The psychology of it all
Friday, April 12, 2013
I have a friend who's a clinical psychologist. She spends her days counseling crazies in a women's prison, and can't help but analyze things happening, say, around the dinner table as well. The girl is hilarious.
She has a daughter who's about 3 now, and I always found her parenting approach interesting. She was never a "goo-goo," baby talk kind of gal, She speaks to her daughter in a very straight and loving fashion. What strikes me, though, is when she turns around to me and says during a meltdown, "She's experiencing emotions that she doesn't understand because I told her 'no,' and she's not sure how to deal with them. Children, until they know how to process their emotions, react like this." Very clinical. It's usually followed by a clever anecdote or comment that makes me laugh.
But I have thought about that a lot lately in regard to my emotional eating. I can tell that I'm having an emotion that's driving me to eat, but I can't quite identify what that emotion is. Without knowing exactly what I'm working with, I really have no idea how to deal with it, and I default to the meltdown, just like my friend's daughter when she's not allowed to draw on the walls.
This is a great discovery, but like I said, I've been thinking about it for a while ... and haven't really come up with a solution to the root problem. How do I identify what the emotion is? I have gone through a list before -- lonely? scared? disappointed? unsure? out-of-conrol? -- and it seems like they all apply to some degree in my life, but not more at that moment than any other. I don't know what the triggers are.
Any ideas about what questions to ask myself? Other revelations that might be helpful? I'm open to other thoughts about this.