How to Overcome Cravings In 5 Simple Steps

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How to Overcome Cravings In 5 Simple Steps
Addictions and compulsions ruin relationships. Learn how to stop cravings before they become binges.

Let's say that you answered that the intensity of your craving was 9. Ask yourself this question: What in my life today is a 9? Then take a deep breath and let it out as you allow the answer to pop into your mind. Remember that you will usually get in touch with something that you feel powerless over.

Some common examples: I just heard that my father has cancer; my son was kicked out of school for cheating; my wife lost her job; I can't pay my mortgage this month; my fiancé left me for another woman; my dog got run over.

Step Four

Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Put your hands over your heart and take 3 deep breaths. Allow yourself to get in touch with the emotions you feel about the situation. Perhaps you are angry at your fiancé and feel enraged, unloved, abandoned and insulted. If you can't pay your bills you may get in touch with fear, despair and self-hatred.

Step Five
Use the Phoenix Effect Process to transform stress into strength. Pick one feeling at a time and create a symbol for that emotion. Anger might be a bonfire or just a big red blob. Abandoned could look like a kitten stranded in the woods. Think up a color or shape for that feeling. It is OK if you make fear a big black letter "F."

Close your eyes, take another deep breath, and watch as that symbol gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it finally stops. Don't try to force it. Just relax and watch it.

When the symbol stops growing it will begin to get smaller and smaller and smaller until it completely disappears or fades away without a trace.  Again, don't try to shrink it on purpose. Let it take all the time it needs. Then go on to the next emotion and do the same thing. 

When you have done this procedure with each emotion think about what was stressing you so much that you were about to have a binge. Most likely you will have new ideas about how to handle the upsetting event and your craving will be gone!

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Article contributed by

Gloria Arenson

Marriage and Family Therapist

Gloria Arenson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Diplomate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology and author of 7 books. She is passionate about helping people help themselves to be free of negative emotions and compulsive behaviors. 

www.GloriaArenson.com

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Credentials: DCEP, EFT-ADV, MFT, MS
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