What is a behaviour ?

According to the Oxford dictionary a behaviour is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself.
I would suggest to simplify it a bit and say that behaviour is a physical activity we perform with muscles in our body.

There are countless behaviours we perform every day. We get up from the bed, we go to the bathroom, we get dressed, we eat breakfast, we go to work and so on.

All behaviours are performed by muscles in our body moving from one position to another in a specific order to achieve a specific goal. For example, we move muscles in our legs to walk, we move muscles in our head to talk and we move muscles in our hands to type or to write.


How behaviours are connected to feelings ?

I would suggest that, every behaviour is directly linked to a feeling (a body sensation) and related to it thinking.
These three elements can be called an experience.

Lets say you think about your friend and how you commented on her new dress last night. You sense a knot in your stomach – which makes you feel guilty. Then you perform a behaviour in order to feel better and you text her to apologise.

In the example above, you performed a behaviour (commenting). Thinking about that behaviour triggered a feeling (guilt). The feeling happened to be unpleasant and unwanted so you carried out another behaviour (texting) in order to feel better.

As you can see, all three elements of an experience are interconnected and they can trigger each other. It means any of the elements can start the whole experience. It also means that once one of these elements is amended it changes the whole experience.


Why do behaviours happen ?

Most behaviours I can think of are performed in order to improve our experience. They are supposed to make us feel better. It means we behave in certain ways to improve our thoughts and release a body sensation.

For example, you feel anxious thinking about tomorrow’s exam and you sense butterflies in your stomach. You try different behaviours to help yourself feel better. You talk to your friends, keep refilling your stomach, you smoke cigarettes or drink a glass of wine. Sometimes you watch TV to distract yourself, you endlessly scroll through social media or you play games on your mobile device.

The behaviour performed to ease the body sensation can be finished only when a body sensation becomes bearable. When a behaviour does not diminish a body sensation well enough, we continue with that behaviour.

The problem starts when unhealthy behaviour is not helping us any more or we (or people close to us) think it is too risky to continue with it.

This is when we should seek professional help.


How Open Focus Attention can help ?

As you know by now, Open Focus Attention is a tool you can use to dissolve a body sensation and amend the whole experience.

I will show you how to detect a body sensation correlated with a chosen behaviour, and you will witness yourself not behaving in the way you normally would do. In other words, if you successfully detect a body sensation which triggers a behaviour, you can stop smoking, comfort eating or drinking alcohol.

Also if we can stop ourselves us from involuntary reacting to our thoughts or situations. If we always react to certain people or situations in an unhelpful way we can dissolve a body sensation which triggers that behaviour. It gives us time to respond in a healthy and rational manner because there is no body sensation we unconsciously react to.
We can start responding instead of reacting. This means that, you can use Open Focus Attention to switch your autopilot off.



During the exercise I will ask you to imagine yourself performing a behaviour. You should be able to sense where that body sensation is generated and how it feels.



You will not be able to see how this exercise changed your behaviours immediately after finishing the exercise for obvious reasons. I would suggest to repeat it every day for a week and keep noticing changes in your behaviours.

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