Weird emotions


Lately with doctor Zermati, we don’t really talk about food. And, at the same time, we talk only about it. For the good reason that we concentrate on emotions.

I won’t do a lesson on mindfulness, I would struggle, I think, as I don’t really master the concept. But basically, the idea is, when you’re facing an unpleasant, nerve-racking situation or simply a boredom moment (it triggers, for me, almost automatically a desire to eat), to stop for five minutes to “observe” this emotion.

Not to try to fight it or chase it away. Not in order to relax (it would actually be trying to avoid it). Just to take note that, at this particular moment, you are anxious, angry, sad, bored or even happy (for some happiness pushes them to eat) (for me it makes me feel like smoking).

Put like this, I’m fully aware it sound a bit dumb. Even new-age my balls.

And truly, if there’s someone who doesn’t buy new-age stuff, it’s me.

And though, it works. Namely, generally, the fact, thus, of observing the emotion and its physical signs (tight stomach for anxiety, accelerated heart bit for anger, wet eyes for sadness, etc) and the desires that follow (to eat, to hit, to shout, to smoke, to drink) without trying to counter them, it makes them… disappear. “Because the distinguishing feature of an emotion is that it’s not meant to last. And not fighting it is finally the best way to let it go”, doctor Z was explaining to me. Also because when being the observer of what you are feeling, you are not undergoing anymore, you are less overwhelmed, you find again a freedom of movement you’ve lost when you give in to compulsion.

I have to admit I’m struggling with it, I can’t be more explicit. But a few days ago, I had to face a situation that was a real source of anxiety for me. As I can’t really take beta blockers each time I have to speak to someone who’s hostile or who impresses me, I tried to follow this funny method. I felt my sweaty hands, that weight in my tummy, the beginning of tachycardia. I observed all this unpleasant phenomenon with the curiosity of a medicine student or of a crime scene witness. Without trying to make things better with pathetic stomach breathing exercises (which make me hyperventilate every time and don’t really make this things better)

« I’m scared and I feel bad », I told myself, a few second before entering the arena.

And then the feared face-to-face happened. And I can’t explain why or how but there I was, my powers at their peak. The panic crisis was gone. Vanished. Dissected.

I’m not trying to convince you, I’m simply sharing that small step I think I’ve made, which have nothing and everything to do with food compulsions. Because for me, emotions often rime with trips to the kitchen. Next time, I’ll stop for five minutes on the why and how of what presses me towards that chocolate, who knows…


Edit: On the picture are the angry eyes of my oldest daughter, it’s the best I found to illustrate an emotion, forgive me.

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