We all know what it is.
There’s very mild fear, exciting fear (amusement park fear) and there’s horrifying fear.
Some of us are fans of the first type of fear while others are not, but none of us really enjoy the second type of fear, when the volume is turned up to a ten on the emotional level.
I used to be so against fear, I’d do anything to set the world up so I wouldn’t feel it. Including not leave my house.
The problem is, something wise within knows you can’t ever be guaranteed to be “safe” if you define safety as not feeling strong emotions, not feeling threatened, and not every getting sick, hurt, or dying.
All those things will happen. They mostly already have.
And why is fear so very important to study when it comes to our strange or off-balance eating behavior?
Because it’s present more often than we realize when we eat in ways that don’t feel peaceful. Fear, in many forms. It could be anxiety, worry, upset, nerves, discomfort–large or small.
It arises out of our fearful thoughts about eating (and really about life).
Fear-inducing thoughts go like this:
- I’ll never get to eat this again
- I might be hungry later
- I’ll miss out on something pleasurable
- I’m too fat
- Stopping is sad, disappointing
- I don’t want to think about “x” and I will think about it if I stop eating
- Thinness isn’t safe
- The world is a dangerous place
- people can hurt me
- I need more sweetness in my life–this moment is sour
- there’s no easy way to find rest
- I hate that there’s no guaranteed safety
- I have to store for a “rainy day” (bad things happening)
- I am not safe
- If I stop eating, I’ll have to do things I don’t want to do
- I need to grab it while I can–pleasure is scarce
These are thoughts distilled down to basic commentary in the mind we have going about food, eating and our bodies.
And they don’t feel good.
But here’s the good news: they’re not even true.
That’s why they’re creating FEAR in the first place!
Step One: look and see the fear. Become aware of how your thinking is creating a sensation or experience, no matter how small and fleeting, of fear.
When we question our thinking, we can see other ways of thinking and being with food that aren’t threatening.