Craving happiness

The reason I’m thinking about making good stuff for others is that I saw a Ted Talk about giving “How to be happy every day“, It talks about how your ocitocina levels rise when you give, the feeling good and anti-age hormone. It advices to take a 365 days streak into doing nice stuff, with the combination of me watching Julie & Julia, where Amy Adams needs to fulfill a 365 streak of cooking Julia Childs  recipes, I got inspired. But my own sense of self is not coherent and does not apply to this world’s sense of human being, I cannot choose one single thing to do for 365 days if everyday I’m  a different modality of me. However, I found a solution that will set at peace both the necessity of completing the same task for a year and my alien inability to be the same human for that long: writing. Consistency trough inconsistency. Okay so I just needed to point that out, let’s just jump to the writing because I don’t know how to make a reasonable connection between everything that goes on in my mind. 

How the world sees Binge Eating

Yesterday I was binge eating, I thought it would stop but it kept going on. One thing about it is that there is no acceptance as alcoholic abuse for exemple, or bulimia, as a mental health issue, people just judge you for eating too much (although when you say that you overeat too much they tell you its normal and they make that themselves sometimes). In Institutional Analysis (a kind of approach we use in psychology) that is called mysticism, when there is no logic in the discourse (only apparent) and it is formulated as to imprison the individual thought, it serves as an illusion so you feel bad  because you believe it yourself. This mysticism may appear in different ways, it can be a simple thought of how things work, like “if you’re beautiful, you will be rich at some point, if you’re ugly, you won’t or it is going to be too hard”, but, not only this is not true (with some exceptions which are not the rule), it may actually serve as an obstacle from you getting what you want. So you  may think “okay, I’m not good for this, I’m not even going to try”, and you don’t try it, and you don’t get it. This is the mechanic of the system, it is all about controlling what you think and feel. We are all surrounded by these mechanisms of fear, fear of trying, fear of living. If we don’t fear, we hope. It is a choice between optimism and pessimism, but what about realism? What is reality anyway? The most blind are those who say themselves to be realistic, they are the most imprisoned ones, they are blind to everything else that can be. At the end, you create your own reality, it is a matter of perspective and science can prove it: a study by Shelley Taylor in 2000 suggest that patients “who remain optimistic show symptoms later and survive longer than patients who confront reality more objectively”.

The ultimate goal is happiness. 

Now you’ve realized that my focus is happiness, this is my ultimate end, for those that are not that into psychology, Positive Psychology is the area in the field that focus on the good traits of  personality and enhancing them, in opposite to the pathology approach that is mostly used nowadays and focuses on the pathology (treating diseases or the things that are going wrong). I don’t restrain my thoughts to one field and I will talk in different perspectives, but as the theme today seems to be around being happy it is nice to bring Positive Psychology in mind. In the same article that I found out about Taylors study, Seligman differentiates positive subjective experiences in a way that I believe to be interesting to self-knowledge:

  1. In the past: well-being, contentment, and satisfaction 
  2. In the present: flow and happiness
  3. For the future: hope and optimism 

What helps me with Binge Eating

These are the things that are believed to make you feel better and one that helps me a lot is flow, flow is when you get absorbed into something, like when I read and want to eat the whole book, you forget about everything else.It has been my special treatment for binge eating. It is not every book that makes me feel this wholeness, like I don’t need to put anything else inside as food to fill the hole, so I strive sometimes. You will need to find the balance between something that you must do, like finding an activity you like and that gives you flow, and something that you must avoid, like the so called triggers. I was at home these few days that I decided to begin this blog, literally desperate to get away from binging, I tried reading and writing, but it was not about doing something, it was about avoiding, which was me being home all day, so I got out and had this amazing day. I used to punish me, long ago when it all begin, but today, after binge, I just treat myself as in recovery. I’m already in pain for eating too much, right? Instead of punish myself for no exercising the next day, I realized that I should congratulate myself for eating healthy, I could still be binging, right? But I got over it and that is just amazing, a victory really. This positive thinking may even help you to build the strength to exercise, but don’t focus on that, let it happen.  John Stuart Mill said that tranquility is the most required characteristics for a happy soul and being okay with yourself helps with that. Your ultimate goal should be happiness and not trying to lose weight. Don’t push yourself too much. Today I was in peace with myself, today was such a victory, I felt so good.

But anyway, I wandered a lot, I just wanted to post that today I could appreciate a nice little macaroon with my mother and felt no guilty at all (and no craving to eat more!). 

Macarons at Le Petit in Brazil