As humans we all experience unwanted urges. Overeating, overdrinking, over-drugging, over-spending, gambling and many more are all unwanted urges. Often, we act on these urges as a way to help ourselves feel better instead of facing an uncomfortable thought, situation or person. This is called buffering. I remember in a past career my boss told me she could always tell what kind of day I was having based on the number of candy bars (2-5) that I ate every day. Eating those candy bars felt like something I had to do. I hadn’t learned to manage my thinking, so I ate to feel better.
Sometimes humans use sex to buffer. As survivors of sexual abuse, it is common that we got mixed messages about sex. Some of us are not comfortable with sex at all, while others of us associate sex with feeling loved and we use sex as a way to escape and feel better (buffering).
No matter whether it is food, sex or something else, using anything to help us avoid discomfort, to buffer (escape and feel better) puts the urges in charge of our life and doesn’t give us the results we want. Urges feel “urgent”. When we respond to an urge, our brain gets a reward, a hit of dopamine and we perpetuate a thought error cycle. It seems like something we are powerless to change. But we’re not! We can stop the thought error cycle and put ourselves back in charge creating the results we want.
Here are some questions to help you explore your urges and decide how to take your power back from these urges.
- What exactly does an urge feel like when it first appears?
- What does it feel like when you try to resist the urge?
- What does it feel like when you act and “obey” the urge?
- If an urge is caused by a thought error, what is your most common thought error that causes this urge?
- What would the process of allowing (experiencing) this urge without resisting or acting on it be like for you? How would your thoughts change? How would your feelings change? How would your actions change? How would your results change?
- What is the skill you would need to develop to allow, instead of resisting or reacting to, this urge? Describe this skill in detail.
- How would this skill serve you in other areas of your life?
If you would like help dealing with unwanted urges, simply schedule a free complimentary coaching session with me at: www.CindysCalendar.com