This was one of the EBT (Emotional Brain Training) Cycles that I did that really shifted me in my ability to love myself, a key ingredient in softening the wires of addiction.
Basically one of the main things that EBT accomplishes is teaching you how to speak kindly to yourself. One would think it should be easy to “think positive” or “not beat up on yourself”, but even when you understand the concept and the importance of this, it can take training and practice to really get the habit.
So, as you may remember from a previous blog or teleclass, the Cycle tool is a key tool in EBT to help you retrain the brain to process stress in a healthy way.
You start by stating the Situation, just the facts, no feelings. Then you state what you are angry, sad, afraid, and guilty about in that order, ending up with an Unreasonable Expectation (UE) that you can turn around in to a more Reasonable Expectation (RE). You grind that RE in to rewire the circuits in the emotional brain.
For instance, here’s the Cycle I did after falling off the wagon a couple of weeks ago….
It is a “Short Cycle”, just bare bones. A good Cycle can take 10, 20 or even 40 minutes. But you can do them in as little as 2 minutes too. I was in a stessed-out rush, so this was one of those Super-Short Cycles. I had alotted myself 1 minute! — How generous I am with myself!
The Situation is I feel like an idiot.
I’m angry that…..I took time out from my overwhelming workload by going to really junky foods.
I’m angry that….I didn’t try not to.
I’m angry that…I didn’t need to.
I’m angry that….I didn’t get saved any celery soup or berries.
I feel sad that….I look bad.
I feel sad that….I didn’t shower.
I feel sad that….I didn’t run.
I feel sad that….I didn’t take time for the kids
I feel afraid that….I’m hurting my body
I feel afraid that….I’m stressing out my kids
I feel guilty that….I take time out for sneaking junky treats
I feel guilty that….I don’t take time out for prayer or check-ins instead
I feel guilty that….I’m just reacting
I feel guilty that….I’m not using my EBT tools
I feel guilty that….I’m not journaling, checking-in, being compassionate
I feel most guilty that….I’m giving up (not having faith, not living in love)
live in love
have made OJ/eaten mandarines
not give up
UE…..It is Unreasonable to Expect (UE) that….I would be able to have faith when I am stressed, not looked out for, in midst of financial issues, going through major changes, not having time to exercise or enough sleep, need to clean my house, need to be there for Yarrow, need to do so many things.
RE….It is Reasonable to Expect (RE) that….I will not change overnight….that I’m using food for time out, comfort, soothing, security, and pleasure, and to focus and as a stimulant. It is Reasonable I can have compassion for myself right now and I can do more check-ins and use the Damage Control tool next time.
Grind-ins…..(repeat now 20x, and then often throughout the day as needed)
1. I can have compassion for myself when I abuse food
2. I can accept myself as I am
The “I can accept myself as I am” Grind-in popped me to a Brain State “1” (Joy) right away. It was the first time I had done a Cycle and felt that “pop”, which is what Cycles are supposed to do. I instantly felt a huge weight fall off of me. I CAN accept myself as I am!!! What an amazing possibility!
I’ve been using this Grind-in frequently and it must have hit the nail on the head as far as being exactly what I needed to hear from myself, because my addiction wires have been softening. I’m able to negate them. I can see where keeping this up, especially if I fall off the wagon again, will lead to the wires eventually simply dissolving.
Over time it shifts to “I DO accept myself as I am”, “I accept and love myself as I am”. But the brain can’t accept something so far from where we are in the moment. So “I can accept myself as I am” is a stepping stone to that.
Doing the Grind-in is much more powerful to me than an affirmation out of the blue. The Grind-in is exactly what you most need to hear right now. You found it through deep inquiry in to your own emotions in the moment.
It has meaning for you, and rather than forcing yourself to believe something, you are gently introducing new possibilities to your brain.
If this work resonates with you, you can find out more here: http://JoyFoodsDiet.com