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EFT Compulsion Breakdown Pattern
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How to Run the Compulsion Breakdown Pattern

A compulsion is something you feel driven to do, even though you really think you don't want to do it. You may think you cannot seem to stop yourself, or that it is out of your control. A true compulsion is feeling driven to act - with no conscious thought before hand, and usually, surprise when it is done that it occurred at all. It's as if a person goes into a trance state. If you feel you are eating compulsively, or don't feel you are in complete control, try the following.

At the first thought of eating, specifically eating that we'd rather not do. In other words it's the eating after we've already eaten, or the times you see food and eat it, but you're not hungry, in fact before you saw the food, you didn't want anything to eat at all.

First, note the time of day, and your beginning SUD level (standard units of distress) on your worksheet (Blank EFT Worksheet - opens in new window). If you keep a separate worksheet for each separate issue, you can track them over time. Give each a name such as, "Eating at Night," "Donuts/Muffins at Work." You may continue to use the same worksheet for several days. This helps you to see how far you've come and how the process is working for you. It also gives you ideas of other issues to work on as different things come to mind while you're doing the process.

EFT Round 1

Time spacerSUD
6:30 PM spacer9

Round 1: Desire to Eat

Do the first round of EFT for the desire to eat. "Even though I want to eat those muffins, I deeply and completely accept myself."

After the first round, have a few sips of water, take a few deep breaths and then wait for just a moment. Think now about your desire. Do you still want the muffin? Is the desire the same, greater, less than before? If it is still present (not yet a zero or 1) then again note the time and write down your second SUD level. Now do a second round of EFT on this issue:

EFT Round 2:

Time spacerSUD
6:35 PM spacer6

Round 2: Desire to Eat:

After the second round, if you still want the muffin (or whatever it may be), note the SUD level and either decide to have some, or not - it just depends on the way the wind blows.

EFT Decision Time - or Round 3

You can use EFT until the desire is eliminated, or you'll sometimes notice there is no longer any desire. You may also notice you have no desire, but you still WANT TO EAT ANYWAY, and this is perfectly all right!

It's okay. It's nothing to get excited about. It's just you, taking care of yourself, in that moment. Let it be. Feed yourself if you want to eat, nurture yourself. Be kind to yourself. You'll feel better for it, not worse. You'll also be satisfied with just some of it, instead of feeling like you need to eat them all until they're gone.

Now I Feel Bad

You ate it, and now you're telling yourself how awful you are, aren't you? If this happens, don't worry about it. Just tap on it. EFT is great for working these things right out of your system. Do more tapping on any feeling of having been "bad" or whatever you might be saying to yourself about the temporary lapse, or you may have reached a point where you no longer consider this a lapse at all - I know I don't.

"Even though I screwed up and ate it anyway, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Notice What's Different Now

I absolutly guarantee that if you'll simply do the process - whether you eat or not, you'll feel differently about it afterward. And feeling differently is the first step toward changing the behavior. Being stuck in the loop of

Hungry right Eat Something right Feel Bad
up       down
Feel Bad left Eat Something left Hungry

is not going to get you where you want to be. But, shake up that pattern: Hungry? Tap on it ... "Even though I want to eat this giant candy bar, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Still hungry? Tap again, "Even though I still want to eat this candy bar, I deeply and completely accept myself no matter what."

Now, think of your desire again. It may have changed. What's that? You don't want it anymore? Oh, drat! That happens sometimes.

By then you might be laughing, or crying or jumping for joy but you'll find you are freeing yourself from chains that have kept you tied in knots over your eating for far too long.

Set Yourself Free

Loosen the ropes, unlock the chains and set yourself free. Like walking barefoot in cool, freshly mowed summer grass, it's freeing, and simply wonderful to be close to the earth, centered, grounded. Take another deep breath, feel the air fill your lungs, take a sip of water, and turn to face the new day.

Now, later the urge may come again, and if it does just pull out your worksheet, note the time, your current SUD level, and do another round of EFT. How long does it take to do a round of EFT? Twenty or thirty seconds. I can afford that time, can you?

Time SUD
7:45 PM 5

Oh, No. I Forgot to Eat Dinner!

Sometimes you'll be getting ready for bed when you suddenly realize you didn't have anything to eat all evening and that's when the voices start in, "Oh, now I wish I hadn't of thought of it. Now I'm going to want something ..."

Ah, but something is different now, isn't it? You can use EFT to tap on those self-defeating thoughts, "Even though I'm afraid I'm going to get hungry now, I deeply and completely accept myself." "Even though I know I'm not hungry, but I want to eat anyway, and I'm afraid I'll get hungry later, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Those voices can be pretty persuasive, can't they? They are clever little sneaks, trying to work us back into our old ways - but it's not so easy for the voices to rule the day now that we have a secret weapon.

Using EFT, little by little helps take away the strong desire and replace it with a healthy desire. Everyone wants a treat now and then - some of us like a treat regularly, but that doesn't mean we feel crazed about it. You can get to that same point of knowing you want something sweet, finding something sweet and enjoying something sweet without it turning into a full blown blow-out eating fest. You'll start to take better care of yourself, and in the long run, it is being taken care of that we want so badly.

Now you Have a Tool - Go Use it

When you have a tool, you can be proactive - you can do something now, instead of just wishing and hoping you make it through the day. You won't have to forever give up your favorite foods or treats, you'll still want and enjoy them. But now you'll be able to think about them like you would a favorite movie - something you'd love to see again, and will, but you aren't going to watch it 15 times in a row until you feel sick from the experience.

Once you realize you can have what you want, whenever you want, you'll feel less compulsive about the wanting itself. Sometimes it's the wanting that needs the attention, and sometimes it is something else. Everyone is different, and the process will be different for you than it may have been for your friend. Take it slowly, one step at a time. This isn't something to rush through and get it over with - it's your life - just stop and enjoy the living.

Kathryn Martyn, M.NLP

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Kathryn Martyn Smith, M.NLP EFT Weight Loss Coach
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