How do I stop snacking when I feel like I can't stop?
It's purely a thought loop you're stuck in. Gotta break the habitual pattern.
A thought loop is a thought followed by a good feeling. We, humans, are drawn to what feels good and move away from things that don't feel good. So good feelings deepen habits or fuel the fire of wanting more and more.
We funny humans create stories in our minds, and believe them:
"I need this because it feels good."
"Having this at night provides pleasure."
"This snack calms me."
"It's ok to eat this, I have been good today."
"I deserve this."
"You only live once."
"This is my only source of pleasure."
"I had a stressful day."
"I already ate poorly today."
"I am a snacker."
"I don't care."
"This is how I cope."
"I get satisfied from this snack."
These stories create thoughts and feelings that we follow. But, unfortunately, these statements often indicate a need that's not being met in our life.
"I feel stuck between two things I want."
We become attached to the stories we create, believe them, put ourselves in a box, or put a label on ourselves by repeating them in our brains and out loud. This is like hypnosis; we funny humans believe anything you hear over and over. The news is a great example. With each itch or good feeling itched, the habit intensifies along with our feelings, further deepening the habit. Our brains are designed to find patterns to conserve energy, so things that we repeat our brain will then start to do on autopilot, and walla, you've developed a habit that you can't figure out why you can't stop.
"Why am I eating this popcorn? I don't even really like popcorn that much, oh and four servings no less."
It starts with a thought loop that is the primary reason people get stuck in habits they can't break.
If we believe this snack injects good feelings into us and solves a problem, it becomes a pretty strong emotion to overcome.
The strongest emotion always wins!
What if that snacky food didn't have the power to inject feelings of pleasure in you? If that were true, it would affect everyone on the earth. And I can guarantee that's not true.
In my coaching, I often use the example of the teddy bear, a stuffed animal made of fabric, stuffing, and two beads for eyes doesn't have the power to make a human being feel safe, secure, happy, and protected. Nor does that snack.
What needs to be addressed in your life?
What are you avoiding?
What is your well-being dependent on?
Are you seeking things outside of you to provide happiness, love, enjoyment, fulfillment, and contentment?
How would you fill in this blank: I will be happy when ____?
I find it astonishing how many people I first start coaching answer this question with things that are outside their control, things that involve people, places, things, status, a particular job, a certain relationship status, involving being liked or loved by another person. These are all things outside of them. I, too, used to believe this, so I believe it's programmed in us to believe happiness is out there, outside in. The sad part is that I checked off all the boxes, worked myself to illness, did things that felt difficult and painful, and had my priorities tremendously out of sync. I put my family and loved ones number two in my life and my own needs and health at number twenty-two. Guess what? I was far more miserable, stressed out, anxious, nervous, angry, frustrated, and confused about how this could happen.
I started this post off to point out that a habit loop is easily created through simple thought and turned into a post about how we can quickly get confused about where our happiness actually is. It's not in that snack; believe me, I wish it were; it's not and what I point out to my clients over several sessions is how it's living life from the inside out.
If you're struggling to overcome a habit of snacking and not understanding why, and you've tried everything to stop, set up a call with me, I will point to an understanding that is so simple it will change not just this aspect of your life but your entire way you experience your life.