Today we are excited to have Christa’s colleague and certified hypnotherapist, Anya Drapkin here to teach us how to tap into our childhood through Mind Zoning® to understand why we make certain food-related choices in adulthood. Stay tuned to the end, when Anya leads us through a ten-minute Mind Zoning® session!
As with any Mind Zoning® session make sure you’re taking a break from distractions, outside of your car, and have a space to “zone out” and let your mind unwind.
Childhood Patterns That Shape Our Adulthood Behaviors
During Anya’s educational training, she discovered how crucial the first seven years of life is for us when it comes to how we behave later in life. This time period serves as a template for how we relate to our environment, nature, our homes and even our food choices. This imprint period has been shown to directly shape our patterns, but is also the root which determines how our habits are formed. These engrained behaviors are unlikely to change unless we tap into them.
Our culture places a big importance on food and although we don’t want to shame the treats used in celebrations, such as birthday cake, we do need to be mindful of how these celebratory foods make us feel. From an early age, we are taught to associate food with comfort and happy times, and this relationship typically continues into adulthood. We “self-soothe” with food.
Anya points out that a child’s first interaction with their mother is being brought to the breast to be fed. The child feels loved, reassured, and the sweetness of the milk fills the brain with pleasure and there is a bond that forms over this encounter. This intimate moment is a core time that shows that love flows from mother to baby. This first nourishment soothes the brain for years and emotionally attaches the child to the food and the human it comes from.
As we grow, we don’t always get the same emotional support from humans that we can find from food. We may find ourselves using food, sugar or alcohols as a way to soothe and comfort ourselves – so this becomes a critical point where we need to analyze these patterns and behaviors we’ve brought into our adult lives.
Carbs, Sugar, and Alcohol
These substances in particular are to blame since they “fire up” the reward center in our brains. If you’ve ever tried to give up all or one of these things for a period of time, you’ve surely realized the emotional and physiological connection associated with these substances.
It makes better sense when we look back to the caveman stages of humanity (primarily what the paleo diet is based from) our brain is wired to keep us safe. When we eat sugar, it fires up our brain’s reward center and suddenly we feel happy and safe. In today’s times, it’s important for us to realize that our brain is simply trying to fix itself. We consume these foods because we are hardwired to do so. This realization may help to release the guilt we associate with consuming these substances that we know are not good for us. Although the brain is trying to recover that feeling of safety and comfort, it is actually creating havoc in our bodies. It’s important for us to create new patterns as a brain safety mechanism. Getting off the reliance of sugar, carbs and alcohol gives our bodies the freedom to create new neural pathways.
Tapping Into Childhood
Anya states that most people struggle with changing lifelong behaviors towards food and alcohol simply because of the ritual they’ve created around it. Patterns are built through repetition. We associate a lot of our eating habits with situations with emotional components and that we want to cherish and repeat. Many of these patterns ‘make us feel good’ and many times we use these habits to help us feel good in a pinch. We not only need to learn how to break the ritual but also the brain connection we have with it. Anya encourages, “We have to create a different, healthier way to get our means.”
Techniques How to Identify and Shift These Patterns
Anya focuses on:
- Diving into the emotional state – We simply cannot address the inner soothing we need by giving ourselves quick sensations. Food doesn’t work on the cognitive level.
- Empowering to use imagination – In our society we are trained to use our more logical left side of the brain. This is the product-driven, performance-based part that controls behaviors that make us successful. To evolve as humans, it’s important we pay more attention to the right side of the brain. This is the emotional, holistic part of us that makes up the meaning of life.
“Nothing has meaning other than the meaning you give to it.”
Anya asks her clients to envision and use imagery to tune in at this time, the conscious mind will go to what is most relevant. She says, “The power is about what the client’s subconscious needs to complete and it will soothe what the deeper being wants to receive.” Anya goes on to tell us, “The mind zoning space will bring you what’s missing and what the solution will be for you, outside of food. Sometimes it’s community or support and to engage in the people who want to support and love you.”
Now it’s your turn (guided hypnotherapy)
Find a safe space that you can relax and take a couple deep breaths
Know that you have all the talents and skills to get relaxed
Tune out visual stimulus and wiggle into a comfortable position
Feel the solid support beneath you
Begin to get in touch with your breath
Paying attention to your breath and the words
Notice any tight spots you’re holding tension
Feel the deep breaths in the bottom of your lungs
Feel the power of your muscles as you consciously inhale
On the exhale surrender into gravity
Trust the solid support beneath you
Keep deepening your breath
Tune into yourself
You’re the most interesting entity in this moment
Tune attention inward so you can fully benefit from your focus
Accept your focus
Let that be a possibility
Have unconditional acceptance and focus
You deserve it
You can take up space
Begin to move attention
Open your inner eye to a place where you can imagine things
You’re at the top of the staircase moving down
You see a big beautiful tree
So big it has a doorway
Walk around the tree
Walk up to the door
Behind the door is your childhood
A place where you were safe and felt good
Put your hands in the doorway and step through
Step into a place where you were much younger and smaller
Go into that place
How do you feel?
Notice the quality of the air
Notice who’s there
Where you are
That you’re okay
That you’re still in your imagination
Notice that this childhood mind is still in you
Notice what does this child want
Do you want to play?
Look at your childhood self and ask a question
“What do you want the most right now?”
“What are feeling right now?”
“What do you need?”
Anya asks us to think about, what would you tell your childhood self that would comfort them and give them an opportunity to grow and soothe their inner worries during that moment? These answers are the very things that we carry with us into adulthood.
For more information about Anya and her practices check out her website My Oasis for Healing.
If you enjoyed this Mind Zoning® session make sure you listen to Mountain Escape, on the Fitlandia website. You can sign up for a FREE, 2-week trial and unlock access to the entire collection and all the other member benefits for 2-weeks.
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