The dreaded Valentines Day. February 14th looms like a dark shadow on many a calendar. What am I talking about you ask? It’s the day of love! It’s traditionally viewed as a day of hearts and chocolates and fancy dinners with your sweetie. It’s the day many women expect to be showered with gifts of jewels and bouquets of roses while being romanced. Oh what a lovely image…..for her! What about the poor guys? The men in these women’s lives who get to sweat over card choices and overpriced flowers, debating the merits of each bouquet whilst not even having a clue what the individual flowers are.
Are we having fun yet? What about all the single people? What a great day for them! Let’s have a day that reminds them of just how single they are. Oh yeah, fun times. Hey let’s face it, not every couple loves the day either. I personally can’t stand the commercialism of it. Why you may ask? I don’t like Valentines Day not because I am not romantic or don’t like presents. I don’t like the day because it is so false, and it is a day, which gives a handful of people with an already closed heart, the means to justify being unromantic, unkind, ungenerous or inconsiderate the rest of the year. Things are nice. Everyone likes nice things. Jewels that sparkle, sweet chocolates and beautiful flowers are always a joy to behold, but what if, just IMAGINE that those things didn’t exist? Then what? How do you show your love for another without having stuff?
So what do I mean by using Valentines Day to your advantage if I hate it so much? What I mean is to take all the best parts of the day, like kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and acts of love, and make an effort to practice them all year long. This works whether you are single, or a couple- married or not. Treating people with kindness, compassion and understanding can be done very simply without any elaborate costs. Simple acts that show you care, are the easiest way to make another person feel appreciated and loved. Maybe it’s making the morning coffee, washing dishes, walking the dog, letting someone sleep in. At the office you don’t have to love your co-workers, but how about practicing compassion and tolerance? I know that it is not always easy, and goodness knows some people can push your buttons and make you want to scream! I get that, believe me I do. Even if all you can manage is to walk away instead of yelling at your annoying co-worker, then that is a great start. If you are single, you can practice with family, friends, and co-workers. You can practice on strangers, and maybe, meet someone special along the way too.
What about strangers? Absolutely. Some examples: The person standing behind you in line at the grocery store who has 1-2 items and you have 20, let them go ahead of you. The homeless man you see on the street. I know, you don’t like to give money to “them” – How about buying that person a hot coffee on a cold day. The tired parent who comes onto the bus carrying bags and ushering their small child forward. Hey that kid can walk, all bets are off on getting a seat for them right? If you are physically able to, how about offering that exhausted parent your seat instead? Another option is to volunteer at an organization that needs help. Whether it is for a clause close to your heart, or to help out a local group.
Valentines Day is symbolized by a heart. Why not open yours and rediscover all that you have to offer others, and maybe by doing so, you will find all that positive energy brings good things back to you.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
Does the Festive Season cause you stress because there are too many food temptations? Read more on how you can stop your food cravings and enjoy the Festive Season once again.
Temptations All Around
The festive season is probably the hardest time of year for anyone trying to have a healthier lifestyle. Enticing food temptations are around every corner, from gourmet stores displaying luxurious treats, to co-workers baking goodies and bringing them in to share.
It can be overwhelming and intimidating to try and constantly resist them, especially with well meaning persons encouraging you to have “just a taste” or saying things like “come on, it’s the holidays, one bite won’t kill you!”
It may be true that one bite won’t kill you but it could lead to an avalanche of poor choices and the attitude of defeat~ “well I gave in all last week, so I might as well just give up trying.” How do you stay motivated to resist temptation when you are faced with it every day?
Tapping On Emotional Memories
Commonly called Tapping, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a useful and effective tool to help combat food cravings because it works on the emotional memory tied to a food craving. The myth of "willpower" makes it seem that only those with a strong will can avoid all the delightful treats around them. Images of desired foods are very appealing, and are able to sway many people to suddenly want something that had not thought about, like seeing a tray of Festive cookies in front of them and suddenly wanting to eat them! Food cravings are increased when we smell food. Our sense of smell is one of our strongest senses. Smells tie us to emotional memories, like the smell of fresh baked cookies can remind someone of a happy childhood memory like baking with a grandparent.
EFT is a technique, which is most effective when done with a specific goal in mind. When working with food cravings, it is helpful to have that item – for example a cookie, placed in front of the person who wishes to work on their cookie cravings is the first step to combating the desire to eat it. All of our senses are engaged when we are around food. EFT works with all of our senses and our physical and emotional reactions to foods. The sight, smell, taste, sound, touch, and emotional connections to that food are all worked on bit by bit until the desire to eat the unwanted food is greatly reduced or disappears all together.
A Fun Experiment
There is a fun experiment anyone can try to see how much our physical responses and emotional responses play into our food cravings.
1. Have a desired food item (still in its packaging) placed on a table in front of the person who is craving it.
2. Have the person only look at the food in question and ask them how much they are craving it on a scale of 1-10? With 10 being that the have a very urgent desire to eat the food.
3. Ask the person to now handle the food and open the packaging on that food item. Notice the physical and emotional responses the person will exhibit. You will see physical signs such as heart racing, skin flushing, inhaling to smell the food better, and mouth watering. Emotional responses can smiling, happiness, anxiety (guilt) or anger because they are being tempted.
So if this Festive Season you want to try to not to eat every temptation you come across, try EFT. There are many reputable practitioners who can help you overcome your physical and emotional tie to food cravings.
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