Managing Emotion-Triggered Impulses

A few days ago, I was upset about some coworkers on my team getting back late from lunch which meant I couldn’t go to lunch on time. I had to go to lunch nearly 30 minutes later than usual. I don’t eat breakfast. That’s my thing. Lunch is very important to me. After I left for lunch and ate, I was still frustrated. Not just at my team but with work in general. I’d also had some other mild anxieties roaming round in my head I just needed a break from all of it, but I couldn’t leave work. I took out my journal and wrote during lunch that day. Here’s an excerpt:

“I want comfort. I’m glad I’m here at the page instead of down at the food truck or at the vending. I don’t want to eat for comfort but it feels like my brain is starving for it right now. The frustration I feel wont go away after I eat, it will just be dulled while I’m eating. I’ll be distracted. I’ll regret it. I’ll be mad at myself for being weak then try and tell myself not to be too hard on myself.

This is an opportunity to serve my body, not just my mind. My body has a voice and so often I don’t listen. I let the brain’s voice take over because the body doesn’t “think” right?

The body knows itself better than the brain. The body had no sub-conscious. It does not hide things from us. It screams and sings when we listen and when we don’t. With the body, there’s a tangible breaking point.

The brain is a Matryoshka doll. Each doll holds a part of you. As a child, we can see all of our dolls/selves and they are complete and visible. As we age, we are taught to hide certain selves. Our brain learns to do this on its own, requiring no conscious thought, hiding parts of us we didn’t know were there.

Prying them open is hard, painful, and releases trauma. Most people need a professional for this. I did. The brain is so good at smoothing out the seams. The body can burst them open. Sometimes it takes trauma to the body to recognize trauma in the mind. It doesn’t have to get to that point, if we listen to our bodies. We’ll recognize the brain and body may not be in sync and there we start to work on why.

Listen to you body as you would your brain.”

I did not pacify my emotions with food. That was a win for that moment. I continued to write about what was really bothering me and worked to come to terms with those feelings.

In the moment, its hard to stop your id in its ravenous tracks, reflect, and make a conscious choice. That’s best way to grow. It’s a lot hard after the fact, when your belly is full and your mind is drunk.

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