[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have you ever heard of buffering? It’s something we all do, whether we realize it or not.
Buffering is when we use external things to change how we feel emotionally. For instance, if we feel guilt, shame, boredom, anxiety or overwhelmed, it’s uncomfortable and we’d like it to go away stat! We can decrease the intensity of those negative emotions by buffering. Buffering makes us feel better in the short term but often keeps us away from our long-term goals.
Examples of buffering are overeating, overdrinking, overspending, overpleasing, overworking, over Netflix watching, and spending too much time on social media. Eating, drinking, spending, pleasing, working, watching Netflix, and checking social media aren’t bad things. They are just bad when done in excess and keep us from reaching our real goals.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
- If I overeat, I gain weight and move in the wrong direction on the scale and what I want for my overall health.
- If I overdrink, I gain weight, hurt my liver, disrupt my sleep, and don’t feel my best the next morning.
- If I overspend, I don’t have the money in the bank to do things that are truly important to me, like take nice vacations with my family.
- If I overplease, I often say yes to things I don’t really want to do, just to try to alter someone else’s opinion of me. I often feel resentful.
- If I overwork, I don’t have enough energy to care for myself and my family.
- If I Netflix binge, I don’t have enough time to do other things in the evening that bring me more pleasure, like take a walk or read a book. These things actually move me in the direction I want to go.
- If I spend too much time on social media, I lose the opportunity to connect with real people in front of me whom I love and care about.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14731″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Buffering only provides temporary relief from negative emotions. The negative emotion comes back harder than when it started. This encourages more buffering and a vicious cycle ensues.
When we take away buffers and deal with negative emotions instead, we start to feel natural pleasures. This is challenging because in our society pleasure has been falsely intensified.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
Our human brain is wired to keep us alive. Its motivation is to:
- Seek pleasure
- Avoid pain
- Exert as little energy as possible
Keeping this in mind, we can see why it’s hard to stay on track with our big goals. The sugar from candy and cookies exerts a much bigger reward (dopamine hit) than the naturally occurring sugar from an apple. Additionally, the dopamine hit from a like on Facebook is bigger than a conversation with a friend. Just watch, it’s rare for someone to have a conversation without looking at their phone.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14732″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our brain reinforces these dopamine signals, convincing us that they are important and necessary for our survival, but they aren’t! This wiring that was helpful to keep us alive in the wilderness when we were truly in danger of being eaten by a tiger is keeping us from the true pleasures in life and keeping us further and further from our long-term goals as we tend to seek short-term intensified pleasure.
So really there are 2 choices:
Option 1: Buffer anytime you feel uncomfortable. This feels great in the short term!
Option 2 : Recognize that negative, uncomfortable emotions are a part of life. Nothing has gone wrong here. It’s ok to feel the feeling, process it, and stay on the path in pursuit of your bigger goals in life.
It sounds hard, I know, and not so fun, but it’s so worth it.
How do you actually do option 2?
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]First, acknowledge the uncomfortable feeling. Recognize that it feels like something has gone wrong, but that this is normal and just part of life.
Then, instead of trying to escape the emotion or blunt it, FEEL the emotion. Breathe into it. Don’t push it away. Welcome it. It’s like standing up to a bully. They usually back down when you do. Negative emotions are the same way. When we aren’t afraid to feel them, we realize that while they aren’t pleasant, they aren’t that bad either.
The more you practice this, the easier it will become.
The more you learn to handle negative emotions and deal with them instead of buffering, you gain confidence, you feel empowered and you can ultimately reach any goal.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_cta h2=”Register for From Fatigued to Flourishing Today!” h4=”Reset Your Adrenals, Fix your Fatigue, and Take Back Your Life!” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”LEARN MORE & REGISTER TODAY” btn_style=”custom” btn_custom_background=”#ecaa00″ btn_custom_text=”#ffffff” btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fbestlifefunctionalmedicine.com%2Ffrom-fatigued-to-flourishing%2F”]My 8-module virtual course will help you take back your energy and shift from surviving to thriving so that you can invest fully in yourself and your relationships.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]