When you’re feeling an urge or negative emotion, you probably want to feel better. Who wouldn’t? But the problem is that your solution for feeling better is eating a lot of food. This isn’t going to be feeling better without consequence.
In this episode, I’m going to offer you another option – not feeling better. I know, it sounds crazy but, hear me out. B the end of this episode, you might be open to it. So listen in to find out how you can stop running to food any time you feel uncomfortable.
Hi! Let’s talk about not feeling better.
Who wants that? Probably not many people.
Most people want to feel better now, as quickly as possible.
You’re feeling uncomfortable and you want to feel comfortable.
You’re feeling sad and you want to feel happy or content.
You’re feeling stressed and you want to feel calm.
If there is a better option for a feeling, you probably want it.
Quite often when I ask people why they aren’t willing to just feel through their feelings and urges, one of the answers I get is that they don’t want to feel it. They don’t like it and they want to feel better.
Since they don’t want to feel it and they want to feel better ASAP, their solution is to eat food.
That’s their go-to for feeling better.
And it does work. They do get to feel better for a bit. That’s why they keep going back to it, because it works, even if just temporarily.
So much of the time when we’re in discomfort, we don’t care if the relief is only temporary. We just go for the quick way out of it even if we know it’s going to be temporary simply because we’re not willing to be in discomfort.
It’s like if you have a chronic itch from a rash or mosquito bite. You know scratching it isn’t really going to fix the itch but temporarily it will stop so you do it. And once you stop scratching or maybe a little later, the itch is back.
You’re not feeling better without a consequence. You don’t just get the temporary relief, you get something that you probably don’t want too.
If you scratch the rash or bite, you may be causing it to last longer or making it worse. I remember I had a mosquito bite, or something on my arm, and I wasn’t aware of what it was and I kept scratching it to get relief. The next day, it was huge, like two inches and raised up. I made what was probably a little bump into a big one and the itch lasted for days. All because I wasn’t willing to go through the itch.
Sometimes, when you choose temporary relief and feeling better instead of just going through the discomfort, you make the discomfort last longer.
This is for sure what happens when you binge to make urges go away, or to make any emotions or feelings go away.
You eat in an attempt to feel better quickly and it results in you feeling worse.
You actually end up feeling bad for longer than you would have if you’d just allowed yourself to go through the feeling or urge.
You could just allow the urge to exist, feel it for awhile, not eat, and come out on the other side feeling better.
But instead, you feel it, feel better by eating a lot, and feel like crap after you’ve finished eating so much.
Now, you may have some thoughts about how long the discomfort will really last for and whether it really will exist for a shorter amount of time than what you feel after a binge.
Maybe there have been times when you’ve felt urges for hours and you finally just had to give in because it wasn’t going away.
But, most likely one of the reasons why that’s happening is because of your resistance to feeling that urge.
While you’re feeling it, amongst other thoughts you’re thinking, you’re thinking about how uncomfortable it is, how you can’t stand it, wondering how long it will be there, thinking it will last forever or how annoyed you are that you’re feeling it, you’re thinking all these thoughts about why you don’t want to feel it and that’s going to add negative feelings to your urge.
You’re feeling an urge and instead of calmly allowing it to exist and pass through you, you’re intensifying it by thinking negatively of it and resisting it.
You’re adding discomfort on top of it.
Imagine you’re with a toddler that’s having a tantrum about wanting to do something and you’ve said no. If you allow them to go through their tantrum, they will eventually stop and it probably won’t last too long, although it may feel like a long time.
But if you complain to them about how annoying their tantrum is or tell them all the reason why it’s no okay or yell at them, then they may continue on longer once you open up that kind of dialogue. You arguing with them about their behavior may increase their emotions, adding on to the original one that started the tantrum.
That’s partly what you’re doing when your urge continues on for a very long time, the other reasons are topics for another day but, you’re adding negative emotion to your urge or whatever feeling started your urge.
So, if you are just accepting that you’re feeling discomfort and allow it to be there and don’t make a big deal out of it, it probably won’t last as long.
So switch your goal from feeling better quickly to not feeling better yet.
I know, not feeling better sounds like a terrible idea but, what’s the other option? Eat to feel better and then feel like crap?
If you choose to just not feel better for awhile, the ultimate result will be feeling better.
If you go through it, feeling better will be on the other side of it.
Feel the itch so your bite or rash will go away sooner.
Feel the urge and don’t argue with it or complain about it so it will pass through you sooner.
When you choose to not feel better, the result will be truly feeling better sooner than if you take a quick way out that results in temporarily feeling better.
I know it may sound crazy to chose not feeling better when you really want to feel better but, choosing not to is what will ultimately give you what you want.
A lot of the time, choosing to not feel better is the path toward achieving goals, growing, and becoming a better version of yourself.
Of course take breaks and rest, don’t cause yourself to feel discomfort 100% of the time but, notice when you’re doing it at the expense of your goal vs taking a break that will rejuvenate and refresh you so you can be in a better space to achieve your goal.
Avoiding feeling your urges and eating to temporarily feel better isn’t helping you to stop binge eating.
Feeling your urges until they pass will.
Choosing discomfort will.
So choose to feel more discomfort in your life.
Sometimes, choose to not feel better, knowing that’s the path toward feeling better for real.