“Buffering is using eating and drinking to place a big old bandaid over your anxiety and stress.”
Buffering- the act of using a bandaid to not feel your feelings. Using things like comfort eating, drinking or bingeing on TV to ‘dull our edges‘ is the exact opposite of what to do if you have anxiety or too much stress right now.
I learned about the phrase of buffering from from Brooke Castillo the creator of The Life Coach School. She explains it ‘as one of those things that we do in order to not fully experience our lives. And the reason why we don’t want to face the truth of our lives is because we don’t want to experience any type of negative emotion.’
She goes on to say: “We feel entitled to feel happiness and pleasure all of the time but the problem is that Constantly feeling pleasure and happiness is not natural.
Part of the reason for this is because we’re constantly bombarded with ways to feel pleasure: “You should go eat something. You should go buy something. You should go drink something. You should go pay for something that will bring your pleasure.”[listen to her podcast on Stop Buffering here]
During times of uncertainty and heightened fear, our emotions run deep and high and this is NORMAL. Feeling afraid and feeling anxious right now is normal. Trying to cover up or dull our emotions using food, alcohol or binge watching TV is actually keeping us from the one thing we actually do want- to feel happy. To feel better. To feel joy.
You see, when you try and stop or dull the ‘bad’ feelings, you actually dull the good feelings too. You are dulling ALL feelings.
You can’t pick and choose which ones to buffer and which ones to keep. That is not how emotions work but you can help your mind to not get triggered into feeling anxious or afraid. You can help you mind to feel anxious but still choose to do something that serves you. You can feel anxious but choose to go out on a run. You can feel stressed and then choose to clean and organise your house instead.
This is really the best way to help your mind and body to feel better at a time when turning to vices or bad habits will never get you there.
Stop buffering yourself from feeling the bad feelings and simply accept and honour your emotions. Try new strategies or habits when your mind triggers anxiety or fear.
Watch the full video below to get some of those habits you can act on today.
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