Part three looks at exactly what to change: which behaviours are causing misery in your life? You will learn to identify them precisely. Then we can analyse how they work: in other words, why you keep doing them! All of our behaviours work for us in some way, even though we might not see how right now. Chapter 8 looks in detail at specific problems, such as those you have circled. You will prioritise which problem to work on first. Chapter 9 explains how feelings are tied up in it all. Many behaviours work by helping us to avoid painful feelings. Chapter 10 shows you how to understand the problem behaviours, which are ruining your life. We do this by working out the pattern of each behaviour. Behaviours tend, boringly, to keep repeating themselves. Once we have worked out the pattern, we can see exit points where we can break free.
Mindfulness comes back again as Chapter 11 shows you how to make these changes with acceptance, understanding and kindness to yourself (compassion). We need to be patient and kind to ourselves as we learn new things. Imagine having a new puppy and beginning to train him. Would you do this with loving kindness and patience? So, you have the just same rights to be treated kindly as your imaginary puppy does. Chapter 12 is about practical ways to handle difficult thoughts. Chapter 13 illustrates tried and tested skills for developing self-control. These skills really are skills. They can be learned, just as we can learn to use a new computer or to cook. Self-control skills are things like, how to calm ourselves down, resist urges, deal with conflict and look after ourselves physically. Chapter 14 demonstrates how to make a behaviour chain about your problem behaviour, showing the links made up of thoughts, feelings, body sensations, urges and behaviour that lead up to the problem behaviour itself. Chapter 15 shows you how to use this chain to decide to break some of the links that lead up to it. Next time the behaviour starts up, we can do something new. Often this takes a few goes, but guess what? We always get another go so long as the behaviour is still hanging around. So we can always try again. Eventually, our brains learn new habits. The new behaviours we are practising come to replace the old ones.