Triggers, Fears and Negative Feelings


A trigger is something that causes a negative reaction, like bingeing or overeating, often quickly. Triggers vary with the individual. Common triggers can include someone mentioning that they just ate a hot fudge sundae, or started a new diet, or had a boss yell at them, or taking a shower reminded them of being abused. Perhaps you see an advertisement on television or a billboard while driving down the road.

The thing is that a trigger causes a negative reaction in you such as overeating or bingeing. That causes a lot of aggravation and pain for you.

The solution is multifaceted. Learning awareness about what are your triggers, then what options you have in dealing with them, plus gaining new attitudes and skills for blocking and eliminating these triggers so that you have control over eating and life again!


Fears can be real or imagined. Dale Carnegie says in his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living that 99% of fears are unrealized – yet they cause us needless years of agony and stress, even leading to a loss of health and death.

Fear can lead to imagined outcomes, which are the true source of stress. What are some of your fears? Fear of fat in food, fear of becoming fat, fear of others thinking you are fat, fear of carbohydrate, fear of being inadequate, fear of not being GOOD ENOUGH? What is your fear?

It’s important to have someone skilled in observing you and your life situation objectively to help you identify fears – deal with them effectively and turn your fears into confidence. Fear can keep us paralyzed and stop us from living and enjoying life fully.

Once I was hiking in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The scenery was exhilarating as I climbed upwards for hours. My body felt alive and happy. Then darkness began to descend and it was time to return to camp. I turned around to retrace my steps and go back DOWN the mountain.

I did OK for a while, but as it became steeper, I suddenly became paralyzed. I couldn’t even move! There I stood on the slope for over an hour. My mind was racing as I thought, “If I don’t get off this mountain soon, I’ll either freeze to death or I’ll get eaten by a bear. I’ve got to move now!” But I still couldn’t move.

Finally, I said to myself, “OK, just take ONE STEP. Don’t worry about the rest. Just get started. Take ONE STEP.” So I did. I took one step – it was shaky and wobbly. I was sweating profusely and so afraid of heights. It looks so scary going down the slope. But I just focused on taking one step at a time. Soon was at the bottom and on the trail back to camp.

As I looked back up the mountain from whence I came, I thought to myself, “That’s not so high! It wasn’t that high after all. It was just my fear keeping me stuck.”

Negative Thinking

“It’s weird how much overeating affects my perspective on everything. When I have been overeating, I just feel negative about everything. Hopeless. Angry. Bitter. Frustrated. Short – tempered. Unmotivated. Now that I’m doing what you’ve taught me (tapping/EFT, exercising, self-care, getting work done, taking care of personal business, etc), I’ve been doing well with eating, Although I get frustrated and anxious at times, I’m able to keep things in perspective (this situation may suck & I may get yelled at, but it will be over soon and then I’ll go do something fun). Now my attitude more often is hopeful, excited, energetic, and I seem motivated to accomplish things and move on to the next step (running, eating, work).” Carol

Negative thinking is learned behavior. It’s a defense method learned to cope with different situations. But it doesn’t really work well in our adult lives. Because it’s a learned behavior, though, we can learn to change it. We can learn NEW, positive ways of coping and a new mindset.

Notice that Carol, above, was able to change her perspective and way she coped with negative thinking and actions. She turned it into successful ways of coping. You can too!

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