Bingeing is commonly misunderstood as being simply an inability to control one’s self or a problem with greed and gluttony. Just like with any addictive or compulsive behavior, there are often deeper meanings behind people’s bingeing.
Using food bingeing as an example, bingers will eat long past when they are full, until they are uncomfortable, feel physical pain, even make themselves sick. People with this kind of addictive bingeing behavior aren’t just greedy or lacking self-control. They are literally directing their anxious, fearful energy into a self-destructive compulsion, just like an addiction. The same is true with bingeing on any behavior – gaming, sex, gambling, partying, etc.
Bingers are usually in the process of trying to quit their compulsion. They spend considerable time thinking about their behavior, how ashamed and embarrassed they feel, what they can do to make themselves stop. It becomes an obsession and occupies an unhealthy amount of their mental and emotional energy. Just as addicts can find that their lives have become unmanageable, bingers too can find that their compulsive behavior has overtaken their lives.
The compulsions we develop are essentially a manifestation of our self-destructive drive. Deep down we feel inadequate, unlovable, shameful, unworthy. We have an unconscious instinct to want to hurt ourselves and make ourselves suffer. The reason why willpower alone can’t make us quit our compulsions is because we are not operating with the necessary mental clarity, centeredness and balance. Our minds are clouded by years of fear-based subconscious programming directing us to handle our fears in self-sabotaging ways. Our anxiety gets channeled directly into our behaviors, in this case bingeing.
To really get to the root of our bingeing behavior, we have to get to the root of our anxiety. What truths within ourselves are we avoiding? What aren’t we telling ourselves? What wounds still need healing? Let’s ask ourselves these questions, write and meditate on the answers, give ourselves time, and be patient with the process. Let’s have compassion for ourselves. Remember you’re in pain. Give yourself as much love as you can.
Breathing exercises, repeating affirmations and practicing self-hypnosis are powerful remedies for anxiety and can help with bingeing too. Sometimes when we don’t engage in our compulsion, we can be filled with anxiety and even panic, because our compulsions have essentially become our go-to coping mechanism for our anxiety. Breathe through the spike in anxiety, tell yourself “I am strong enough to do what’s best for myself. I am feeling afraid, but I’m going to show myself love. I am brave. I am healed.” When you’re ready, you will be able to stop bingeing and put the self-destructiveness behind you.
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