I know right? We all know and have heard the tremendous health benefits meditation possesses. BUT, “What if I don’t want to cussing meditate!?”
Last week, I spoke about our relationship with food. Eating when we are not hungry or excessive eating can be ways we self-soothe or self-medicate, rather than facing what is driving the urge. Guess how we can create a more mindful eating practice? Meditation. But again, “What if I don’t want to cussing meditate!?” Well, what if we include the option of binge eating? Or, whichever kryptonite we choose that diverts us from our problems as a solution (Bill Ohanlon)?
Obviously, this can be tricky depending on your poison. And for the record, the point is not to allow every self indulgence. We are allowing ourselves the freedom to choose, instead of completely cutting off something that is a deep compulsion. Inclusive Therapy gives you “the permission to and permission not to have to experience or be something” (Ohanlon, Inclusive Therapy). The idea is to create awareness around these intrusive behaviors not ignore them. These compulsions are real and you should honor them but that doesn’t mean you ever have to give in to them.
Action – Some ways to deal:
Ohanlan suggests three ways:
- Time delays–putting a delay between the impulse to act and the action (e.g., walk around the block five times before bingeing)
- Externalizing–putting the experience out into the world to get some distance from it and some perspective (e.g., illustrating the impulse)
- Agreements to limits–agree to experience the impulse but not act on it (e.g., feel the feeling of what it would be like to act on the compulsion but don’t).
Does it feel better to know that you have a choice? That you are putting yourself in command of weighing your options rather than having the impulse take over?
Next time you get an urge to choose a diversion rather than face your feelings try taking a long walk, exercise, talk about what it would feel like to do it. See what happens. Did you do it anyway? Did you deflect the craving? Journal or speak your truth to someone.
“It is going to feel really good when I discover the ways I may bring peace into my heart. I am open to receive what will be the most helpful to me.”
I know you may not want to cussing meditate but let’s look over some facts real quick ;). Harvard studies have repeatedly declared the cognitive and psychological benefits. Only 10 minutes a day, in as short as eight weeks, your brain structure will change, repairing itself from the damages of stress (Harvard Seminar – Now and Zen: How mindfulness can change your brain and improve your health).
Stress is the main reason we create self-soothers or choose to self-medicate; stress is a killer to us, and we know it. Meditation is a holistic and integrative approach proven to reduce stress, pain, depression, lower blood pressure, lower cortisol levels (the hormone produced from stress, which also creates that unwanted belly fat that doesn’t seem to go away) and more! Yet, meditation does not only reduce the adverse it inspires creativity, strengthens intuition, nurtures a connection to our inner selves and contemporary studies continue to show more positive influences (Harvard Seminar)
What is stopping us?
So why don’t we do it? We know that it will help; the proof is out there. Is it because we desire immediate change and don’t have the patience to implement a practice that perhaps can alter the rest of our lives? Or is it because we then have to do the work and get ourselves through whatever is ailing us? Clearly, it is not so black and white. And, it is such a personal dilemma that needs exploration. We all pick our poisons that best “suit” us when we know we don’t want to deal.