Advertising
Advertising

The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

    I’ve tried on several occasions to remove soda pop from my life – or at least curb my reliability on it. While it does give you a sugar and caffeine high, the effects on that front are brief – and the long-term impact on your health certainly isn’t worth it.

    Up until recently, I was drinking several cans per day rather than drinking healthier options like water and milk, and all for the boost of sugar and caffeine that my body craved. But I made a decision that I had to seriously cut back on the habit because I was getting tired earlier in the day, and was beginning to fear diabetes down the line. Whether that fear was founded or not, it was enough to get me started on kicking the soda pop habit.

    I didn’t try just one thing to make it stick, either. I kept a few things in mind in order to keep me on track, since I’d tried to quit drinking soda pop before and had failed each and every time. The longest I’d ever gone was one month – and after that I fell right back into my old ways. So if you’re looking for the best way to kick the soda pop habit, here it is – from someone who’s tried time and time again to do it.

    Advertising

    Buy a SodaStream

    Having a SodaStream in your arsenal gives you a few advantages in your battle to the kick soda pop habit.

    Firstly, it allows you to control the amount of soda syrup that goes into your soda. That means you can still undulge in a carbonated beverage every once in a while and not get whatever sugary syrup that store bought soda pop has. Secondly, you are being more environmentally friendly in that the bottles that the SodaStream comes with are better for the planet and you won’t be buying bottles and cans from the store filled with soda pop any longer. Finally, you’ll be saving money, as the materials needed to run the SodaStream are less constly than buying conventional soda pop at the supermarket.

    Again, willpower will be one of your biggest allies in this challenge – even with the SodaStream in your corner. Just make sure you get the SodaStream to work for you in this endeavour…and not against you.

    Indulge periodically – but only with the good stuff

    Quitting cold turkey isn’t ideal for any habit you’re trying to break – and when you’re trying to kick the soda pop habit you need to ween yourself off slowly or give yourself permission to indulge every once in a while. I went with the latter this time around, because the former has never seemed to work for me.

    Advertising

    Why is that? Because by weening myself off slowly I still had the soda pop easily accessible, either at home or when I’d eat out for dinner. I didn’t commit to making it an occasional indulgence – instead I tried to remove it bit by bit, and that wasn’t measureable for me. By removing soda pop for the majority of the time and allowing yourself the opportunity to have some when you’re in a situation where – for example – you may be out somewhere where you may be needed to be the designated driver, you’re not only giving yourself some breathing room in the challenge, but you may find that you really don;t miss soda pop after all.

    Since I kicked the soda pop habit, I’ve had two small bottles of soda. And while I don’t crave it anymore – and I really don’t miss it – I do know that I can now have a glass of it every once in a while and be okay with that.

    Keep coffee and tea close at hand

    I do like my coffee. I drink it black, with no sugar or milk. I like my morning coffee…and maybe drink two cups of the stuff per day. And I’m beginning to get more and more into tea, especially since I largely removed soda pop from my life.

    In fact, if you want to have some replacements for soda pop in your pantry while you attempt to kick the soda pop habit, coffee and tea aren’t bad ones to have.

    Advertising

    Start juicing

    Before soda pop was part of my diet, juice was. That’s because my parents let me drink juice well before soda pop was in the fridge. Mind you, the juice we had on hand wasn’t exactly the healthiest type out there – and juicing wasn’t something done in my parents’ house. But it is in mine.

    Get yourself a juicer – it doesn’t have to be the most expensive one…there are plenty of lower cost options out there – and start juicing. It is far healthier than any juice you can buy and will do wonders to help you curb your cravings for soda pop.

    Take trips down soda pop aisles in stores

    I have made a point of going to the soda pop aisle each and every time I go to my local grocery store ever since I took on this challenge, and I still do it to this day. I walk down the aisle to remind me of not only where I’ve been with my diet, but also where I won’t be going again.

    Kicking the soda pop habit isn’t easy, especially if you drank as much of it as I had been drinking. But if you are practical about yor approach to the challenge, consistent in what you do to stay on track and take what I’ve offered above as a means to help you take on the challenge, you’ll find that you can indeed kick the soda pop habit not just for a short while…but for good.

    Advertising

    And isn’t that something worth resolving to do?

    (Photo credit: Yellow Soda Can via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 35 Quick and Simple Tips for Better Productivity 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind 2 7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout 3 30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life 4 Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally) 5 10 Best Therapy Apps to Better Your Mental Health Anywhere

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 3, 2020

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

    I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

    If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

    1. The Inner Critic

    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

    • Other people’s words—many times your parents
    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

    2. The Worrier

    This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

    The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

    Advertising

    3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

    This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

    4. The Sleep Depriver

    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

    How can you control these squatters?

    How to Master Your Mind

    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

    This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

    1. For the Inner Critic

    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

    Advertising

    You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

    This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

    • They rile up the Worrier.
    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

    2. For the Worrier

    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tense

    Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

    Advertising

    Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

    For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

    Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

    3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

    Breathe in through your nose:

    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
    • Focus on your belly rising.

    Breathe out through your nose:

    • Feel your lungs emptying.
    • Focus on your belly falling.
    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

    Advertising

    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

    4. For the Sleep Depriver

    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
    2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

    From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
    • Shut down your thinking
    • Calm your feelings
    • Simply focus on the present moment

    The Bottom Line

    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

    More About Mental Strength

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Read Next