This technique is used in CBT and we can use it to great effect to help overcome cravings for food and/or alcohol.
It can really help make you more aware of your decisions and give a sense of control in stressful situations.
It can also help you learn what your trigger foods are in times of emotional upset or stress.
How to identify and overcome those cravings in these times, rather than bingeing to feel better and then feeling much worse!
It is probably worth jotting down on a card or pinning it to the wall:
S – Stop and take a moment.
Slow down, take some time before you react.
T – Take a deep breath
in through the nose and out through the mouth.
O – Observe
Allow yourself to observe your situation – try looking at it from ‘outside’, what are the thoughts you are having? What are you concentrating on? Reacting to?
P – Pull Back
Place your feelings/the situation in perspective. Think about the current event in terms of the bigger picture. Imagine you are watching, can you think of another way to react? Are your feelings and thoughts facts or just feelings?
P – Practice
Practice techniques that work. Practice using other things to help you in times of stress or when you are feeling down. Use these other ways you have been practising instead of turning to food or alcohol.
If you have been trying other ways to manage your stress and you are about to have a binge on food or drink, turn to one of these methods instead.
Likewise if you are feeling really down and you have been practising other ways to cheer yourself up, you can use them rather than having that binge that will actually leave you feeling worse in the long run!