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We are creatures of habit aren’t we? Even the most disorganised people with chaotic lives are habitual about their chaos. Take the extreme hoarder, most of us will watch with amazement as people affected cannot even climb into their beds, still less cook a meal and yet there is one thing that ..

Recognising that you could possibly be on ‘replay’ mode

Groundhog Days

 

We are creatures of habit aren’t we? Even the most disorganised people with chaotic lives are habitual about their chaos. Take the extreme hoarder, most of us will watch with amazement as people affected cannot even climb into their beds, still less cook a meal and yet there is one thing that remains dominant. Habit. Good or bad ones’ we all have them.

Like an old time movie, we replay the part where the hero comes along, and splice the bits we don’t want out. We cheerfully ignore the bad bits. Or do we?

In the case of skin ailments – we can often replay the bad bits over and over. We get up in the morning and hey presto, we start all over again. Psoriasis sufferers will know that their symptoms tend to be much worse in times of stress, and like replaying the video, when stressed, keep playing the same thing over and over, rather going back to the start and wiping the tape clean.

Recognising that you could possibly be on ‘replay’ mode is a huge advance toward a successful therapeutic outcome in conditions like skin complaints. Even acne in some teenagers can be put into this category.

Like playing the movie, the symptoms just keep on repeating, some days you make a little more progress and then – next day – you have to start all over again.

There is not much in a Doctors arsenal to fight these conditions. Steroid creams to cut down the irritation, advise avoidance of known irritants and let’s be honest; the average GP does not have time in a ten minute appointment to look for a potential trigger, to drill down on where the start of your ‘Groundhog day’ is. Sometimes therapists don’t actually need to know where the start is, we can interrupt your bad habits and negative thought processes and with practice…pouf……you can start a brand new different day, every day.

How can you do that? How can you break the cycle? There are lots of ways but here is a metaphor anyone can identify with. Mentally take a whacking great big baseball bat and smashing the movie to kingdom come, scoring a home run. Not making sense to you?

If all my days were repeatedly the same, producing the same result, if the film in my head was being replayed over and over, I would get pretty sick of it very soon, the itchiness, soreness, the redness over my skin. So instead of repeating the same things – putting on the creams, avoiding certain fabrics, certain wash powders etc etc I would imagine that film in my head and take a baseball bat and smash it to oblivion and the home run would be imagining my life without the old film, making a brand new one where all was good, without the irritations. Might take a few goes but slowly and surely the new ‘film’ would replace the old one.

Habits can be broken, it takes a little effort sometimes and may be a little professional help but anything is possible, even replacing unwanted habits with new good habits.

Here’s a challenge: go and make a list of all your unwanted movies – see how many home runs you can bag.


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