What is my Definition of a Negative Habit?
Anything you cannot go painlessly without that leads to unwanted consequences is a negative habit. People form negative habits to cope with uncomfortable feelings inside.
Food, as one example, serves a very distinct purpose when it is used as a coping strategy. For some people it sedates - tranquilizes or controls uncomfortable emotions such as a anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and grief. In short, it helps you disengage and leave the uncomfortable emotions behind. Temporarily that is.
Sometimes emotional eating helps you feel less heaviness, creating a sense of euphoria, even nostalgia - as you seem to drift back in time to a more pleasant experience, where food featured prominently. There is often an association between feeling loved by someone and the foods one craves. Unlike drugs and alcohol the prevailing belief of many in society, including loved ones and friends is that when it comes to food and being overweight, a lack of discipline or moral failing is at the root of the problem - whether it is long term emotional eating, bingeing, binge purging, even restricting behavior. That all someone has to do is eat the correct portions, the correct types of food, at the correct time, be disciplined, and the problem will be solved. There is a tendency to shame and blame the emotional eater.
I have worked for the past twenty years with people who have all sorts of habits they wish they could stop. After I received my master's I worked in traditional settings for seven years and was amazed at how ineffective we were at helping people end their addictions, cravings and other undesirable habits. So I left in search of something better to help people.
And what I found has helped me be more effective. For the past 10 years I have had my own private practice using effective techniques to help women end their emotional eating, binge-eating, and restricting behavior. And let me say this. Attempting to enforce discipline around emotional eating simply does not work.
Why doesn't will power work to stop negative emotional eating and other undesirable habits?
Because the problem cannot be solved through discipline and will power alone. That is engaging the conscious mind.
We never consider that the behaviors come from the subconscious in the scenario. That the subconscious holds the key to the origins of not just our emotional eating, but any other undesirable habit that yields negative consequences that we are trying to change.
How do I Help my Clients Shift Undesirable Habits?
Through the recognition after many years that all negative habits are due to unresolved, unprocessed life experiences originating in early childhood. What keeps them going are the beliefs, or perceptions formed at the time of a traumatic event or events in early childhood.
Every single time the "roots" to all negative habits are there. A child learns to soothe and comfort themselves with food. Or they learn to restrict their food intake for various reasons.
As a child grows and feels self-conscious, not good enough, that the world is not safe due to any number of unprocessed life events, other coping behaviors come into play, such as alcohol, or drugs.
I have come, over time, to view all negative habits as coping skills, put in place by the subconscious to help a person suppress or control anxiety and emotions such as fear, anger and grief.
And the subconscious wants to assist us in becoming free, So what does it do? Well first It runs uncomfortable, content if you will, through the body in the form of uncomfortable sensations in the stomach, chest, throat, or head, as a few examples. It is energy. It is blocked energy in the body. This is the indication consciously that something is wrong. That you are out of balance. And this what people sedate or try to control through emotional eating.
Sometimes there is even the experience of feeling numb - so you may engage your habit to raise state. You may drink, or comfort yourself with cookies, or chips, or pizza to enliven yourself a bit, to come out of the numbness. Everyone has their own process.
I use a number of techniques and processes to guide people to shift undesirable habits.
I use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Matrix Reimprinting (MR), and Regression Therapy to get to the core reasons a person engages in negative habits and then guide them to release the reasons to restore balance so they can make better choices.
MINI WORKSHOP SERIES:
1st session: Saturday August 18th: 11:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Repeat 1st session: Thursday August 23rd - 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sending me a message right now will get you started on the path to living a life fully engaged. Together, we can work out a plan that works for you.