Alternate Dignification, Short Circuit a Craving
Craving a cigarette, I look in the mirror and remember images I purposely conjoined the craving feeling with earlier this year: The "No Smoking" sign from elevator, brought up close to the eyes, fingertips rubbing my forehead, then rubbing sign, then rubbing forehead again, so the sign become "joined" with the shortness of breath I'm feeling after climbing the stairs to apartment. Saying "caused by cigarettes" out loud.
Media Treatment, Semiotic Treatment
Cravings are moments with intense affecto-appetitive charge, feelings you got to do something with. The charge (the feeling itself) becomes something to deal with in the moment. The natural flow of the craving drives behavior towards the satisfaction and dignification of the feeling. Intense feelings ask to be dignified, appeased, engaged with. But have you stopped to ask if you could you engage the craving in alternate way? If you can, you've found a path to short-circuit the way it deploys agency over you.
An Idea to Deal with Craving
Letting the feeling become a nudge to invoke imagery/ritual/dance that provides an alternative way of giving closure to the craving. Giving yourself an alternate way to engage with the feeling, something to do with it other than the behavior you want to avoid. An alternate dignification induced by dance, ritual, media.
Picture TikTok-style videos with situational memetic thread (moments with a shared feeling, e.g., "Oh no, oh no, oh no no no"), all showing different dances or doings in response to a moment of craving. In moments with intense feelings media is powerful, it can help you dignify the feeling.
Alternate Dignification, What You Need:
- An Awareness, to find a coercive Feeling to short circuit.
- A Doing, whereby Imagery and Message become associated with Feeling.
- An Awareness of Feeling, that invokes Imagery and Message when Feeling is elicited, bringing them to mind.
- A Willingness, to cooperate with your past intention to marry Imagery+Message+Feeling and act differently.
- A Doing, in cooperation with Imagery & Message, whereby Feeling is engaged in alternate way and preferred closure is reached.