Oct 7, 2012 / 5:00 am
Our emotional state creates specific chemical messengers called peptides that allow our cells to communicate with one another. Every different peptide fits into a specific receptor site on the cell wall that is designed like a lock and key fit, releasing specific chemicals throughout our body. And just like any other chemical dependency, we can become addicted to specific emotions.
If we are used to feeling guilty or not good enough, indeed we will go out of our way to experience these feelings in order to create a feeling of “normalcy”.
And just like an addict needing a fix of their drug of choice, we quite unconsciously fall into thinking and feeling habits to feed the addiction, which allows us to stay within what we are chemically conditioned to, otherwise known as our “habit zone”.
And that’s where my story begins.
Like many of you, I have worked long and hard on healing old beliefs that do not support me anymore. This has - for the most part - curbed my appetite for specific peptides; especially the ones that cause feelings of inadequacy. However, every once in a while, I can get still get triggered.
In fact, this week I could feel myself bellying up to the all-you-can-eat, self-sabotaging buffet. The combination of a fabulous new opportunity, combined with a little bit of self doubt and stress created a ‘perfect storm’ to trigger the old familiar feeling of inadequacy.
It was enough of a negative “hit” to call on the entire cavalry of self-sabotaging thoughts and accompanying feelings into action. The self-doubt quickly escalated into the “I am not good enough” belief. That one got really messy and stubborn to let go of.
I decided that the best course of action to combat this chemical hit would be to go to the gym and work it off. But apparently the “I’m not good enough” receptors had not been fed enough yet. Unfortunately this manifested as an all out war in my head, which started with a wardrobe crisis.
Suddenly I had to look good to go and sweat at the gym. It seemed like every outfit that I normally wore didn’t look good on me and I felt fifty pounds heavier than normal – even though I weighed the same as usual. “How could I possibly go to the gym looking like this?!,” my addicted mind shouted at me.
“Enough, enough,” a healthier part of me reassured myself. “Just put something on and go out the door. Back slowly away from the mirror and do not look into it again.” But with one more peek and a disapproving look at myself in the mirror I was on my way. A part of me just wanted to stay home and indulge the negativity. And yet, somehow I forced myself out the door and into the car.
Suddenly I remembered what I would normally say to myself in moments of self-doubt, “In this moment, how can I love myself even more?”
Oh, how my brain did not want to indulge in this thought. Nevertheless I stayed with it and eventually won the battle. In that very moment I decided to focus on the many blessings in my life, along with my accomplishments, and generated feelings of gratitude and love.
By the time I arrived at the gym I had done a 180 in attitude and feeling, along with a new understanding of how addictive a negative feeling can be. If mental noise somehow burned off calories, surely I would be an Olympic athlete.
Annie Hopper is a Limbic System Rehabilitation Specialist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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