Now, one hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner claims to have devised a fool-proof technique to combat cravings using a form of self meditation.
If the mere whiff of chocolate sends you into a possessed frenzy like blood to a shark, you’re not alone. In fact, a scientific study published in the U.S. last year stated that chocolate had a similar effect on the brain to opium.
Researchers from the University of Michigan discovered that chocolate stimulated the area of the brain controlling the release of endorphins, the so-called ‘happy hormones’. This rush was so pleasurable to the lab rats being tested that they ate double the amount of M&Ms to the control group.
Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner Phil Parker helps clients learn about the connection between their brain and body so that they can overcome cravings. He thinks food addiction is a vicious cycle: “You don’t like how you look, so you don’t want to go out, so you feel lonely. You comfort yourself while staving off boredom by eating chocolate. But, of course, comfort yourself like this too much and too often and you’ll put on weight and feel worse about yourself,” he explains.
He says when clients start to feel a craving come on, they should stop to think. They should ask themselves what they really want and what they will gain from giving into their craving. The simple act of questioning cuts through the initial impulse and introduces rational thinking to the situation, which distracts the mind and helps the client find an alternative solution.
Baths, reading, or taking up a hobby are all much healthier ways to ‘fill the hole’, Phil explains. He recommends phoning a friend, or thinking back to a time when you gorged on chocolate and recalling how you felt afterwards.
He believes it is possible to rewire the brain by thinking strategically and using distraction techniques. Addiction happens over time; it is a set of rehearsed behaviours which can be replaced by healthier ones.
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