It’s a familiar refrain that I have heard often from my clients.
I used to think the same thing. That is . . . if I took time to think about it at all.
If what you need is to be calm, then there may not be faster ways to do it, but there are far better ways to do it, with fewer negative consequences.
What it takes to calm down is to get better at managing your moods. It takes SKILL, (not willpower) to break habits and to separate food from feelings.
Yes, you may have to break the habit of reaching for food automatically (more on that later), but it’s not willpower that you lack.
Instead, work on developing emotional management skills using real tools, such as:
1. Emotional Freedom Techniques – (EFT) Tapping is the first line of defense. Why? It does 1 thing really well – neutralizes negative emotions.
2. Learn to identify and feel your feelings instead of stuffing them with food. Yes, food is a quick fix and a convenient “mute” button for emotions, but there’s always a price to pay.
3. Learn to “think” differently about how you feel. You can’t necessarily “think” your way out of a negative emotional situation in the moment, but there are strategies you can use to help yourself calm down.
4. Set boundaries and increase assertiveness skills. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and more in control when there are fewer demands.
5. Hitting the “pause” button. When you find yourself reaching for food, hit the imaginary pause button, long enough to ask yourself a couple of questions. Am I hungry? Will this help? If you are intent on eating, then it may not stop you, but at least you start to face the truth.
Your turn – What helps you to manage your moods?