Is it really possible to tell what somebody else feels? (Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina)
This is day 5 of the online coaching course on how to change your habits.
We’ve have learnt how habits have physical (or biological), psychological and social elements. |We’ve looked at the physical element generally; and now we’re looking at the psychological part. Yesterday we looked at thoughts and today we’re looking at feelings – or emotions.
A feeling is a an emotional state or reaction such as in ‘a feeling of Joy’. But a feeling can also be an idea or belief, especially irrational ones such as ‘he had a feeling he was being watched’. We often mix up feelings with thoughts’ and we need to separate them out to understand how each one works.
There is a long list of feelings which you may have experienced such as:
feeling under pressure,
Low in confidence,
Low in mood,
Out of control,
Like a failure,
A feeling is usually just one word ‘I feel happy’, ‘I feel sad’, ‘I feel agitated, or ‘I feel defensive’.
If you can replace the word ‘feel’ with ‘think’, so you can’t say ‘I think happy’ or ‘I think sad’ that doesn’t make sense; however, if you say something like ‘I feel they are looking at me’ you can replace that ‘feel’ with ‘think’ so ‘I think they are looking at me’ then that’s a thought not a feeling and we need to separate the two very clearly in our minds.
I am reading ‘A Course in Weight Loss’ by Marianne Williamson which is an older book now and she says unhealthy eating is an act of self hate. We hate ourselves: we feel hate for ourselves and we also think we are hateful. This is quite hard hitting but useful to think about because we rarely talk about hate as it’s such an extreme emotion.
Doreen Virtue in her book ‘Constant Craving’ says that underneath overeating are the emotions or feelings of:
As mentioned yesterday she believes fear is the root emotion in all feeling and anger, tension and shame are extension of these fears.
We feel anger because we fear losing love in the form of someone or something valuable to us.
We feel tension because we are afraid of trusting or because we’ve walked away from our life purpose.
We feel shame because we fear we are inadequate.
These as she calls them F.A.T.S. feelings are the primary trigger’s for emotional overeating. She goes on to say we need to face the emotion, the feeling and then move on; and that’s what this course is about trying to identify the thoughts feelings or emotions behaviours and the values and rules that you have about food facing them dealing with them and then moving on to a more successful life.
Virtue goes on to say that when we deny are strong emotions they grow stronger. Denied emotions manifest themselves in unpleasant ways including food cravings, physical aches or illnesses, depression, anxiety, phobias, and sleep disorder.
She says the bottom line is this as unpleasant as it is to face a negative emotion the alternative is even more unpleasant. Everyone gets ,upset, or jealous at some time but HANGING onto these emotions and then stuffing them down with food is a poor choice. We need to deal with the emotions.
So this is probably a heavy lesson for today, but overeating has got a strong emotional or feelings basis which is wrapped around with our thoughts; which are wrapped up in physical habit responses to do with food.
But the good news is all of this can be changed if you are prepared to enter to challenge yourself and to make the change that will leave your overeating behind you and I’m here to help you.
Williamson M (2010) A Course in Weight Loss, Hay House, USA
Virtue D (2011) Constant Craving Hay House, USA