Real or Emotional?
First off I want to distinguish between a real craving and an emotional craving. I say real and emotional as if an emotional craving isn’t real, so what I really mean is the difference between a chemical craving, something that’s based on a set of physiological processes, and an emotional craving, something that has no physiological system backing it up, something the body can get along fine without from moment to moment.
An addiction style craving (such as for drugs, alcohol or cigarettes) is not what I am aiming to deal with here. This type of craving will be affected by the tools I mention, but nearly always needs a more advanced form of therapy, and most frequently also needs a mixed methods approach, where chemical, behavioural and emotional issues are being dealt with.
An emotional craving is much easier to deal with, if a darn sight more prevalent!
I remember reading a good phrase some years ago about this, ‘If you’re hungry for emotions, no amount of food will satisfy you’.
Now I don’t know about you, but most of the time I feel a sense of let down after eating sweet food, especially when it comes on top of a meal. The only times I feel a definite need for sweet foods are immediately post training and during extended training sessions, long runs, mountain biking etc.
This may make sense if you think about the value of the calories you get from sweet, processed food. It’s very low. Food isn’t supposed to come without it’s accessory nutrients. Take table sugar for example; in the raw food you get a whole slew of vitamins and minerals, and vegetable pulp/indigestible matter that help your body make the most of the sugar that’s delivered at the same time. In table sugar you just get sugar, and your body has to divert energy and resources to process and use it.
But how to deal with these cravings?
Well, given that we’re talking about a feeling here, it makes good sense to have a tool or two that allows us to work with feelings!
So let’s use one:
Letting Go or Releasing….
Releasing is a very simple but powerful tool developed (in this format) by Lester Levinson. In its most simple form all you do is let go of what you’re feeling. Let’s look at how you do that.
- Think of something you crave or have a desire for.
- Notice that you feel that somewhere in your body (otherwise where would you feel it?!)
- Let go of that feeling by either putting a hole into it and letting it out of your body, or by allowing it to lose its boundaries and dissipate throughout your body until it drifts out of your skin and is totally gone.
Now, on it’s own this is a very powerful, if simple method. The key is consistency.