The way you grew up shaped your relationship with your own body and your psyche. The emotional contexts from your childhood interact with your temperament which in turn created your personality traits. These traits are not fixed, instead they are coping mechanisms that you have acquired along the way, and the difficulty with these coping mechanisms is that we keep applying them even when it is they no longer work. We don't learn new coping mechanisms unless we are told about a new way to cope.
The brain does not hear ‘stop’ or ‘don’t’. So just being told to ‘stop that’ or ‘don't do that’ means the exact opposite. So basically when we talk about your coping we are talking about how you have responded to your environment, and this response has set up a pattern of behaviours that you have developed to ensure your survival. As such, what we are really talking about is habitual defence mechanisms that you have unconsciously adopted, and because they have been unconsciously adopted we actually identify with them as indispensable, that we can’t actually be any other way because we identify them as a part of who it is that we are. We can actually harbour self-loathing for these adopted traits.
When needs are unmet, when we come across lack, we have a tendency to develop obsessive coping styles, underlying which is anxiety. The base line of anxiety is either pain or fear or both and when a person gets in touch with this sense of lack, these unmet needs, they also experience a stress on the system. We develop desperate responses to emotional deprivation and these responses are our coping styles.
Stress eating is a coping style, it is a response to your environment in order to ensure survival. Emotional repression is also a coping style. It is a conditioning learned along the way that negative emotions need to be hidden and eating is a way to hide them, it is a way to ensure survival. Food=Love. It is a way to self-sooth when there is no one to talk to, no one to meet those unmet needs, the behaviour becomes repeated and multiplied, harming your bodies natural homeostasis and because it is unconscious, it becomes habitual, a constant defence against self-loathing, a constant defence against anxiety.
Are you a silent sufferer? Do you have an intense need to please? Do you care for yourself, or do you care for everybody but yourself? Do you find that you need to control everything? Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?
Or do you go the other way and give up easily? Feeling like it is hopeless anyway? Joining in with what others are doing and then blaming them for your inability to have your needs met? Are you stressed and depressed? Physically ill?
These are lifelong patterns of repression.
When you were a child and you felt sad, upset, or angry, was there anyone you could talk to? Even when the only one you could talk to was the person that triggered your negative emotions?
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