are programmed by the structure of internet. Internet is heavily geared towards advertising.

Take a 10 year old kid that had no access to electronic media. If he is offended by someone, he will find it illogical to eat more food or play video games as a relief. In that case, he works without failure by looking at remedies and expressing his concerns. He needs a safe person to whom he can express his concern. He has got a longer attention span and a better awareness of the problem at that moment. 

You know how many of our things were neglected in the past? You see the chores that you are accustomed at avoiding and you suddenly do them CONTRARY to your habit, but by adding humour and communication into it. Suddenly you have "wasted" your day that you could have spent on day dreaming and resting. This "wasted day" repeated enough times will awaken you and make you aware of what you have to do in your life. It will embolden you and make you brave. 

Worked example: A person detects that the work structure is too stressful and unhealthy for him at this point in time. He knows it deteriorated over a span of a few months but he doesn't know how it happened.

He may be lacking enough humour, rest, sport activities, charity and communication with family and peers. His work may be structured inefficiently with several functions that are redundant and bring no benefit to his organization. He may be ignorant of what really matters for his organization because his communication skills are underdeveloped. He is hard to understand for his team and it is difficult for him to understand what others are trying to say when they are addressing him.

Because that person was wilfully ignorant and lazy about his important needs, performace severely fell after two months, but the person was fooled into thinking he wasn't putting enough effort in the job. He thinks he has to struggle "more" on the job. This has two effects:

1. It has a downward procyclical effect on awareness and attention span. He is going to increase stress on himself, shortening his attention span, becoming less aware and compensating with wasteful activities to stimulate absent mindedness. Absent mindedness will cut off awareness and morale on the job.

2. It will negatively affect physical health. Chronic untreated physical health problems will push the person to becoming complicit and make harmful habits more frequent.

A warrior has to work towards long attention span analytics, carefully tracking how other people perceive him in the organization, how he treats himself throughout the day. Felt like he hasn't respected himself enough that day? He should put that scumbag habit in check.

Edited by Amphibian220
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