Monday, November 6, 2017

Physical Needs vs Emotional Needs

We all have emotional needs and physical needs. Each has importance and neither should take from the other. Ideally we have a balance and they support each other. This is where some of us take a detour. We allow our emotional needs to take over the physical, and often at the expense of our health. When we choose a substance, in our, to pacify emotional needs we are in an unbalanced state, one that is never resolved. It is a vicious cycle and rather then fix anything, it creates an overwhelming situation.

Today I am going to focus on separating emotional needs with physical. When thoughts of food creep in, I am going to stop and take a moment to determine if it is being driven by emotions or genuine hunger. My guess is that 90% of the time it is emotional! I will practice attending to the root of the want. Like a tantruming child in the grocery store that is screaming, crying, and thrashing about, the question he tired? Is he hungry? Is he just wanting attention and soothing? Is he scared or feeling anxious? Is he thirsty? Is he in physical discomfort or pain? If I give him a cookie will he stop?

While a cookie may temporary distract him (us) from whatever the actual problem is, it will not fix it unless the problem is hunger..and even then a cookie is a poor choice, and  usually offered more as a bribe then a solution anyway. We just want the feelings and the resulting behavior to stop! Right?

We are not toddlers, but at some point in our lives we began using food as a band-aid to our feelings. The reward of temporary relief in no way compensates for the cost to our health or our self esteem.

Today I made a chart. It is just a piece of paper with a line in the middle drawn from top to bottom. One side says emotional, the other says physical. Over the next few days I am going to write one word on the side I identify as the catalyst for every time I think about breaking my diet and eating something. Should be interesting...but I already know how one sided this is going to end up being!