Habits are sinful if you do not have any control over them. The habits then become addictions and are harmful for you in a number of ways. When we talk about temptations and sins, we generally think about the habits that don’t leave us that easily. For instance, smoking is a temptation and is harmful for you, so it can be counted as a sin. Here, we are going to talk about techniques and ways of overcoming any temptation and how to creatively make use of listing them.
List your Sins in a Creative Manner
Everyone has bad habits. Everyone is tempted to do something they should be staying away from. Take a moment. Think about some habit that you are trying to overcome. Think about how it is affecting you negatively or how it makes you feel guilty afterwards. Even if it doesn’t make you feel guilty, is it bad for your health? Do you feel you need to quit the habit for health reasons?
If your mind has a list of sins or one sin, take a piece of paper and start writing about it. Write the name of the sin followed by its details. What you do, how you do it, what is the count and everything. Once you are done with jotting down the details, move onto writing what you expect from yourself with relevance to this sin.
For example, if the sinful habit is smoking, answer the following question: Why do I want to quit smoking? Is it health reasons or is it for your loved ones? Here is when you will realize where you stand. If you can answer this question then that is an indication of readiness for change. If you cannot answer this question than overcoming your sin will be like fishing in a bathtub. It will be a futile attempt.
Once you have list down the sins and analyzed your readiness, the following concepts will help in overcoming any type or kind of temptation.
One of the most important aspects of controlling yourself and overcoming temptations is to build self control. Learn to ‘snap yourself out of it.’ Here is a small technique to do so. Wear a rubber band on your wrist and every time you feel the need to engage in the sinful habit, give yourself a snap. Make sure that the snapping is not very harsh; you do not want to hurt yourself. Make it adequate.
The rubber band technique helps you to hold yourself together and contain yourself. When your mind is screaming for you to quench a temptation, the snap will divert the attention and you will learn how to control the mind. Remember, these are slow and gradual technique and take time to strengthen. If you learn self control, you will hold the reins of the temptations.
Changing the Focus
Several times when people are hurt, they are told to change their focus. They are advised to divert their attention towards something else. For instance, when someone suffers from a bruise and applies a stinging antiseptic onto his wound, he often tells others around him to distract him by pinching his hand (here we are imagining that the wound is on the knee). When the energy is focused onto the pinching on the hand, the sting of the antiseptic automatically lessens.
Similarly, when there is a temptation to do a certain sin, it is always a good idea to divert the attention or change the focus. Hence when you want to smoke, occupy your mind with something else. Give yourself something else to think about. If you like football, go outside and start playing with the football. Invest your energy into something you are passionate about and you will see how easily you forget smoking. Remember, changing focus is not an easy phenomenon. It comes with a great deal of practice.
Apply Aversion Techniques
Aversion indicates a state where you feel repelled by something. Think of what is your idea of aversion. There are many people who don’t like lizards, other are scared of spiders. Everyone has a phobia or some element they greatly fear. Once you figure out your element of aversion, you can actually utilize it to overcome many temptations.
So imagine you are a smoker and are tempted to smoke. Also keep in mind that you have something against spiders. Now, whenever you want to smoke, imagine a bunch of spiders sitting on top of your cigarette. They are biting away little chips of your cigarettes and their expressions are fierce. Make it as gross as you can. There, you will think twice before smoking now.
Talk it Out
One of the most effective means of overcoming something negative is by talking it out with someone. With you sins on the paper, and yourself concerned with the habit, take out time to seek help from a professional. There will be many people out there in the world to give you a helping hand.
Start with your family or friends. Approach them and discuss your situation. You already have the list with many answers to the questions that will come your way. These questions might include the idea of how you want to overcome the temptation and the times when the temptation grows out of hands.
A technique to avoid your sin or temptation is to call up a friend when you feel you are heading fast towards the crime. Talk to them, tell them what you are feeling and what you should do to deal with the feeling. You will feel light after the conversation because sharing it with someone in reality halves the burden.
Overcoming temptations is a purely psychological process. It involves a great deal of will and commitment and above all readiness to change. If you are ready, you are likely to easily overcome the temptations and move forward towards a healthier life style. So have you estimated or calculated your readiness for change? If you have, then make your list and hope into a healthier lifestyle right away.