Part 2 - We overindulge to avoid feeling bad.
In Part 1, I showed you how we overindulge to amplify good feelings. The problem this creates is that it associates feeling good with whatever you overindulge with.
So, when we are faced with situations that we are NOT looking forward to we set the stage for overindulgence.
Everyone reading this has some event coming up in the next 30 days that they are not looking forward to.
Mine is my wife's work Christmas party.
I don't know anyone, I have thoughts about her boss, and I'm very particular in how I use my time and who I hang out with.
So what I do is I start to overthink. I play out the evening, I focus on the worst case scenario, and I focus on the ways I can avoid going.
This overthinking helped to crank up my anxiety and stress. I get worked up ahead of time and my mind would look for anything to create an escape.
And for me that's wine.
For you it may be sweets, junk food, drugs, or extra helpings.
So what is the solution?
1. Stop overthinking about the event(s)
This is 100% up to you. The more you dwell on it the more power you give to the negative feelings it creates.
2. Plan ahead of time
Think about the reasons that you are going. Is it to support your wife? Is it because you love your grandparents?
3. Practice Empathy
You are not the only one who has a story. 99% of all the people in the world are NOT sociopaths. People at parties are not out to get you, embarrass you, or try to hurt your feelings. So stop making it all about you. The odds are good that the reason someone made that comment about your drinking is because they are concerned.
So here's a tactic that I use regularly to help me anticipate and prepare for these maybe not so exciting events.
>>> Make a list of the positive.
Strike up a conversation with that strange uncle. Think of a game you can play with the kids.
>>> Ask questions.
Ask someone what their favorite hobby as a kid was. If you're spending time thinking of others you're not thinking about you and your insecurities.
If you need more support during this season reach out to me for a consult on how we can work together to make this season truly festive!