Following on from my last post, I wanted to share with you two tips which helped me be a less food obsessed person. The great thing is, these don’t just have to be applied to food either, but any difficulties that come up in your life. Let’s get straight into it!
Tip 1: Visualisation
The best way that helped me escape from my food-filled, negative brain was visualisation. The first time I heard about how visualisation can aid changing your beliefs I though it was far too hipster and woo-woo. I wasn’t sure how believing something could make it happen. I rejected this method initially as stupid, and was still stuck in the same obsessive and destructive cycle. I tried it again, months later, because I was desperate to change. What harm can it do? I thought. I read and saw myself as I wanted to be: a normal eater with no food obsession, getting on with normal things. And after a while, I began to see it worked. Not only was I feeling happier and better about myself, but a lot of the obsession and mental weight had lifted!
How to create a vision statement for your new beliefs
- Get a pen and paper, and sit somewhere quiet.
- Imagine what your life would be like without food problems:
- What would you be doing?
- How would you be feeling?
- Who would you be spending your time with?
- What hobbies do you focus on?
- What do you like to eat without a problem?
- Get a specific as possible, and put as much emotion in as you can.
- Read your statement back, and imagine and feel with all your heart and soul that it is true. Read it every morning or more, until you can recall it in an instant and it gives you pleasure to read.
- As your life changes, your vision changes. As your statement becomes less resonant with you, change it so you are always feeling like what you have written is it. Keep imagining, and watch as what you imagine shifts into your natural way of being.
Tip 2: Focus on the present moment
It can be very difficult to escape the destructive cycle of your mind and negative and disordered beliefs. A quick fire way for relief that does not revolve around food is focusing on the present moment. I am not patient, or spiritual enough, to do meditation, but focusing on the moment brings in some of its techniques.
When you are caught up in the harangues of your mind, or a binge craving or whatever, do this instead. I learnt it from Geneen Roth (of course), and use my own version because I am busy and impatient.
Not-quite-meditation for busy people
- Give yourself a couple of minutes of quiet time.
- Bring your attention to your breathing. Count your breaths and feel them, one to five.
- Use your breath as a mechanism to bring your mind from your thoughts to the physicality of what you are doing. Focus on the feeling of the keys as you type, the sound of cars outside, the light in the room.
- What does your chest feel like? Describe the feeling and just sit with it without judging it.
- Focus on the things around you, what they are like and how they feel. Notice anything out of the ordinary.
- When calm, ask yourself, “Is anything wrong outside?” The answer should be no from this place of calm. The world still turns and you are wonderfully alive.
I do this many times a day. When I find myself lost in my head, I try and draw myself out again to observe and to be present and alive.
These things won’t change your life overnight. Habits take time to ingrain, so negative ones won’t be replaced with new, positive ones straight away. The key to change is determination and persistence that there is something greater. If you truly want something better for yourself it will happen.