Using the Emotion Code to Eliminate Unhelpful Self-Soothing Patterns
We all have stressors in our lives. At times, things can even feel relentlessly overwhelming. And with stress, even if we don’t realize it, we have a way of self-soothing. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves engaging in self-soothing activities that hurt us, rather than help us in the long run. So how can we identify these patterns and what can we do to gain control of these behaviors? We’ll explore these questions below.
But first, what is self-soothing? By definition, “‘Self-soothing’ refers to any behavior an individual uses to regulate their emotional state by themselves. Self-soothing behaviors are often developed in the early years of life, are repetitive/habitual in nature, and are often viewed by a child or adolescent as calming or comforting. Self-soothing behaviors are identifiable across the lifespan” (Kaelan Jones, 2020). When we recognize these patterns in adulthood, we then have to reevaluate if these comforting behaviors are productive in calming our nervous system or if it’s harmful to our overall well-being.
For those who may have a bad relationship with food, we might identify unhelpful self-soothing practices in emotional eating. Whether it’s eating for comfort even when we’re not hungry, overeating after we’re full, hiding and indulging in an entire collection of candy, or riding a sugar high from our favorite treats, these are just a few examples of how we can use food to self-soothe. The first step to moving toward a healthier life is just recognizing patterns that are holding you back.
If you’re thinking, “How can I identify these patterns?”, here are a few reflection questions to ask yourself:
- What do I instinctively move toward when I’m stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed? (Do I immediately want to grab my phone? Bite my nails? Reach for food? etc.)
- Is there any behavior that feels excessive in nature? (Have I felt sick or sluggish from eating too much? How often?)
- Does my go-to pattern make me feel guilty, embarrassed, or shameful instead of calm and relaxed?
Maybe you have unwanted patterns that you immediately recognize. Regardless, once you’ve identified an unwanted behavior, you can then take steps to eliminate it. Take my client Carrie, for example. We worked with her unconscious patterns using the Emotion Code and saw amazing results. She says, “I used to be a pretty ravenous emotional eater. Sometimes I recognized the pattern but often I grabbed food without thinking. Now I have a handle on emotional eating. I don’t feel like food controls me as much as it did. And, I am making a conscious decision before reaching for food. Juanita helped me tackle long-standing issues, not just emotional eating but my addiction to food. I loved the fact that I was able to release so much in the sessions. We uncovered many things from the past that were triggering my eating behaviors. Juanita is very easy to talk to, she is open and supportive and she makes it easy for you to have amazing results.”
It’s my goal to help others have the same success that Carrie has had, as well as so many clients just like her! If you want to explore the Emotion Code as a way of stepping into a new, healthier life, contact me today to schedule your complimentary 20-minute strategy session. I can’t wait to take this life-changing journey with you.