Posts Tagged coping strategies

Positive and Negative Coping Strategies – Video Format

This week we have a new video for you of Dawn Cox going over Positive and Negative coping strategies with students at Camosun College in Victoria during a lesson on Eating Disorders. It is a good, quick review  with examples of each.  Dawn reminds us of how important it is to recognize strategies for what they are and set yourself up with lots of positive coping strategies that you can rely on in your ‘tool box’, so you don’t end up using food or other negative coping strategies. “Coping Strategies reviewed by Dawn Cox, CEDRIC Eating Disorder Counsellor for Victoria” Enjoy the Video!

Posted in: 2012

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Complete Recovery – Step 6

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3, 3 1/2, Step 4, Step um, I dunno…, and Step 5. Step 6: More of the List of Stressors – Your simple key to freedom! Hello All, Continuing on with the theme from the past 6 weeks – here we go with more on the 3 core tools for complete and lasting recovery. My gift to you! I do hope you’re taking advantage of this opportunity to begin to explore these tools and see how they can benefit your life in all areas. If you’ve tried them once or twice and noticed subtle shifts, even for a moment, just imagine how profound those shifts will be once you have more familiarity and trust in these tools to alleviate any stressful thoughts and any need to use food to cope. If you can appreciate the power of these tools and want support to get “there” faster, just email or call and let us know – we’ll arrange a session for you or you can attend a workshop or join our web program. All are fabulous ways to create a life that is completely free from food and body image stress. Last week I shared the first two steps and urged/encouraged/begged you to explore them before you went on to this week’s steps. I hope you did. But if not, just pick up with this week and if it feels like it’s not clicking, just let it be okay to go back to last week and do that for a day or two – it will suffice. Then come back to this week’s assignment and you’ll be good to go! I’ve added the first steps that I shared with you last week here so you can see the flow of the process more clearly. So, if you’re savvy with the first 2 steps skip to 3, otherwise, take a mo’ and read them over before moving on – not a bad idea for us all to be repeatedly reminded of the basics. So, encourage yourself to take 10 minutes each day to work down to step 5. Next week, I’ll share the last few steps with you and you’ll be good to go!  I really want to hear from you about your experience with these steps, particularly if you’re having a challenging time identifying the all-or-nothing in your thinking (stories). This is to be expected and is nothing at all to judge in yourself – we all struggle initially with separating the fact from the fiction, and that’s what I and my staff are here for. List of Stressors Handout: Note: This process needs to be written down the first few times, not done in your head. 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. 1. Notice when you are engaged in any of the following coping strategies:
  1. feeling that anxious (P.L.A.) feeling in your tummy; or
  2. a sinking/depressed feeling; or
  3. when you are restricting; or
  4. thinking about binging or purging; or
  5. you are in the middle of binging or purging; or
  6. have just finished; or
  7. hearing critical thoughts in your head; or
  8. wanting to isolate; or
  9. wanting to procrastinate; or
  10. having a bad body thought; or
  11. 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 one or two to be on the lookout for – it will be enough, I promise. 2. When you notice any of those thoughts, feelings or behaviours kicking in just 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!” 3. Ask yourself: “Just prior to me feeling that sinking feeling or kicking in to the coping strategy of binging and purging, what just happened or what was I just thinking that might be stressing me out?  Invite yourself to make a note of the first 3 things that come to mind. If you’re drawing a blank or you are absolutely convinced that the only thing that’s stressing you out is food and/or your weight, trust me, it isn’t! And try this: Consider the Matrix – past, present, and future – not just what is apparent to you in this moment. Ask yourself : “What was I just thinking about from my past or what might I have just been imagining in my future that could have triggered stress for me?” Write down your answers (these are your stressors). If you still struggle to find an answer (and you may as you’ve likely been disconnected from your emotions and thoughts for some time), try this: Write down all of the key roles you have in your life (daughter, partner, individual, professional, volunteer, student, etc.) and identify the things that you are or aren’t doing in those areas that you have judgement of (things you should/shouldn’t be doing). Allow yourself to identify your stressors using the tools above and just write one or two words to name them. This should be point form, bullets, not sentences at this point. We’re just getting out on paper a simple list of all the topic headings that may be triggering unmet needs and leading you to use one of the coping strategies above. 4. Now, for each one of your stressors ask yourself: “What is the story that I’m telling myself about this?” Ie.What should/shouldn’t be happening? What should or shouldn’t I or others have done? Where should or shouldn’t I be? Etc. etc. 5. For each story/stressor ask yourself is there any all-or-nothing thinking in this story? (ie. can I formulate that story as a “should” statement?). If you’re not sure, or if the story feels true, just add “and that means” to the end of each statement in #4 and see what comes up – is there any all-or-nothing thinking in that story? Circle or put a mark beside the stories that are all-or-nothing. Take some time each day with these steps, I urge you, and you’ll notice a big difference in your overall anxiety and your urgency to use food to cope. Have a fabulous week! Love The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand 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

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery

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How to Avoid Having “THE” Conversation

conversationOkay, for starters, we all know intuitively what “THE” Conversation means. It’s that big, heavy, sit-down convo that you avoid like the plague. You’ll try every other angle to get the point across and get your needs met before having “the” conversation, and if they all fail you might still not actually do the deed. If you’re anything like most folks who use food to cope or other harmful coping strategies, before you actually approach someone directly about an issue you’re having with them, you’ll try:
  • Hinting about what you want;
  • Making jokes;
  • Using sarcasm;
  • Talking to others in the loop about it, in the hopes that they will have “the” conversation or that at least it will get back to that person how you’re feeling and you won’t have to tell them yourself;
  • Avoiding the person;
  • Using body language like eye rolls or lack-of -eye contact, and crossed arms to let the person know you’re not a fan of something that they are doing;
  • The silent treatment (simply ignoring them);
  • Using a particular tone with them designed to get them to ask, “What’s up? Have I done something?” Depending on the issue, the tone may range from disappointed, to frustrated, to downright contemptuous.
The only problem is, all of these techniques will fail if the other person is either unwilling to accept responsibility for their behaviour or if they just don’t know that they are doing something to upset or offend you. Unfortunately, this is usually the case. That’s because people typically don’t engage in behaviours that they know consciously offend or upset other people. Don’t get me wrong. People definitely do play head games at times but usually that behaviour is pretty easy to spot, and I do believe that those folks that are intentionally messing with our minds are fewer and farther between than you may imagine. The truth is, the person who is frustrating you or hurting your feelings or downright scaring you with their behaviour or demeanor, is very likely completely unaware that they are having that impact. They are very likely working from a perception of themselves that puts their behaviour in the best light, where, at least to them, it makes perfect sense and is completely acceptable. So, imagine their shock when you sit down with them and have “THE” convo! If you’ve tried the techniques listed above to try and give them the message prior to “the” conversation, you are likely to be sitting across from someone who is less than comfortable with you because you’ve been behaving a little weird or downright standoffishly, but they don’t know why. You’re also far more likely to elicit a defensive reaction (a closed mind or an angry retort) when the person is, in their mind, hearing about your problem with them for the first time in a fairly intense way. From your perspective in this situation, you’ve tried to give them the message, they haven’t got it, so you have to have the big sit-down. From your perspective you may be sad or feel hard-done-by should the recipient of “THE” conversation not appreciate your “patience”, “maturity”, and overall intention (to avoid conflict at all costs and to not upset the other person) and instead become angry and defensive. This dynamic is the reason that most people avoid “THE” conversation like the plague. It’s not that sitting down with someone to resolve issues is actually that big a deal when certain basic steps are followed, it’s just that most people who use food to cope are scared to death of letting anyone know that they have a need and so resist or avoid taking care of issues as they arise in favour of the magical thinking that, if they wait long enough, they may just…..go away.  And often they’re scared to admit to having needs because they carry that old, annoying co-dependent training that says:
  • You are responsible for everyone else’s feelings and needs;
  • You are needy if you have needs;
  • You are only allowed to take care of yourself when everyone else is happy;
  • If someone is at all unhappy or even has the potential to be at all unhappy it’s because you’ve done something bad or wrong and that makes you a bad person.
Well, actually, none of those stories are true. That training is a pile of phooey folks. Trust me! Now, just imagine, sitting down to have “THE” conversation with someone when you’re coming from an adult, interdependent mindset that doesn’t believe those ridiculous stories, but instead believes:
  • You have a right to be treated with dignity and respect;
  • You are not responsible for others feelings and needs, you are only responsible for your own;
  • You have a responsibility, not just a right, to meet your own needs in all areas of your life;
  • You are “allowed” to ask for what you need and that does not make you at all bad or wrong or “needy.” In fact, a healthy, interdependent relationship demands that you communicate clearly about what you feel and what you need;
  • You have the tools you need to respectfully communicate to the other person involved what you need and how they can help meet that need if they are willing;
  • You know, in your heart, that if someone is unwilling or resistant to meeting, or even acknowledging your need, it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or your request, it only means that it doesn’t meet needs for them to meet your need;
  • You trust yourself to get your need met. As such, you have the space within you and within “THE” conversation to ask questions and to really listen to the other person’s perspective. You trust that you will not be overrun by guilt, blame, shame or anger but that you will hold steady, with grace and dignity, and that ultimately, you will find a way to have your need met, even if that means, as a last-ditch effort, leaving the relationship.
If you trusted in yourself to truly feel, think, and behave as listed above, how do you think you’d feel as you approached “THE” big conversation? Would it even feel like a big conversation? Would it have the same freaky connotations of failure, neediness and inviting anger and judgement?  Not likely. Rather, it’s far more likely that you would have spoken to this person in more direct and clear ways about the issue as it arose in relationship between you long before it ever got to the need for “THE” conversation. Chances are your sense of deservedness of healthy relationships and respectful interactions would have led you to simply and briefly speak to that person about their behaviour and its impact on your sense of trust, safety and respect with them the first time you felt a little uncomfortable with something they said or did, rather than waiting until you just couldn’t stand it anymore and were about to burst with frustration or walk away from the relationship. From that approach, your energy approaching a conversation is much lighter and usually more readily received by the other person. Remember, usually people have no clue that they’re doing something that is upsetting you. And if they do have clue that you’re a bit miffed about something, they usually don’t know specifically what to do differently to make you “un-miffed.” You are responsible for communicating to others about what you feel and what you need and about how the people in your life can meet your needs if they are willing. When you communicate directly and clearly about what you need you give others a chance to show you whether they are able and/or willing to meet your needs. This gives you direct and immediate feedback as to how much you can safely rely on this person and therefore whether they can be a dear and trusted friend, an acquaintance, or someone you keep at a good solid distance. There is much more to say on this topic so tune in next week for more about communication and some tips for attending to things before they get to the point where it feels like “THE” conversation is the only solution. Sometimes, no matter how well you handle something you still need to have “THE” conversation. But it’s much easier to approach it from a place of peace and security when you know you’ve done your due diligence and given the other person many reasonable opportunities to meet your needs. For this week, just notice where and with whom you’ve been avoiding having “THE” conversation and take a moment to ask yourself why. What are you telling yourself will happen?  Have you done your best to respectfully and clearly let that person know what you need and how, specifically, they could meet that need? Challenge yourself to approach your conversations and interactions with others this week from the adult interdependent mindset and just see what a phenomenal difference it makes! Have a fabulous week! Love michelle-signature Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with my 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.

Posted in: 2010, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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CEDRIC Client Testimonials

CEDRIC Client TestimonialsBy Tina Budeweit-Weeks, Ed. We want to share the feedback we get with our readers. Here is a little collection of the nice things people are saying about what the CEDRIC Centre is doing for them. In one of the comments, our process of achieving wellness is refered to as ‘slaying dragons’. Its kind of fun to think of the ‘Drill Sergeant’ as having scales and breathing fire. I think that with the continued influence of CEDRIC philosophy, people can start seeing the fillibustering roaring dragons for what they are, meek, tiny, feeble little energies that are out to get us. Hah! The first little write-up is from participants of our Phase II Weekend Workshops. “Thank you for making this opportunity available.  Coming together with other people that use food to cope is not only comforting but motivating.  You provided a platform where others like me could learn in parity, by sharing our stories, experiences and challenges.  This past weekend has not only given me further insight into myself as a person but has also left me feeling very inspired to be (as I am learning) the individual, wife, mom and friend I want and can be.  I look forward to continuing on this journey with you as my guide and support.  You are an incredible counselor, teacher and woman.  I cannot thank you enough.  L.” This next testimonial is much longer, but says so much that we wanted to share it with you in its entirety. (more…)

Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, The Law of Attraction, Tips for Natural Eating

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