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Recovery equals change: When we have habits, or behaviours that do not enable wellness, then it is a good time for self-evaluation and modification. Tapping is an effective way to begin a recovery plan. It can help you through each stage of change listed below. There are a plethora of other tools and tricks of the trade to help you modify behaviours and habits, such as meditation, journaling, and therapy. A good starting point would be to tap on the resistance to change in stage one.

*The Stages of Change in Recovery: the stages of change are built from the foundation that behavior change does not happen in one step. Each person moves through the stages at their own rate, similar to the five stages of grief.  Each individual decides for themselves when it is time to move to the next stage. In each of the stages, a person has to deal with a unique set of issues and tasks that relate to changing their own behavior or habit.

Stage One: Pre-contemplation; in the pre-contemplation stage, you are not thinking seriously about changing and are not interested in any kind of help. You may be defensive in the face of other people’s efforts to pressure you to change. You probably defend your current behaviours and do not feel that you have an issue. Tap on the resistance to change.

Stage Two: Contemplation; in the contemplation stage you are more aware of the consequences of your behaviour and you are thinking more about it. Although you can consider the possibility of change, you are ambivalent about it.  You are probably weighing the pros and cons of changing your behavior. It might take as little as a few days, or as long as a lifetime to get through the contemplation stage. On the plus side, you are more open to receiving information about your issue and are aware of others thoughts and feelings concerning your behavior. You are being accountable. Tap on the ambivalence to change.

Stage Three: Preparation/Determination; in the preparation/determination stage, you have made a commitment to make a change. Your motivation reflects thoughts such as, “I’ve got to do something about this - this is serious. Something has to change. What can I do?” This is sort of a research phase. Maybe you have a date in mind when you will start and you are gathering information and resources to help yourself. You are taking small steps toward change. Tap on the determination to change.

Stage Four: Action/Willpower; this is the stage where you believe you can change your behavior. You are open to the possibilities of change and are taking the steps necessary to work toward it. You have developed a plan of action and are working on it. You are also open to receiving help if needed. Tap on the willingness to change.

Stage Five: Maintenance; Maintenance involves being able to avoid temptations to return to your past behaviour. The goal of the maintenance stage is to maintain your new healthy lifestyle. You remind yourself of how much progress you have made and are constantly reformulating the rules of your plan to prevent stagnation. You aren’t afraid to try new ideas to avoid falling back into old behaviours. You are aware of situations that could trigger you and prepare coping strategies in advance because you realize that what you are striving for is personally worthwhile and meaningful. You are patient with yourself and recognize that it often takes a while to let go of old behavior patterns. Even though you may have thoughts of giving up, you resist and instead continue working a diligent plan toward wellness. Tap on any temptations or frustrations.

Stage Six: Transcendence; eventually, when you “maintain maintenance” long enough, you will reach a point where you cannot imagine going back to the old behaviours or habit. It is crucial to remember that wellness is a state of consciousness and you need to be aware of all eight aspects or you could slip back into old behaviours or habits. So, keep striving for a better you. If you start to have recurring thoughts about old behaviours or habits or suddenly see yourself falling backwards, measure where you are on this continuum of change and start moving forward from there. Something got you to stage six once, and you will get there again. Tap on anything that is making you feel like you may be slipping. Or just do general tapping on what a great job you are doing!

 *1979 Prochaska and DiClemente - Transtheoretical Model