The goal is to create psychological distance from cravings, unhealthy impulses and urges to behave in harmful or unproductive ways. When you realize that these impulses are not who you are, you may find the psychological space necessary to ignore them and simply do something else.
You can view a printable version of the worksheet at this link:
Name the impulse, urge or craving.
Label the part of you from which it originates. (primitive brain, craver part, monkey mind, etc…)
How is this part of you “just a part of you”? Can you see that this part of you is not all of you? What would happen if this part of you were 100% of you? Describe how this is merely a part of you and not the whole of who you are.
Picture this part of you in your mind’s eye. What does it look like? How close is the image to you? Can you move the image further away to put it in perspective?
If you can move the image of this part in the distance, do so. Now, describe what this part of you believes is true vs. what YOU believe is true. For example, Part: Eating junk food is the only way to relieve stress. You: Eating junk food causes me more stress.
Noting differences in beliefs, practice pushing the image of this part into the distance, allowing it to come closer, then pushing it away again. Notice how you feel when this part is close vs. distant.
Tips for Implementation
Keep reviewing and practicing the activities in this worksheet until you really “get” the differences between you and this part of you.
Realize this part of you is real, but again, only part of you. It contains beliefs and habits that inspire you to act in certain ways because it “takes over” at key moments and you lose your perspective. In short, this part hijacks your consciousness. At that point, the only relief is to give in and obey the impulse. You are obeying the impulse, not because it’s good for you, but to get relief from the impulse.
This part of you isn’t bad. It’s probably driven by your primitive brain, which functions around safety and immediacy, with no consideration of future consequences.
When urges and impulses arise throughout your day, label them. This is an impulse from my __________ part. It’s not me. It doesn’t represent who I am on the whole.
If you can, mentally push the image of this part back into the distance and ask yourself if you want to obey this part of you. You have a choice.
You can view a printable version of this worksheet by clicking the link below.