Self Soothing: Step by Step Directions to Get Grounded and Calm

What is Soothing?

Imagine a 7 foot tall, cuddly, furry creature. It can be any color you want, but it would probably be a bright candy color. The type who would be your special friend if you were a kid in a Pixar or Disney movie. This creature is gentle and protective, the type who would wrap you up in a comforting hug when the day has been too much and take care of you while you nodded off to sleep. This creature would say nice things to you when you felt dejected, help you rekindle your hope and get back to your feet. They would help you be your best self. 

How awesome would that be?

I teach my clients to imagine this creature on the days they really feel like they need some comfort. And imagining this big, kind, gentle giant speaking to them. What would it say?

First, it would listen to you and be keenly interested in how you felt. It would show concern at your distress, wrinkling its fuzzy brow. It would treat you and your feelings as obviously important. 

It would...

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The Art of Not Taking Home the Grand Prize

You know how on game shows, there may be 3 people vying for an awesome grand prize, such as a car or $10,000 round the world trip? But the people who come in second and third place often don’t just get shown the door. They get a consolation prize. 

I think the term “consolation prize” is cute and funny. It consoles you. “I’m sorry you didn’t get what you wanted, but here have this instead!” 

It’s actually a very kind move of the game shows, I think, to acknowledge the disappointment of a contestant who got all excited but then let down (in front of millions of people, to boot). It shows generosity and compassion.  

What if we gave ourselves consolation prizes when things didn’t go our way? Would that have a positive effect?

If might, if it helped us acknowledge and validate our own disappointment or distress. That’s a step up from denying our true feelings like, “nah, I shouldn’t be bothered...

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10 Reasons Emotional Eating Happens, And 10 Ways to Stop

1. Wanting To Avoid A Task

I’ll get to that, right after a snack. Ok, now, time to get to that work I need to do…. Hmm, maybe just a bit more food first. Procrastineating is commonplace and isn’t necessarily a problem unless it’s getting in the way of your health or productivity goals. It’s easy to see how stalling by nibbling can contribute to extra pounds, in addition to not getting as much done as we could be.

2. Delaying A Confrontation

This is really similar to the above problem of procrastineating, but specifically, avoiding a confrontation with another person has a separate element of squashing down our feelings, not just buying us a few more minutes.

3. Needing A Break From Work, Responsibility, Or Pressure

Try to keep yourself in perpetual work mode 24/7 and you’ll find out that it’s an impossible task. If you don’t plan and allow yourself breaks and rests to balance out your daily exertion and toil, you’ll end up...

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What To Do After Emotional Eating

You wake up, only to realize you weren’t sleeping.

You were… off somewhere. Possibly you were caught up in replaying what happened that day. There was an argument, a stinging comment, a decision that didn’t go your way, or an unfair twist of fate.

And what the hell are these crumbs? Oh yes, now it’s coming back… while you were wading thigh-deep in unpleasant emotions, you decided to eat. And now the food is gone, and you barely remember it. And you’re still upset.

In this circumstance, a lot of our clients focus on undoing “the damage." They're concerned about the calories they took in, and how they’ll gain weight unless they do something. They plan a killer gym workout at 5 am. They chop up lettuce for the following days. Or they just head to bed, knowing in the morning things will seem new again, and they can forget the overeating and start fresh.

Heightened emotional states can trigger eating for a number of reasons:...

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