Take a Break
Loving Your Company
Are you good company to yourself? Most people aren’t. When the mind isn’t occupied, most notice their thoughts tend to dwell on what’s not right, what they need to fix, or mistakes from the past.
This is totally normal. In fact, it’s a big part of understanding what’s really behind your desire to drink, especially when you are bored or by yourself.
When you love your own company, it’s so much less tempting to reach for a drink. The good news is that all it takes to get there is one simple change.
What You’ll Discover
The reason most people don’t challenge their thoughts about themselves.
Why hanging out with yourself should feel like spending time with your best friend.
How the relationship you have with yourself is more important than how much you’re drinking.
Featured on the show
You are listening to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart, episode 206.
Welcome to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart. If you’re an alcoholic or an addict, this is not the show for you. But if you are someone who has a highly functioning life, doing very well, but just drinking a bit too much and wants to take a break, then welcome to the show. Let’s get started.
Well, hello my friends. Let’s get started with a question today. Do you love your company? Do you love spending time with yourself? You should. I hope you do. You should love being alone with you and your thoughts because you’re amazing. There’s no one else like you.
But listen, if this sounds like a tall order, I really understand. It used to be a very tall order for me. I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts. I didn’t really enjoy spending time with myself. I didn’t really like a lot of things about myself. And my thoughts were constantly telling me what I was doing wrong and how I was falling behind.
So I wanted to fill up the time that I had with myself with stuff and things and people and activities and food, and of course, alcohol and drinking. The more the better. I was talking about this recently with people that are doing the 30-day challenge.
And one woman was talking about how much she was dreading this winter. So it’s dark at 4:30 and it’s going to be long and it’s going to be cold, and we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and she was isolated from friends and family and neighbors. And her question to me was, “Rachel, how on earth am I going to get through this winter without wine?”
And so I told her, listen, the only reason we don’t like being alone with ourselves is if we don’t like the content of our thoughts. That’s it. Alone, being alone just is. It’s not a problem. The problem is where your mind goes. And for a long time, before I had this work, before I understood the think-feel-act cycle, before I knew anything about managing my mind, I went to a lot of unfun places.
I had a lot of thoughts about, “You’re so behind, look at everyone else around you, you’re such a screw up, you’ve wasted all this time, you’ve especially wasted a lot of time and made a lot of mistakes around drinking.” I had a lot of that narration in my head. And you know what? Thoughts like these are not fun to hang out with. They really aren’t.
So of course, I would choose a gin and tonic or a big bowl of ice cream. I’d choose those things any day over spending time with thoughts that sounded like that, and I did. Sometimes I would choose both.
I remember having some very challenging times for me when I lived in New York City. I remember having some very lonely New Year’s Eves where I was by myself. And I was not good company to myself. But here’s the good news. If you don’t love your company, this is actually a good thing to discover.
Because when you realize that you don’t particularly love hanging out with yourself, which by the way is very, very, very normal. It does not mean that something is wrong with you. Most people don’t like hanging out with their thoughts because no one teaches us that hey, the brain is meant, it was designed to focus on the negative. And it will do that unless you start to manage it.
No one tells us, you know what, everything that you think, it’s not true. I remember discovering this for the first time. It really blew my mind because I was so sure no, of course this is true. Everything I think about myself, it’s true. I really believed that my thoughts were facts, when really, they were just one interpretation of many possible interpretations out there.
When you realize that you don’t like hanging out with yourself, suddenly you see where the real work lies. And it’s really not with alcohol. It’s not even with improving yourself. You don’t need improving. It’s about changing the content of what you think about and how you judge yourself and how you judge your body and your life and your partner or your lack thereof, and your job or your home or your past or your present and your future.
That’s where your real work is. Taking a break from drinking is what helps you start to understand this. It’s what helps you start to do the deeper and more powerful work.
In fact, I really believe that the work that you do learning how to manage your mind, it is so much more necessary. It’s so much more important to do the thought work and to really pay attention to your knee-jerk thinking about yourself and how quick you are to judge yourself harshly, than it is to work on your drinking. I’m serious.
Because you know if you listen to me that your drinking doesn’t just happen. You don’t just pick up a drink for no reason. There’s always a thought and a feeling connected. And so the work that you do to focus on what’s happening in your mind, that work is everything.
The thing that I want you to understand is that when you love hanging out with yourself, you’re going to notice that your desire to drink starts to plummet. When you’ve used alcohol as a way to escape, whatever it is, stress, anxiety, insecurity, judgment, boredom, loneliness, anger, awkwardness, when you use a drink to escape, but then you start doing the work to improve the contents of your mind and to improve and change some of those knee-jerk thought patters, you’ll find that your desire starts to plummet.
Because when you’re your own best friend, when you like hanging out with yourself, you don’t need to run from how you feel. But if your mind is always going to what you’re doing wrong, how you’ve screwed up, the ways in which you don’t measure up, then of course you’re going to have more desire.
Honestly, this really is the gift that I want you to give yourself in the New Year. The gift of loving your company. And guess what? When you do the work to love your company, it makes it so much easier to redefine your relationship with alcohol and change your drinking habits.
This is what people neglect to tell us. I spent all this time worried about my drinking and confused about why it was so unpredictable and confused about why I had all this desire. And using that as reason to feel bad about myself.
But I didn’t realize I actually had it backwards. All of those moments when I ended my day, when I was out with friends, when I was meeting new people, when I was home alone, whatever it was, if I had just really enjoyed my own company in those moments, the pull for a drink wouldn’t have been nearly as strong.
That’s what I want you to consider. Even if you’re listening right now and you just say, “Well, I just love the taste, I just don’t like feeling deprived,” if you enjoyed your company more in those moments, the pull to drink would not nearly be as strong. Your companionship with yourself matters so much. It’s the most important relationship that we have and it’s the one we overlook the most. It is the one that we are so quick to put on the back burner and say I’ll get to that later, I just got to take care of everyone else first and everyone else’s needs first.
You have to start to switch that up. Really, if you commit to doing anything in the New Year, commit to this. Commit to loving spending time with yourself. And if that seems daunting, that’s okay. You have the think-feel-act cycle.
You can start to pay attention to okay, so why don’t I like being alone with myself? Why don’t I like being in a group where everyone is drinking and I’m not? Why don’t I like being the person out at dinner who doesn’t order a drink? Why don’t I like saying no?
If you start to look through the habit with this lens, instead of just saying I just love to drink, I just love the taste, if you start to do this work, all of a sudden, you’re going to reveal to yourself what’s happening on the inside, what’s happening in your mind.
And the very best news is that you can change it. We’re not stuck with our thoughts, even if we have practiced them, even if we have a lot of evidence for them. That really is the most powerful piece of thought work. I don’t care how long you’ve been practicing a thought about yourself or your life or your body or your relationship with alcohol or your relationship with other people. You can change it.
That’s where the real power lies. Loving spending time with yourself is the biggest change you can make when it comes to your drinking or any habit that you use to numb yourself. This is something that you can learn to do.
And if you want to do it with me, then give yourself the gift of spending 30 days with me this January. Do the Take A Break challenge. It’s such a perfect opportunity not just to give your mind and body a break from alcohol, but to do this work.
Really, sometimes I just think, who cares if you drink or don’t drink? It’s really irrelevant to me if you don’t like being with yourself. If you don’t have your back. If you don’t say, the relationship in my life that’s most important to me is me, and I love spending time with me, and I think that I’m amazing, and I think that I’m so interesting, and of course I want to hang out with myself.
That’s so much more important. That’s what we focus on. That’s what matters so much. Now, we’re starting our New Year challenge on Monday, January 11th. There’s still time if you want to get some of the amazing early bird bonuses.
If you sign up by December 31st, you’re going to get a fantastic 60-page guide on preparing for a successful break. There is so much amazing content in there. I get this question all the time when it’s around New Year’s, when people are planning on taking a break and planning on doing the challenge, how do I prepare to be successful? This guide will show you how to do it.
This is your chance to finally take what you listen to on the podcast and put it into action. So not just listening to me talk about the think-feel-act cycle, but actually learning how to use it as a tool, and learning how to love your own company. That’s what I wish for you in the New Year. A New Year where you love spending time with yourself.
If you’re interested in finding more about the January challenge, just head on over to rachelhart.com/january. That’s all for today. I’ll see you next year.
Hey guys, if you want to go over to iTunes and leave a review about the podcast, if you’re enjoying it, I would love it. But not only that, I’m giving everyone who does a free urge meditation. I will tell you, this meditation, it is super simple. All it takes is five minutes and a pair of headphones.
If you are having an urge and you want a different way to handle it, just pop those headphones in, find a place where you can sit down undisturbed and teach your brain, retrain your brain a very simple method to make urges more tolerable. All you need to do is head on over to rachelhart.com/urge and input your information there.
Hey, if you’re a woman who enjoys this podcast and wants to have me as your coach, you have to join the Take A Break program. It’s a 30-day break from drinking that will teach you how to say no to your urges without deprivation, the secret to not needing a drink in any situation, including not needing a drink to take the edge off, and never again feeling like you can’t trust yourself around alcohol. Join me over at RachelHart.com/join. Together, we’re going to blow your mind.