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Beliefs about Urges
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TOPIC: Beliefs about Urges 204 Views

Beliefs about Urges 03 Feb 2020 21:55 #347122

One of the core methods that SMART promotes is to distinguish between rational and irrational thoughts. Rational thoughts are thoughts that are helpful, consistent with reality, and logical. וחילופיהן בגולם...

The concept simple and powerful. Here are some examples from the one of the SMART handouts (click here for a PDF) how this works when it comes to urges:

Unrealistic: My urges are unbearable.
Realistic: Urges are uncomfortable, but you can bear them. If you keep telling yourself that you can’t bear them, you’re setting yourself up to use. Urges won’t kill you or make you go crazy; they’ll just make you uncomfortable.

Unrealistic: My urges only stop when I give in.
Realistic: Urges may last only seconds to minutes, but rarely much longer. Sometimes urges come in batches, several shorter ones rather than one long urge. Urges always go away. Here’s why: Your nervous system eventually stops noticing stimuli. If it didn’t, you couldn’t wear clothing because it would be too uncomfortable. If you fast, you know hunger eventually fades away. The dentist-office smell that was so strong when you walked through the door isn’t even noticeable by the time you leave.
You can teach yourself to ride out urges. It does get easier over time.

Unrealistic: My urges make me use.
Realistic: Using is always a choice. When an urge hits, you have two choices: to use or to ride it until it subsides.

Unrealistic: I must get rid of urges.
Realistic: Your urges are normal. Addictive behaviors cause changes in your brain that make urges very powerful, so “getting rid of them” is an unrealistic expectation. You can’t control urges, but you can control how you respond to them. It takes time and practice to replace old thoughts and behaviors with new ones. Don’t expect urges to end immediately, don’t expect to be perfect, and don’t give up.

For more examples see the SMART Handout

This concept can be applied to any self imposed beliefs about how we look at the world. 

For example, "I shouldn't be this hard" is a irrational belief: Who says it "shouldn't" be so hard? A more rational belief would be "I'm unhappy it so hard for me, but if Hashem gave me this challenge, I can handle it."

Another related tool in SMART is the ABC tool. For more info on that tool click here.
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