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Surviving The Silly Season

14b focus on meaning editorial

December is that time of the year when a large portion of
the working public takes time out from work and school.
Even those who are not lucky enough to be on holiday are
looking forward to some fun in the sun and good times with
friends and family. Unfortunately fun and overspending,
indulging in too much eating and drinking and regretting
it by January, all go together for many of us. The New Year
tends to start for many merrymakers with a new diet to fix
the damage acquired during the festive season.
Holidays can be distracting and is sometimes loaded
with emotional challenges, so that we are more likely to
lose our focus and indulge in self-defeating behaviour.
According to Deepak Chopra, writer of “What Are You
Hungry For?” hunger can be experienced or suppressed
when the emotional centres of the brain are activated.
Unsatisfied needs cause feelings of discomfort which we
(unconsciously) try to fulfil with pleasurable experiences like
eating. So when you are tired, unhappy, stressed, anxious,
mad, dissatisfied or bored, deeper needs are confused with
hunger and the feedback loop for appetite is activated
resulting in a physical need for foods which are high in
carbohydrates or fat.
Sadly, when we indulge in that “double hamburger and
slap chips” and swallow it down with a big glass of soda
or beer, or overeat at the Christmas table, we are often
unaware that we are trying to satisfy an emotional hunger.
Awareness is the way to true well-being. You can make
this festive season different by attending to your needs first.
Slow down and reflect on how you are feeling emotionally
and physically and how you are tending to your needs.
The following ideas were taken from “What Are You Hungry
for?”
• Make an inventory list of your deeper needs. (For example
trust, security, love, respect, achievement, meaning.)
• Rate how you are doing with each need by stating next
to it: “very well”, “average”, or “poorly”
• Give yourself a suggestion about how to do better.
Make it a habit to go back to your list regularly, turn your
suggested improvements into action and upgrade your
self-rating as you progress. Being mindful can help to
address your needs in a healthy, aware way. Think for
example how your need for that second bar of chocolate
will weigh up to your need for accomplishment when you
are being aware?
May you enjoy a happy and fulfilling festive season and a
healthy, flourishing 2015.
Club No Mo Yo-Yo holds a Health Forum each last Saturday
of the month and invites individuals who care about their
wellbeing to join us to discover how an integrated body,
mind, and soul approach can support long-term weightmanagement.

See EVENTS at www.focusonmeaning.co.za or contact
Lorraine at lorraine@focusonmeaning.co.za

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