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Guide Emotional Healing_Final

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>> Welcome back. In this lecture, we're going to explore a few strategies for healthy emotions. You may already use most, if not all, of the techniques I'm going to discuss today in your own way. The aim is for you to consider these with awareness and reflect on how to apply them. As a Health Coach, you can guide your clients toward finding their way of applying these techniques. Think of it as the bio-individuality of promoting healthy emotions. When it comes to coaching clients on emotional eating, helping them develop a more healthy relationship with food starts with helping them develop a more healthy relationship with their emotions, their emotions from the roots of the work. This is a radical departure from the typical way of dealing with things like using will power to change the way you eat in the hopes that this will lead to a change of emotions. As your clients, and perhaps even what you've experienced, this doesn't work. Will power isn't an infinite resource and it runs out. In elementary school, there was a group activity we played about going on a bear hunt. Did you ever play this game as a child? We would all sit in a circle and an adult would lead us on an imaginary bear hunt. For each obstacle that stood in our way, a stream, tall grass, and finally the bear cave, we chanted, "Can't go over it, can't go under it, have to go through it." When it comes to emotional healing, you have to go through it. As with many aspects of coaching, healing emotions is a lifelong process. There's no quick fix and there's no straight road. There's not even one general direction. Emotions constantly fluctuate. They push us forward and they send us back. This can create feelings of discomfort as a coach as you try to navigate intense emotions with clients. Luckily, coaching is supposed to be dynamic and experiential. Remember, perfection is overrated. You are a human just as your clients are. They need a coach who is authentic and can relate, not someone who's perfect. However, allow me to offer a few guideposts that can serve as a framework, both when working with clients and when healing your own emotions. Guidepost number one, create space for release. You've undoubtedly met people who keep their emotions well-guarded. You might call them stoic. You also met bleeding heart types who wear their emotions on their sleeves. Neither is better than the other. Everyone has different ways of feeling and expressing emotions. However, continually pushing emotions down and essentially locking them in rather than connecting with them and releasing them can take an emotional and physical toll. Emotions and emotional experiences stay with you if you don't allow space to process them. Chronic emotional eating often involves some degree of secrecy, for example, eating healthy foods with others and less healthy or forbidden foods when alone. Eating larger portions or strange combinations of foods when alone and hiding the evidence. This secrecy often goes hand in hand with guilt and shame around food choices and eating habits. Therefore, emotional eating isn't typically shared with anyone. As an IIN Health Coach, you might provide your clients with their first true opportunity to fully release their emotions. That means that setting the stage for safely exploring this difficult issue is critical. Creating a safe space for a wide range of emotional self-expression is built on openness, empathy, and nonjudgment. When supporting clients, it's okay to feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you aren't in the habit of releasing your emotions. But creating space for your own release helps you receive your clients' emotions more openly. Remember, we all need to be heard. Listening actively, giving permission to share, and practicing nonjudgment are three ways to create space for emotional release. As always, the best way to develop your skills and insight is to start with yourself and make sure you have your own sources of support and encouragement. That way, when you hold space for your clients, it's all about their release and their relief. They lead the dance and you're helping them recognize and unlock their potential for greater health and happiness. Guidepost number two, radical acceptance. Radical acceptance helps you end the fight against your emotions because only through acceptance can you begin to heal and work with those emotions. Radical acceptance means noticing through a completely nonjudgmental lens. It means trying to understand, and it means standing up to emotions that can hold you hostage. I know this sounds like a tall order, but I didn't say it was easy. None of this is easy. If it was, then none of your clients would be coming to you for help. Radical acceptance means understanding what we can and can't control by looking at the facts of the situation. It's the opposite of throwing your hands in the air when something undesirable happens, and saying, "Life is so unfair." Have you ever felt frustrated and said, "Why does this keep happening to me"? We all have. We get stuck in a distressing emotion without exploring how we arrived there. In other words, we pin our angst on an excuse that doesn't require deeper digging. For example, a client might say something like, "I keep binge-watching TV every night because I am stressed about work. My days are hard, and I deserve to relax." After all, it's easier to slap on a band-aid and revel in a self-pity party, right? Unfortunately, this leads away from the acceptance of our emotions, and therefore, away from how we might better understand them in order to take helpful steps forward. On the flipside, ruminating over emotions can work against us and leave us feeling stuck in an endless loop. Practicing radical acceptance means acknowledging the emotion and the situation that triggered it and then moving on. It means noticing when we shift into a fruitless gear and trying again via another mental route. Acceptance is about sitting with discomfort and then letting it go instead of fighting against it or mindlessly shutting it out. Affirmations, support groups, and focusing exercises can all help foster radical acceptance. Guidepost number three, learn to tolerate distress. Distress tolerance is basically another phrase for coping. How do you react when bad stuff happens? Do you let it get to you? Do you push it down? Do you bottle it up? Do you ignore it? We often respond to distress by resisting it. We label it as not good and can do anything we can to get rid of it. Compulsive eating is often a substitute for distress tolerance. It's choosing to do something other than feeling what's going on in the now. But distress affects everything from personal relationships to digestion. Learning to move with distress rather than against it helps us. Sometimes this involves simply remembering that not every day has to be a good day. The meaning of life isn't to feel good all the time. It's okay to have bad days or to experience discomfort. This is part of the human experience. And when we try to create a life without it, we're not fully living. It's also not practical or realistic to constantly dodge your feelings. It's like when you try to remove an air bubble from a sticker, and it pops up elsewhere. You may escape the discomfort at first but you'll find that discomfort eventually arises like the stomachache that comes at the bottom of a gallon of ice cream. Tolerating distress requires seeing an element of choice and how you respond. It means choosing to respond to difficult emotions by sitting with them. Developing an internal locus of control, the belief that you have control over your choices and your life empowers you to cope. In contrast, an external locus of control, the belief that external factors run the show, keeps you feeling powerless and thus makes it more difficult when life throws you a curveball no matter how small. Consider again phrases like, "Why does this always happen to me?" Or "The cake just called to me." Shifting to an internal locus of control empowers you. Things don't happen to you, you respond to them. The cake doesn't force you to eat it. You choose to eat the cake. You put yourself at the forefront and you take center stage as the protagonist. It's all about you. Guidepost number four, develop self-healing coping skills. Consider creating space for emotions. Accepting emotions and learning to tolerate emotions as the ground work steps leading up to this final guidepost. Laying that ground work helps you develop coping strategies that work for rather than against you. Having specific tools that support a healthier mindset leave you better equipped in a more tangible way. We've included an Emotional Toolkit handout for you to use yourself and with clients, so check it out. Here are a few coping strategies for your Emotional Toolkit. Crowd out, crowding out means focusing on adding in more relaxing nourishing moments rather than removing unpleasant emotions. Have you ever tried to force yourself not to think about something? Yeah, that doesn't really work, does it? As an alternative, try coping with anxiety in the moment by counting to 100 or practicing diaphragmatic breathing. Some people like to take a warm bath while others like to work out angst with feel good exercise. It's all about finding what works for you. Create distance from your emotions. Creating distance helps you observe emotions with nonjudgment and see them as outside yourself. You are not your emotions. Journaling can provide a physical space for externalizing them. Another idea, write your difficult emotions on a small piece of paper and put it in a box or a bag. You might even need to put that box or bag on a high shelf or outside in the pouring rain, whatever helps you release it. Write a "to-don't" list. Are you overwhelmed or stressed because you feel overloaded? Write one thing you need to do, one thing you want to do, and one thing to take off your plate. Talk about liberating. Okay, to recap. The four ways to promote healthy emotions are to create space for release, practice radical acceptance, learn to tolerate distress, and develop self-healing coping skills. Start observing locus of control in yourself and in others, including the emotions that accompany internal versus external locus of control. You can find this practice exercise in the Skill Building Activities handout. What emotions do you judge in ways that leave you feeling stuck? What's one new technique that you could try this week to help yourself emotionally? Spend some time on the Emotional Toolkit handout and share your thoughts in the Facebook group so that we can support each other on this emotional journey. Take a look at those handouts. And finally, who in your life can you share this information with? Who might benefit? I'll see you back here soon.

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Duration: 11 minutes and 24 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 30, 2018

Guide Emotional Healing_Final

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