Overcoming Binge Eating: Try this tool!
Developing skills to manage urges is essential for overcoming binge eating disorder…
At Beacon, we are all about teaching you skills to battle urges and cravings so that you can overcome binge eating.
Let’s face it. When an urge hits, it often feels so intolerable and uncomfortable…I mean crawling skin discomfort. In order to get through this without using food, we need to become well versed in tools that will help tolerate the distress.
These tools are called Distress Tolerance Skills which are used in situations when emotions are running high or when we’re experiencing discomfort. Sure, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s may feel like it solves all of our problems in the moment but that relief is short lived. After that binge, there is often a wave of guilt, shame, self loathing and physical discomfort that only adds to our pain.
In the moments when those cookies are calling your name or you’re contemplating abandoning your meal plan it’s time to give this helpful tool a try:
Using TEMPERATURE to calm down fast.
One of Beacon’s favorite skills is using ICE or COLD WATER to shock our system. You might be thinking, how the heck does cold water prevent me from binging? Well, cold water helps pull us out of our binge mode and become less emotionally dysregulated. It’s not to say that the cold water will solve your problems; however, it will help bring you back to the present moment and decrease your emotional intensity so you can proceed mindfully.
While there are a lot of ways to use cold temperature to get through an urge these are some of our favorite go-to methods!
- Holding your breath and splashing cold water on your face
- Taking an ice pack from the freezer and placing it on your eyelids or cheeks
- Hopping in an ice-cold shower
Remember, the purpose of these skills is not to make us feel better or solve our problems. These are tools meant to help us tolerate the distress without making the situation worse by turning to the food!
Information obtained from:
Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT skills training manual (2nd ed.). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.