Points to Remember
All of you are seeing change occurring week to week. Whether it is simply more awareness of your behaviour, or your negative self talk, or it's a bigger change such as a reduction or a stopping of a particular negative behaviour, change is occurring, and you have all experienced small successes since commencing this process, so well done to all of you. Remind yourself of these small steps each time you feel wobbly.
We discussed goal setting and the importance of setting a realistic, achieveable goal:
- Do not link the goal to either weight loss or direct food behaviour
- Find a better motivator for the goal - e.g. I will exercise this week. Not to lose weight, but to feel good about myself and begin to improve my health.
- Use the Goal Setting page to test out your goal and your realistic chances of achieving it. If you are not going to achieve it, then CHANGE THE GOAL. YOU are not the problem, the GOAL is. It's simply not a good goal for you.
- Remember it is as important to feed back to the group about failures, as it is to tell everyone about success, this is how we all learn from each other and get better at setting good goals.
Emotions About the Past & Present
We discussed last night the fact that everyone is experiencing a heighening of emotion. This is normal during a group process such as ours. Please ensure you have a couple of strategies to give yourself time and space to reflect on the thoughts you are having, sit with them if you can, and you may find writing things down helpful. A half an hour in an epsom salts bath can be just as therapeutic as a walk or a chat. Add six drops of lavender oil for a really relaxing experience, I find this helpful for having a good night's sleep.
Writing is very therapeutic. Our brains do not differentiate between talking and writing, the effect is the same, a release. So if you can talk to someone, please do so. If not, then write down how you are feeling, or the memories you are currently remembering. Remind yourself that you have the support of the group and somewhere to bring your experiences to, where there is support and encouragement. Keep a notebook with you, and particularly beside the bed, it can be helpful to write things down before bed, then give yourself permission to stop thinking about them, because you have recorded them and can go back to them later. You might also find you are having more vivid or unusual dreams, this is also common during a therapeutic process, and you might also want to write them down.
Points to Remember
Time is not always simply chronological, a span of time, for example "now", includes anything from the past that is still influencing you or not yet resolved, it is not yet "in the past". "Now" also includes your future, worries, hopes, plans, dreams.
Unfinished business is important to attend to. Imagine you are carrying around a large suitcase full of your unfinished business. The suitcase doesn't have wheels, it's pretty difficult to carry, and it's getting in the way of you getting on with your life.
We can never truly get rid of our 'baggage', but we can find easier ways to carry it. Processing it, and thereby reducing it down, may mean it now fits in a small back pack, easy to carry and not getting in your way. Still with you, but not interfering in your day to day life any more.
Think about how the painting exercise made you feel. As well as the actual feelings your pictures brought up, think about how you felt painting the picture, how you felt just as you had finished painting and handed the brush back, and even how you felt walking out of the room without your picture. Was this a useful exercise for you? If it was, how might you be able to use this experience for yourself again? If it wasn't, why not? Were you ready to paint your picture? Were you surprised at what you painted? What else happened for you?
Remember to take care of yourselves during this process. Identify and use strategies that help you cope better with painful feelings. Remember the support of the group, you are all there for each other.
Emma Murphy, Counsellor/Psychotherapist
All Affirmations Emotional Eating Emotions About The Past & Present Externalising Food Pyramid Goals Goal Setting Medical Complications Of Eating Disorders Negative Messages From Childhood Negative Self Talk Painting Exercise Therapeutic Writing Unfinished Business