How To Embrace Your Cravings
By: Stephanie Pollock
Join Kindness partner Stephanie Pollock every month as she helps us navigate the twists and turns of nutrition and wellness. Stephanie supports individuals in healing their relationship with food, weight issues, inflammation, allergies, hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue, depression, anxiety and body image issues. To learn more about Stephanie's practice, visit www.myactivetherapy.com.
We all have cravings. They are a natural part of life and yet we are fed by media, social media, magazines, television that cravings are something we need to stop, something to conquer, something to avoid, something that we need to enact our willpower to fight. Often though, what we resist persists. If we continue to fight our cravings, try to deny their existence, or try to make them go away they often will only increase in their intensity as we are fighting what is.
We can adopt a new perspective around cravings that they have a message to offer and that they are showing up for a reason. In this new perspective, whenever a craving arises we can welcome it in with open arms and explore what insights and wisdom do our cravings have to offer us. How are our cravings actually a message from our body guiding us in what is needed emotionally and physically in any moment? The next time you notice a craving arise here are some simple steps you can explore taking to embrace the presence of your craving.
1 - Pause. We can practice our yoga off of the mat here and take that pause we take between poses to invite in deep belly breathing and just acknowledge that a craving is present. When we are aware of what is arising for us, we release any internal battle of fighting what is and when we accept whatever is present that is actually when our cravings and emotions can decrease in their intensity.
2 - Get Curious. You can start exploring in that pause, what does this craving have to teach me? Am I actually craving what my brain is telling me I am craving or do I actually need a hug, or a nap, or to call a friend for some connection? When we get curious, our craving can lose its potency and power as we explore what would be the most loving acts we could engage in within that moment.
3 - Allow. Let the craving just be there. Don’t try and change it. Don’t try and make it go away. You can observe your craving like waves in the ocean and that they ebb and flow and often do not keep increasing in their intensity but actually decrease in their strength with time. In that space of allowance, we can hear more easily the wisdom of our body and how the craving is often guiding us back to ourselves to slow down and listen in with kindness and compassion.
4 - Trust. Whatever you decide to nourish your body with, you then get to trust that was exactly what your body needed in that moment. No guilt. No judgment. You just get to trust in your choices and that you are always making the optimal decisions for you in any moment. When we simply trust in the choices we are making we can deepen into our relationship with ourselves and our body where we can continue to be guided by our body in the next moment and the next and the next.
You can practice being with your cravings again and again to experience them in a whole new way and perhaps even discover what guidance their presence has to offer. Remember to be so very gentle with yourself on this journey in cultivating an intimate relationship with your food and body.
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