The goal to taking care is to supplement your own therapeutic self-care and nurturant activities to promote the release of endogenous opioids and oxytocin in order to be able to enhance your brains emotional system to overcome panic, grief, and separation distress. Social isolation induced psychic pain is one syndrome but the panic emotional system leads to depression and all of its many variations and to that chronic sense of aloneness. All of your emotional needs that have not been met can be much more distressing than anything bad that has ever happened.
A lot of people talk about anxiety and depression and these emotions begun to be an umbrella term that includes many many things. However, there is very little discussion about the underlying fear circuitry and the internal feeling of tension, that leads to a persistent negative affect. There are two distinct types of these underlying processes; the panic attack itself is to do with the feeling of disconnections from the comforts of the everyday, the sense of security falls away in a kind of momentary emotional storm. The fear system kicks in, to the anticipatory anxiety of another unpredictable panic attack, and that cycle then leads to becoming chronically anxious.
The chronically anxious have a tendency to turn towards food (as well as other substances and behaviors) in order to alter consciousness for comfort and anxiety reduction. It is then that we turn to carbohydrates, salt and fats. Bulimics have a tendency to binge on wheat, which triggers opioid like reactions. The foods we crave provide chemical reactions and it is important to be able to understand your own unique craving profile, to be able to interpret the food that you crave, the time of day that you crave it, and find substitutes. Because we are looking for attachment we have a tendency to turn towards foods that remind us of a certain time in our life or foods that we identify and link to people we have loved and lost or special times such as holidays or celebrations.
The key to the principle of substitutions is to find an alternative food that has the same effect as the foods that you crave, only these foods need to be foods that function with a slow up take of glucose that give energy, and provide a sense of focus, such as protein and dopamine rich coffee In order to provide comfort and reduce anxiety, mix fats and proteins with the carbohydrates not just carbohydrates, in order to optimize nourishment that brings balance to the body, mind and spirit.
In order to be able to provide comfort and overcome the fear system, substitutions are about substituting the happiness provided by gorging on carbohydrates, fats and salts and instead substituting that feeling of happiness generated, with other active expressions of happy movements. These substitutions are to do with redirection strategies such as physical exercise, meditative mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, and turning towards authentic foods that are low glycemic anti-inflammatory, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, foods free of refined sugars and grains, with no synthetic preservatives, food colouring, and are minimally processed. Whole foods that are nutrient dense and freshly prepared, both raw or cooked provide those same feelings of happiness, attachment and self-care.
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