Last time, I talked about destressing our lives a bit–taking stock of our busyness, learning to say no, taking time to Refresh and Regroup.

I also mentioned being “addicted to busyness”.  We can keep adding things to our already overloaded lives, sometimes out of sense of guilt, but often due to something deeper within.  What actually motivates, or drives, those decisions?

Addictions come in many forms–of course we’re familiar with alcohol and drug addictions, but there are more subtle and insidious addictions that can be signs of inner imbalance.  Food.   Exercise.  Drama.   Eating certain foods can be associated with comfort and pleasure–God gave us taste buds to enjoy food!  But when the food becomes an end in itself, or we think we can derive comfort, encouragement and emotional strength from food alone, it has crossed a line to become an addiction.  We may have a deeper emotional response and turn to the food rather than deal with the deeper issue driving us.

Same with exercise–did you know you can actually get addicted to exercise?!  It is a way, like food, that people self-medicate when their metabolism is out of balance. Exercise produces endorphins–a feel good hormone.   But, just like a drug, it takes more and more to keep those levels high enough to feel good–and then we get scared to back off because we don’t want to go through the “withdrawals” from our “drug”!

Drama–we all know someone we call a “Drama Queen” (or King)–hopefully none of us are in that camp!  Yet we can still escalate our emotions to a level of drama either through our own lives or vicariously through those we watch in movies or on television shows.  We “get high” on the drama whether it’s our real life or reality tv!    Now, we all have some dramatic events that sometimes hit us, but when we can’t seem to get through our day without a daily dose of drama, we might stop and reevaluate if it’s become an addiction.  Even if you’re just “watching” someone else’s drama, it still affects your adrenals!

These are just a few areas to examine and see if they “drive” you–who is in the driver’s seat?  Food, or you?  Exercise, or you?  Drama, or you?

Even in self examination, it is easy to stress even about figuring out what is behind our eating, our overexercising or other forms of “self-medicating” as Dr. Diana Schwarzbein calls it.   I have found that it is enough, for a start, to acknowledge something is there.

I am going to walk you through a recent example in my own life.

Last spring I found mint M&Ms.  My, are they good! 🙂  Over several weeks’ time, I found myself craving them, wanting them way more than an occasional treat.  I stopped to think what was going on in my life–I recently went through the time of my mom’s birthday and the second anniversary of her passing.  I also lost a good friend to cancer around the same time I lost my mom two years ago.   So yes, I was dealing with a few emotional issues!

Knowing my previous tendency to stress over “getting to the bottom of it”, I knew I needed to rest and be aware, but not overthink it.  And I kept eating mint M&Ms…..

Over the summer I definitely ate more sugar than I normally would have, but I was slowly dealing with some emotional issues–not just the ones I mentioned but other things that were coming up.  (Nothing deep and scary, but still things that affected me.)  I know I gained at least one if not two sizes.   Now, I was also eating good foods during this time–not just pigging out on M&Ms and ice cream! 🙂

Towards the end of August I sensed the Lord telling me I had trust issues.  I simply agreed with that as I knew that was true.  I didn’t stress about just where and how and when, but acknowledged it, then kept aware of when I wasn’t trusting.

Amazingly, from that point on, my “taste” for mint M&Ms waned!  I took 3 days to eat a small bag….then didn’t buy any for weeks.  When I did have another bag recently, they honestly didn’t taste that good at all!

I’ll share more on Friday about my recent journey to freedom!



Photo credit:  Stephen Cummings

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