Every Sunday, Molly buzzes about the questions/concerns/thoughts/experiences happening at Beacon. We are now sharing her weekly wisdom right her with you!
One of our Beacon Buddies asked me about what to do when feeling sick and grumpy.
You know what that’s like, right? Sore throat, weekend didn’t meet your expectations, little stomach ache – you name the situation and all too often that little devil in your brain wakes up and says, “You know what will make this feel all better? A MUFFIN. It will soothe you, give you energy, and solve all of our problems. Should we get blueberry or coffee cake?”
Whoa, brain. Chill a minute. For real.
News flash: your brain is not trying to sabotage you – it actually does not know any better. Really, it doesn’t. Our brains are there to keep us alive: when we feel stress, it is a sign that we are in trouble and our system will do anything it can to get us safe.
And your brain, when it’s super scared for its safety, wants sugar – in the name of survival – you will never find a berry in the wilderness that is both poisonous and sweet. #funfact Add that to the bad habit you may or may not have formed of reaching for food when things get stressful and you’ve added frosting to the cupcake. Pun intended.
What do you do in that moment, you ask? Well lucky for us, it’s not our thinking that gets us in trouble. It definitely contributes to the game, but it’s our ACTIONS that really matter. So, recognize that sweet thought cooing to you is just that – a thought! And that thought is NOT the boss of you, that’s for sure.
So, here’s the process: have the thought. It doesn’t work when we try to make thoughts just go away; they love a game like that and basically become terrorists. Take a deep breath and label it as a thought that isn’t here to serve your ultimate goal. Do a quick pros and cons in your head about whether this muffin helps move you toward your long-term goals (usually no).
Then move to find something else that will soothe you – a nap, petting your cat, listening to music, watching babies eating lemons on YouTube, binging on Netflix – the list goes on endlessly.
It is confusing when we are vulnerable and find ourselves feeling like food will ease the pain and is the solution to all of our problems. It’s a problem, also because if we act on it for a few seconds – two minutes MAX – it works! But then, always, there is the spiky tail that comes from instant gratification – demorilazation and shame. And you deserve better than that.
So let’s call thoughts what they are: thoughts. Not ACTIONS. And let’s find actions that don’t harm us or cause us shame. Muffin thoughts be damned!
Keep all of your questions and issues coming – we are ALWAYS here to help.