Saturday, July 14, 2012

Body Language


BODY LANGUAGE


Sometimes the way we talk about our bodies gives expression to our emotional conflicts. When your emotional pain is too upsetting, those feelings can be converted into physical sensations.  For example:

"I don’t want to think about that fight with my friend.  I ate so much that my stomach hurt, and that’s all I can think about."  (ie, It’s too emotionally painful to think about it, but that fight with my friend really hurt my feelings)

"Just thinking about dating gives me a headache."  (ie, Thoughts of dating make me feel scared, upset, and vulnerable)


Food cravings can also reflect an unmet need.  If you are unsatisfied in your life, and crave the “sweetness” of connection, comfort, or satisfaction, you may talk about it in terms of food, rather than emotional needs.

“I’m in the mood for ice cream.”  (I need comfort)
“I can’t get enough candy.”   (I don’t have enough kindness, love, friends…)


Physical emptiness may be a way of denying needs.

“I like purging.  I like the feeling of being empty.”   (I don’t want any messy feelings)
“I like being really hungry.  It feels clean.”  (I don’t want to need or want anything or anyone)


Translate your “body language” into emotional needs, wants or conflicts.

What emotional pain are you aware of right now?  

What, or who, is hurting your feelings?

What, or who, is making you ache with sadness, anger, fear, or anxiety?

What does it mean to be empty?  Clean?   Do emotions register as dirty or messy?

What needs and wants are you turning away from? 

What kind of sweetness do you need in your life?

Physical pain can go away more easily than emotional pain.  If your stomach hurts from eating too much, you will feel better after that food is digested.  Emotions are not so easily metabolized.  The key is to first identify the emotions that you are translating into physical sensations, then learn to process them.  When you can work through your emotions and/or conflicts, you will be less likely to use food as a way to express them.



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Legal Disclaimer:  The content on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not intended as psychotherapy or as a substitute for psychotherapy advice, diagnosis or treatment.

19 comments:

Brenda said...

For me, it's hard to resist the urge to compulsively eat when I'm stressed out. I have to think of a new outlet for my anxiety.

Trevor said...

I don't know what you ladies think, but sometimes admitting insecurities is harder for a man to do than for a woman. Also, it seems as though society makes dieting a woman's problem but it's also an issue for men. I have a lot of insecurities about my weight but I just keep eating anyway mostly because it feels good.

Brad said...

I agree. Even in this day and age where everyone is supposed to be equal it seems harder for men to be able to speak out there mind. They want to share their feelings at least once in awhile but fear being ridiculed because of it.

Stephanie said...

That's probably true on a larger scale. However, sometimes women feel ridiculed for speaking their minds too.

Rachel said...

I would like to not be rejected by a guy I care about. I've been working on myself trying to improve my faults so they don't leave me. I also am trying to work on not leaning on food to comfort me and/or feeling good about myself no matter what.

Larry said...

I eat a lot of ice cream when I'm alone. It truly is the signature comfort food.

Renee said...

My siblings and I were treated at home as if it was wrong to expess our emotions, even if they were to be expressed in a reasonable and non-destructive way. I did turn to chocolate, sweets, and ice cream as a way to comfort myself.

Food Addict said...

I heard that. I am struggling with not only eating compulsively (or in my case it's called binging) but I also purge. It's a never-ending cycle that is literally beginning to kill me. I hope I can find a healthier way to deal with negative feelings before it's too late.

Sweatpea said...

I sometimes feel nauseated when I remember violations committed against me. This causes me to swing from binging to starving.

Theresa said...

I definitely am one of those people with a major sweet tooth. I do feel more the need to eat sugar and sweets when I'm lonely, and often the more whipped and creamy of sweets the better (so I think while eating them).

Susanna said...

This is a concept I have not yet thought much about. It does put more meaning on why I choose the foods I do when I want to make myself feel better.

Kendra said...

I find that it is true what is said about emotional illnesses manifesting as physical symptoms. I get headaches a lot-not only from not eating like I should but also because I am sometimes stressed out.

Miles said...

My dependence on sugar seems to resemble my dependence on people, or over-dependence I should say. Still, I always feel empty but not sure what I'm lacking.

Julie Anne said...

Yes, this is true. Both men and women experience problems with speaking their minds. If we are not careful this can be a cause for anxiety for us.

Sarah said...

Food is so powerful that it can temporarily make you feel like you conquered all the negative feelings that bring you down. However, this is far from the truth. It is only for a short time.

Sarah said...

You all have some powerful insights about this. It does help me somewhat though I have much to understand about my situation.

Kerry said...

One thing that is hard for me is the fact that people sometimes see me a certain way-maybe with habits I no longer want to have. If people don't believe in me it leaves me feeling hopeless and the cycle of food addiction continues.

Harold said...

This seems to be a common thing with people, as I also struggle with this. I'm in the process of searching myself to find out the reasons for this.

Tara said...

It's so hard for me to understand why I do what I do. However, this blog is helping me.