Getting Unstuck

Pema Chodron’s Book, Getting Unstuck looks at getting past unhealthy habitual behavior that we want to change. An urge comes up, we succumb to it, and it becomes stronger. We reinforce our cravings, habits, and addictions by giving into them repeatedly
According to Chodron using The 4 R’s: Recognition, (We have to acknowledge something IS a problem before we can change it), Refrain (not doing the problem behavior), Relaxing (into the feeling), and Resolve (to repeat the process until the behavior is no longer a problem) is an effective way of overcoming habits and urges that ultimately work against us.

Relaxing is the usually most complex part of the process.   Counter to the meaning of the word “relaxing”, this is usually the hard part for most of us, since it means sitting with the emotion that drives the behavior.  The behavior is usually an attempt to AVOID this emotion, so it’s counter intuitive at first.

These come in stages.  At first, we may be able to recognize the problem, but not be able to move into the refraining stage.  Then once we try refraining, it may not last long because we can’t get through the relaxing into the feeling part, and so on.  But working at change, using this method as well as others is well worth the effort.