Recent research has indicated that compulsive eating habits have strong biological and bio-chemical roots.
So…if eating habits are primarily genetically predetermined, how does one ever change!? Fortunately, we also know that the brain has this wonderful capability called neuroplasticity (aka it is super flexible). What does this mean for you?! With some regular behavioral interventions and skill use, you can begin to rewire your brain chemistry and end the cycle of compulsive eating for good!
In honor of today’s theme of totally game and brain changing skills, we suggest the STOP skill founded by our favorite scientist-practitioner ever, Dr. Marsha Linehan. The STOP skill enables us to take a pause and proceed more mindfully when we are inclined to turn to compulsive eating as a quick fix to manage uncomfortable emotions and situations.
Check out below to see how the skill is done!
Stop just where you are! Remember, you don’t have to react to an emotion or situation immediately.
T: Take a Step Back
Take a moment to pause and remove yourself from the situation physically and/or emotionally. A step back will often help us regain clarity and more readily access our wise minds.
Observe what is going on inside of and around you. Remember, we cannot make well informed decisions or proceed in our wise minds if we do not have accurate facts.
P: Proceed Mindfully
Ask yourself “How will I achieve what I want in an effective manner?” Consult with your Wise Mind over how to navigate the situation and achieve your desired outcome. (i.e. get through the tough situation without overeating!)
The Stop Skill has been Lovingly adapted from DBT Skills Trainings Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition by Marsha M. Linehan, 2015
For more useful tips and skills on how to combat compulsive eating follow us on Tuesdays!