Triggers for Food or Drink As Needs of The Mind

I’ve been thinking for a while now about where triggers, or anchors, need to come in to the organisation of my various teaching modules and principles.

Having just this second observed another one with regard to the sound of a tea spoon rattling in a cup, in this instance, it clearly comes into the category of the ‘Needs of The Mind’, as per the second and third parts of The 1-2-3 of Health, to tell the difference between the needs of the body and the needs of the mind, and to then have the self-mastery to be able to act accordingly.  Remember, when the need for food or drink is in the mind it can never be satisfied.

So What Exactly is a Trigger or an Anchor?

Let me break this down a bit further.  Let’s say I hear the sound of someone else, perhaps downstairs, rattling a tea spoon in a cup.  The first thing my brain thinks of is my favourite hot chocolate drink, as my own hand might also rattle a spoon in, and as part of an anchor or triggered response, I am immediately focussed on the taste, feeling, and experience of a hot drink – and thus perhaps also a desire to have one. 

But the desire for such a drink wasn’t there in the moments before I heard the tea spoon.  And so it is the mind, not the body, that has created the desire for the drink.  So the truth is that I probably don’t actually want one right now.

This may all seem a bit boring and banale right now, but how many times are we not catching our triggers and eating and drinking things that we don’t really want?  And how is that affecting our health and vitality, and our waistlines?  That is the point.

And it can be applied with all other kinds of things, too, not just food and drink, such as exercise or physical activity, or the resistance to it, emotions, stressor responses or anything else.

So catching triggers in our awareness is all part of the skill of learning to catch in awareness, differentiate, and categorise the needs of the mind and the needs of the body.  These triggers are EXTERNAL – they don’t come directly from anything that is happening inside the body.

The sound of a tea spoon is just a trigger for me, but for you there may also be many, such as the smell of various foods, something that triggers a stress reaction, a visual stimulus, such as the sight of a full glass of drink or plate of food, the shiny colourful wrapper of a chocolate bar (that’s why they make them that way – they know your triggers!), or anything else.

Best wishes, and keep catching those false desire triggers!

James Blacker

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