When was the last time you took something WAY too seriously?
You know what I’m talking about. You dropped the glass jar of jam on the kitchen floor, it shattered, and you wanted to tear your hair out. Or some driver cut you off, then proceeded to cruise along at about 10 mph below the speed limit, and you were ready to rear-end him.
Or you thought, as you are often wont to do, “What if this never changes? What if I have problems with food for the rest of my life?” And that sent you into a spiral of hopelessness and fear, and suddenly the rest of your life started to turn dark grey and shadowy.
We binge eaters have a nasty habit of taking things too seriously.
We get negative feedback at work, and suddenly we’re about to get fired. We get in a fight with our partner, and clearly we’re on the verge of a divorce. Tomorrow.
We are so hard on ourselves!!!
Can you relate?
If you want to stop binge eating, it’s very important to see this pattern, and to recognize what it’s really about.
It’s really about having a lot of negative emotion inside that spills out – and gets triggered – at the most inopportune moments.
Sure, everyone has an off day. Everyone’s patience has a breaking point. But if you find that your responses to life’s little (and big) bumps is often to freak out – either with anger or fear – there’s a good chance that your reaction isn’t really about what’s actually happening. It’s about old stuff, past hurts and wounds that haven’t gotten the attention they need. When there are a lot of old, bad feelings crowding your insides, it impacts the way you see the world. Things start to seem a lot more difficult than they really are. After all, there are plenty of people out there who are able to shrug at a shattered glass jar of jam. Or even to laugh about it.
And guess what – when enough of these irritating or frightening incidents pile up, hour after hour, day after day, and we react in anger or fear, at some point we’re going to need to self-soothe, get high, or shut down. Those of us reading this blog know that one of our favorite substances to use for these processes is food.
That’s how taking life too seriously causes binge eating.
So what do we do instead???
Can you see how a long, hard look at the actual reality of the situation can change your perspective, and vastly change your reaction? By reminding yourself of this new awareness – that your reaction probably doesn’t match the reality; that the shattered glass of jam or the crappy driver isn’t all that horrible – you have a really good chance at shifting your experience.
My clients know that I am ALL ABOUT emotional release. I’m always encouraging them to scream, cry, move around to release their feelings. It’s toxic to keep them pent up inside. So if you drop the glass of jam, and it’s just the last straw, and you feel like you’re going to lose it, let yourself have a yell into a pillow or a frustrated cry.
And then remind yourself of the reality – it’s no big deal. That’s what paper towels and sponges are there for. No one died.
Hey, you may even get to the point where you can look at your reaction and laugh.
“Wow – I got really worked up there. I seem to do that a lot, don’t I.”
Of course, we all know that we have no desire to binge when we’re feeling calm and chuckling at ourselves.
Does this sound far-fetched? I know that for many people, linking negative emotions to binge eating is a new and revolutionary concept. But in my experience, the two are closely linked.
So with that, I’m wishing you a day in which you can laugh at yourself and the world.