I figure we’ll just keeping going with the steps here and have fun with the new improved way to count to 3! 🙂
This week I’m going to share with you the first few steps in the 3rd core tool: The List of Stressors. You’ve got the 4-7-8, you’ve got the Drill Sgt. dialogue, and now (after the next 2 or 3 weeks anyway) you’ll have the List of Stressors and all that will remain in your healing is some practice and fine-tuning and tweaking of these tools for your own personal experience.
The feedback on these series of articles has been amazing – thank you!!! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them and learning so much. To cement your learning and create the greatest likelihood of success for you with these tools I am going to take the liberty of offering you the List of Stressors in 3 segments. I find that if you can have a week or so to practice with the first few steps and then add a few more it all makes so much sense, it doesn’t seem at all overwhelming, you don’t get triggered into learned helplessness or all-or-nothing thinking and you actually use the tool a few times! 🙂 A few times is truly all it takes to begin to see major change in your head space, your emotions and your use of food to cope. It doesn’t have to be hard, remember? You just have to try.
When I’ve shared with you all of the steps over the next few weeks, I’ll post a full copy of the list of stressors handout for your to download so you can have it anywhere anytime. As always, feel free to share these tools with anyone anywhere, I just ask that you let them know where you got them. And feel free to forward the newsletter to as many people as you think would benefit from learning more about their own inner thought processes and their use of harmful coping strategies.
Okee dokee – let us begin!
The List of Stressors
Note: This process needs to be written down the first few times, not done in your head. Trust me. If you try to do it in your head, your Drill Sgt. and his all-or-nothing thinking will get in the way and you’ll end up feeling more stuck. When you write out a list of stressors, you will end the process feeling free and peaceful and will be able very soon to just do this process in your head automatically whenever you feel the slightest bit anxious – you won’t need to wait until you’re already overwhelmed and binging, purging or restricting to tune in and release yourself from the stress in your life.
For this week I encourage you to take the following steps towards complete and lasting freedom for eating disorders, dieting, and any other harmful coping strategy:
Notice when you are engaged in any of the following coping strategies:
- feeling that anxious (P.L.A.) feeling in your tummy; or
- a sinking/depressed feeling; or
- when you are restricting; or
- thinking about binging or purging; or
- you are in the middle of binging or purging; or
- have just finished; or
- hearing critical thoughts in your head; or
- wanting to isolate; or
- wanting to procrastinate; or
- having a bad body thought; or
- wanting to act out in anger (towards yourself or others).
These are all coping strategies. They are nothing in and of themselves. They are signposts, and they exist to let you know one thing and one thing only: You have needs that aren’t being met.
The proper response to noticing any of these cues is to take the following steps to seek to understand what needs have been triggered for you and what action you can take to meet that need in a way that enhances your self-esteem and all aspects of your life.
(And, if trying to be mindful of them all seems a tad overwhelming (as it did to me when I was first learning this process), just pick the one or two that you think will be easiest for you to notice – it will be enough, I promise)
- Whenever you catch yourself doing, thinking or feeling any of these things, acknowledge aloud: “I am kicking in to using one of my coping strategies and that absolutely, no exceptions, means I’m in all-or-nothing thinking. Every time!”
That’s it, that’s all for this week. I promise you if you keep trucking with your Drill Sgt. dialogue, your 4-7-8 (once or twice a day), and do these first 2 steps on the list of stressors, you’ll already notice a significant shift in your overall stress level and in your need for binging, purging, restricting, and any other harmful pattern.
Email with any questions or sharing about how you’re doing and we’ll add the next few steps next week. Practice these 2 steps to build a solid foundation for what is to follow. It will make a huge difference.
Have a great week.
Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC.
© Michelle Morand, 2010