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The Inner Conflict Of Craving

This time of year is full of temptations. With that, it is also full of inner conflict, which you can see play out with phrases such as:

“I probably shouldn’t, but go on then.”

“I suppose so, seeing as it’s Christmas.”

“Detox starts in January!”

It is perhaps no surprise that Brits consume an extra 21,337 calories each December, but what’s really going on when we experience cravings?

The physical response to Christmas cravings

In some cases, cravings can be trying to tell you something, for example:

Craving sweet treats: blood sugar fluctuations

Craving savoury treats: requiring more protein

Craving carbohydrates: needing to look after your energy

Craving alcohol: feeling FOMO or feeding a habit

Craving everything: seeking comfort or happiness

What your body is trying to tell you

Some cravings can be our bodies letting us know what’s really going on. They can be a chance to check in with your body and ensure it’s getting what it needs, whether that’s more sleep, more balanced meals or a greater focus on wellbeing.

However, some cravings can go much deeper and are designed to cause inner conflict.

What your emotions are trying to tell you about Christmas cravings

Cravings can cause a deep inner conflict creating an endless cycle of craving and guilt.

Food and drink can be one of the greatest pleasures and provide feelings of health, energy and enjoyment. However, many people attach feelings of guilt, shame and stress, creating a cycle of cravings and negativity.

The craving-conflict cycle

  1. The craving starts
  2. Feel resistance and believe that it’s ‘bad’ to have the craving
  3. Give in and potentially overeat
  4. Feel guilt and remorse about giving in to the craving
  5. Start to impose rules to counteract the guilt
  6. Restrict foods and feel like you’re depriving yourself
  7. This deprivation feels like a punishment
  8. The craving begins again as you seek happiness.

How to manage a craving conflict

When we enter a craving cycle, it brings into question our self-knowledge and can give your harsh inner critic a powerful voice.

When it is a physical response to cravings or a short-term issue, some may recommend avoiding situations where cravings can occur, diverting your attention or reframing the situation to the benefits of resisting the craving rather than the negatives of giving in to the craving.

However, the real work involves digging deeper into the inner conflict and neutralising the inner critic. The best way is to approach a craving as if you are the observer. Try to remain curious about the feelings and ask questions rather than being judgemental or critical towards yourself.

Questions to ask could include:

  • What do I feel when this craving appears?
  • Have I felt this emotion before, and when?
  • What links this feeling to other experiences I’ve had?

If you need support in managing this inner critic and breaking the craving-conflict cycle for good, hypnotherapy can help to untangle the complicated relationship between your cravings and inner-critic. To find out more about how hypnotherapy can support you, I’d love to chat about your unique circumstances. You can book your free consultation with me by emailing info@hypnosis-in-london.com.

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