Constantly Craving

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Food spagettiWhen it comes to food, cravings can be your body telling you what you really need.  So why does my body keep craving chocolate you may ask?

Is it that I’m craving the deeply nutritious cocoa bean?  Maybe and maybe not.  There are also psychological cravings associated with food (and any other thing we crave).

Perhaps ask yourself “What is it I really want (or need) right now?”.  You may find when you are walking around like a zombie looking for chocolate that what you are really looking for is a hug or maybe you are exhausted and looking for some quick energy.  Take notice of what is happening in your life at that moment and with practise you will be able to gauge what it is you are really looking for.  Then try and satisfy the real need.

If you are looking for energy, water or a nap usually helps with that.  If you are looking for a hug, get one or phone someone who will lift your spirits.  If you have just had an argument you may crave the crunchiness of chips to assuage your anger but what you really need is some resolution of the issue or someone to talk to.

By the way I’m not telling you not to eat chocolate or whatever it is you are wanting to eat, that’s not my job and anyway I don’t believe in forbidden foods.  What I am saying is look at what the emotional trigger is behind your cravings and work with that.  If you have many unresolved issues and food is your vice you will most likely find yourself running towards the fridge or corner café several times a day even if you are not hungry.

Another reason why cravings can be so hard to deal with is that they are also aggravated by the chemical response.  For example:  carbohydrates and cheese together reacts with the pleasure centre of the brain.  Therefore if you don’t enjoy your job or school, you will find yourself craving toasted cheese sandwiches, pizza or pasta every afternoon when you get home*.   This becomes something that your body starts to crave whenever you need a boost of pleasure.  There are other ways to get a similar boost for example exercise or a warm bath also reacts with pleasure chemicals in the brain.

Whatever your craving is, it’s never a simple thing to just ignore it.  After all we are designed that way.  I think cravings aren’t meant to be ignored but addressed instead.  If you work at resolving the underlying issue, maybe you’ll only crave the particular food now and then instead of every day.

With love
Eve

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*Doreen Virtue wrote a book called Constant Cravings which gives more details about this if you are interested.

Note: I have only discussed food cravings here but all cravings such as smoking or alcohol can be addressed.  Obviously the chemical hold of nicotine, alcohol and other drugs are very strong and need a lot of intervention.

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Rummaging through the Jumble

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clutter minimalismDo you ever feel like you have nothing to wear yet you have plenty of clothes?  It’s probably because you have too many clothes and a lot of them you don’t really like or don’t wear for various reasons.  Why keep these things?

Have you noticed that when your home is cluttered, your world feels a bit overwhelming too?  I think it’s because our home, cupboards, car, handbags etc. often mirror part of our lives.

It’s no surprise then that when we declutter we feel lighter.

Have you heard yourself saying “I will need it someday” – but do you ever get to use it?  I’ve found that when I need that “thing” I’ve been saving for all these years, I can’t find where I put it anyway and then land up buying a new one.

How does clutter make you feel?  When I look at my clutter I feel uncomfortable and restless.

When you introduce new items into your life, you immediately associate value with these items, making it harder for you to give them up in the future. This psychological connection to things is what leads to the accumulation of stuff.*

When you see various parts of your home that are cluttered, ask yourself why you are keeping these things.  What are you holding on to?  It can be very difficult to let go of our possessions.  There’s apparently a place in our brain that lights up when we experience the pain of letting go of the things we own.*

Give the clutter a name.  When you look at the pile of stuff or the wardrobe that is too congested, give a name to it.  e.g. Chaotic, busy, overloaded, stuck, ugly, messy etc.  Do those words conjure up parallels in your own life?

What am I getting to here?  Perhaps just to be aware that our clutter is more than just a pile of stuff, it has emotional connections too.  You may even be holding on to old emotional baggage.  An idea would be to look at what you can let go of and see if you feel lighter and more free when you do.

With love
Eve

*Mikael Cho, How clutter affects your brain and what you can do about it.