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Learn Analogy and Metaphor_Final

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>> Hello and welcome back. As we discussed earlier in this module, storytelling has many benefits. To name a few, stories connect us with others, serve as practice for real life, inspire and motivate change, and empower. Based on what we've covered so far, why do you think storytelling might help you support clients with emotional eating? Grab your journal and take a few minutes to jot down some ideas. I'll be right here. Looking at your notes, you might have come up with many ways that storytelling can help you as a coach. In this lecture, we're going to focus on two common figures of speech that we use in stories. Analogy and metaphor, and how they can help you guide your clients through developing a health promoting relationship with food. The language you use with clients matters. So here's a great opportunity as you increase your own self-awareness with regard to how you use language around food. Let's begin, shall we? Analogy and metaphor are two common tools we use when telling stories. An analogy is a figure of speech that compares two things in order to highlight similarities. For example, trying to find my keys is as difficult as finding a needle in haystack. Or these crackers are like cardboard, dry and tasteless. While an analogy compares two things, a metaphor equates two things for the sake of comparison or symbolism. For example, as light as air is an analogy, while Shakespeare's classic, all the world's a stage is a metaphor. The world is not really a stage. But he's using that metaphor to symbolize how we all play roles throughout our lives. We use analogies and metaphors all the time. If you recall from earlier in the course, we discussed how emotional eating often isn't really about the food itself rather it's typically using food as a coping mechanism for difficult emotions. In terms of analogy, you might say eating chocolate cake is like visiting grandpa's house, meaning that it comforts you. In terms of a metaphor, you might say brownies are heaven. Brownies aren't actually heaven of course, but perhaps you mean that they make you feel blissful. Here are four reasons why using analogies and metaphors can serve as valuable tools in coaching. One, they appeal to a wide range of thinking. First of all, we think in narratives all day long, from short stories about a friend's birthday celebration or a funny movie we saw last night to longer stories about how we spent summer vacation to fantasies about our dream lives. We constantly share information about ourselves, about others, and about ideas. In fact, personal stories and gossip comprise about 65% of our conversations. Likewise, analogies and metaphors come naturally for many people. Some of us think more analytically and some of us think more intuitively. One of the beauties of analogies and metaphors is that they appeal to both learning styles. Stories generally appeal to both ways of thinking because they connect the brain and the heart. Analogies appeal to our sense of logic because they're, in essence, a logical argument. We're basically arguing that A is like B. However, they also appeal to our emotions because they convey our values or how we feel about something. Metaphors are a way of describing abstract ideas through symbolism. As such, they often appeal to intuitive or experiential learners. However, analytical learners tend to organize complex information into more manageable components which require seeing relationships between ideas. Both analogies and metaphors do just that, which brings us to my next point. Two, they simplify concepts to help us see the big picture. Analogies and metaphors simplify ideas to help us see the bigger picture. They kind of act like conceptual and emotional shortcuts. As such, they help us communicate the essence of our ideas to others who might not otherwise understand the information we're trying to convey. Think of your favorite book as a child. What was the plot? Probably pretty simple and straightforward, right? Now think about the underlying message in that book. It was probably a little deeper, would you agree? You know that saying, the moral of the story? Stories simplify concepts and they usually stick with us more than other information because they engage us with imagery, invoke emotions, and they include powerful metaphors. In short, they're more engaging ways of instilling useful life information. For example, many parents have said things like, "Remember the little boy who cried wolf?" to help instill helpful behavior. Clients are grateful to have us as listeners in a trusting and supportive space. As a coach, you can use their stories to help clients recognize broader themes. Three, they help us see connections and make meaning. There's a great quote that goes like this. "A life becomes meaningful when one sees himself as an actor within the context of story." Stories shape our thinking by helping us to make sense of our experiences. Analogies and metaphors illuminate patterns and help us make connections between different ideas, synthesize information, and create meaning. They also help us perceive deeper meaning. Through analogies and metaphors, we can use something familiar to help us understand something unfamiliar. They help us sort out what's most important about a situation by serving as a bridge between what we don't yet understand and what we do know. You might think of them like an iceberg. You see a little bit, but there's a lot underneath. Food relationships run deep, and stories can help you and your clients explore what their emotional eating is really about in terms of emotions, personal values, and coping patterns. As a coach, you might use an analogy to shed light on a client's eating habits. For example, it sounds like eating popcorn at night is as automatic as brushing your teeth before bed. In other words, eating popcorn has become a mindless habit. The analogies and metaphors that clients use when talking about food and eating can help explain the roles that food plays in their lives. And finally, four, they inspire creative problem solving. In other words, they help us think outside the box. Analogies and metaphors engage multiple senses through imagery, and they also link multiple ideas which help us recognize different perspectives. Listening to stories inspires empathy when we imagine ourselves in the shoes of the storyteller. Telling stories allows us to share our experiences or to step outside of ourselves and observe perceived problems from a distance. As a coach, you want to empower your clients to find self-healing coping strategies. Unsticking habits requires creative problem solving in the process of finding what works for each of us as bio-individuals. Let's recap the four benefits of using analogies and metaphors. One, they appeal to a wide range of thinking. Two, they simplify concepts to help us see the big picture. Three, they help us see connections and make meaning. And four, they inspire creative problem solving. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, guiding clients through emotional eating might include understanding or decoding their personal symbolism of food through the language they use, including metaphor and analogy, and using analogies and metaphors to help them see new perspectives, make meaning, and motivate change. Language connects us. Stories establish trust. As Joshua says, "We're all starving to be heard." Healing occurs when people listen to us and when we listen to them. How do you talk to people about uncomfortable issues? It's not easy, especially at first. It requires sensitivity but also enough boldness to challenge thinking. Storytelling can be a valuable tool for connecting, empowering, and making meaning. Okay, time to apply this material. Spend 10 to 15 minutes with the Food Language exercise handout. Journal afterward if that's helpful for you. And ask yourself these questions. What is the language that you use around food and eating? What are the roots of that language? And how might that language impact your coaching, especially when it comes to clients struggling with emotional eating? You can find this in the Skill Building Activities section of your Learning Center. That's all for now. Take some time to let this material absorb, and I'll see you again soon.

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Duration: 9 minutes and 27 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 30, 2018

Learn Analogy and Metaphor_Final

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