3 CRITICAL THINGS TO UNDERSTAND
TO CREATE FREEDOM FROM EMOTIONAL EATING: PART 2
In the last post, I introduced 3 critical things to understand about your brain to create freedom from emotional eating & I focused on the first SEEK PLEASURE.
Now, I will focus on the last 2: Avoid Pain/Discomfort & Be Efficient.
3 CRITICAL POINTS: Our brain is wired instinctively to:
1 1-Seek Pleasure
2 2- Avoid Pain/Discomfort
2-SECOND: THE BRAIN’S WIRING TO AVOID PAIN/DISCOMFORT:
When there is sadness, disappointment, loneliness or stress around some aspect of doing life on your own or some aspect of interpersonal relationships or work and we turn to food usually semi-consciously or subconsciously to deal with those uncomfortable emotions.
So many of us turn to food as a way to avoid pain. It’s a human brain instinct, there is nothing wrong with you.
When we seek the bag of cheese puffs, the pan of brownies, or the pint of ice cream, not only is the brain seeking pleasure, but it’s SO OFTEN a way to avoid pain. The hit of sugar does numb us out & take the edge off – literally. This is something the brain is wired to do.
You may ask: so, if I’m so normal, why can’t/don’t/won’t I change?
GREAT question…l invite you to stay focused on these first 3 concepts before we jump there…THERE’S A REALLY GOOD REASON & THIS IS THE FOUNDATION!
3-THIRD: THE BRAIN SEEKS TO BE EFFICIENT:
It’s critical to understand that this third instinct weaves all three together.
Our brains use up a lot of energy & they seek to be efficient & conserve energy ALL THE TIME. Otherwise we’d be walking around mentally exhausted telling our lungs to breathe, our hearts to beat, how to drive to the store, or how to do tasks we’ve done many times.
Think about the first time you learned something new, it required a fair amount of concentration energy, brain bandwidth/energy. And the more you did it, the less energy it required. It became easier & easier to do. You didn’t have to concentrate nearly as much.
Our brain is always seeking to delegate as much of the bodily processes including thought processing down to the more survival parts of our brain because it requires less energy.
If we were constantly thinking about our thoughts on how to drive to work, or how to make dinner, or how to respond when someone offered us a cookie & had to concentrate really hard to think about each thought & which choice to make, for every action we took, we’d be SOOO TIRED-so mentally exhausted.
We need our brain to be efficient & delegate lots of tasks & thoughts down to the more survival/primitive/auto-pilot parts of our brains.
Here are some examples of how these 3 CRITICAL POINTS TO UNDERSTAND OUR BRAINS WEAVE TOGETHER. Imagine these are what the survival brain’s software is running in the background of our minds:
Example1: “Sugar gives the body a huge hit of energy, really quickly-do that again! That will be efficient!”
Example 2: “Hey, when you ate the pint of ice cream, it made it, so you didn’t feel as intense of a sadness or disappointment after the break up. Do that again, it was a quick efficient relief.”
Example 3: “Hey, keep eating all that processed food, I’m getting addicted & it numbs me out so great! Keep doing that-oh and by the way, because I’m getting addicted, you’re going to have to eat more of it to give yourself the same numbing effect! Yeah, you may get heavier, but it feels good right now”.
Our brains are wired to seek pleasure, avoid pain, & to be efficient & that this is normal. So often we conclude that we are not normal, something is wrong & it’s an “unsolvable/insurmountable/scary-as-heck problem”.
What if nothing’s wrong, what if it’s totally solve-able, surmountable & a fascinating puzzle to learn about, figure out & undertake?
That’s what I offer you: Nothing’s wrong with you if you are eating for emotion.
It means you have a human brain. It’s totally solve-able & it is fascinating!
HUGS & LOVES TO YOU,
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