Surfing the Urge

The word “mindfulness” used to stop me in my tracks and not in a good way.

I used to cringe when I heard it, roll my eyes when it was dropped in a sentence and get bamboozled by what the heck it meant! It. Just. Seemed. Like. A. Trendy. Overused. Term.

However now I am “one of them”.

In my latest episode of De-Stress I talk about the why’s, how’s, what’s of mindfulness.

Join me on a transformative journey where I bare the intricacies of “surfing the urge,” sharing a method that’s not just about curbing cravings but is a profound alignment with our true values and goals. Whether it’s the draw of an evening drink or the pull of sugary temptations, this episode is a deep dive into the practicality of mindfulness practices that help navigate the tumultuous waters of our impulses, particularly during those testing hours between 5pm and 8pm. It’s a helpful guide for anyone looking to reconnect with their authentic self amidst the cacophony of life’s distractions.

As we dissect the mechanisms of limiting beliefs and the role mindfulness plays in disarming them, I offer a step-by-step guide to mastering your urges. You’ll learn to breathe through cravings, identify triggers, and harness the power of mindful distractions, all while fostering self-compassion. 

In particular, I discuss one form of mindfulness which you might be familiar with called “surfing the urge,” that can bridge the gap between an urge and gratification and help us to beat problematic urges like sugar cravings, alcohol urges and unconscious scrolling on our phones. (In fact, at the end of this ep I lead you through a 10 point surfing the urge mindfulness coaching exercise that you can apply to help you surf your personal urge. I hope this is of use to you.)

MindfulnessMindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It’s been called the art of conscious living. It’s surprising hard.

Yoga Nidra, Breath work, grounding work, running meditation (just learnt this one from Nikki Langman, author of Badass and a future guest on De-Stress), and gratefulness practice are some forms of mindfulness. It’s accessible, cheap, can be used anywhere.

Why would we do it? What’s wrong with being distracted?

Well without mindfulness, when we are jumping around from thought to thought, we are not exercising impulse control. We are usually seeking out dopamine hits from our phones, our scrolling, or we are ruminating on anxieties past and future, not concentrating and moving forward on any one thing. Our brains have been hijacked by dopamine. We are not controlling it, our habits, or our future. The ripple effect is huge.

All of this impacts our nervous system, our stress levels and daily habits and happiness.

Mindfulness is essential for changing bad habits and creating new habits, such as reaching for junk food, alcohol, scrolling on the phone. When we are caught in these habits there is no pause between the urge and the gratification. This keeps us caught.

Mindfulness allows us to pause between the urge and gratification –  extend the gap. As Dr Gina Cleo, habit expert and author of the Habit Revolution says – this is where freedom resides.

The benefits of mindfulness extends far and wide: it influences our ability to concentrate, improves our memory, strengthens our emotional regulation skills, bolsters our impulse control, enhances our self-awareness and high performance skills. All of the juicy things that I love to talk about.

Take a listen to this episode for more tips, including a guided surfing the urge coaching practice at the end of this episode.

Contact me if you have any questions. Always happy to help.

If you find these strategies resonate but you’re seeking more personalised guidance, remember, I’m at your service with resources, counselling, and tailored coaching to support you in managing stress and recalibrating your drinking habits. Together, let’s chart a course towards a more present, purposeful existence—one mindful moment at a time.

Yours faithfully