When the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember it is even there.Valery Legasov
But it is still there.
Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.
Stress eating is a thing – and it’s related to how we mentally handle anxiety. Here’s a summary of what the psychologist did with his patient Johnny who was stress eating hot dogs:
I showed him some breathing techniques to help deactivate the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a strong role in producing the feeling one must urgently act on the impulse to overeat. I also helped him more specifically label his emotions so he might gain more of a sense of control. I also explained he might be approaching the entire issue with the wrong mindset.
It’s only when emotions are allowed to become actual behavior that damage to your health (over-eating) is done, and this only happens when some type of rational justification makes it “OK” to act against your previously best laid plans. It turns out that when you make a very specific rule to accomplish an important health goal, there’s almost always a voice of justification that occurs which rationalizes crossing the line you previously swore not to cross.
Turns out, these were the very specific thoughts and situations which were poking a hole in his resolve, justifying crossing the eating goals, and acting on the emotions in a negative way. To help arrest this behavior, I helped Johnny to label and very specifically dispute each one:
THOUGHT: “This is intolerable! I shouldn’t have to put up with people like this (usually his boss). The only way to cope is with more frankfurters.”
DISPUTATION: “Almost everyone has to swallow some difficult treatment from their superiors. Besides, frankfurters aren’t the only way to cope. I could work it off in the gym, go for a walk, do some breathing exercises, or just sit with the anger until it passes…which is almost always a lot quicker than I think it will be.”
At first, Johnny felt he couldn’t fight these thoughts even though he could identify them. So I had him carry around a little card with the specific disputations for each one, and I asked him to keep a little journal each morning where he wrote down any new rationalizations he felt brewing in his head. After a while, these thoughts lost their power, and Johnny indeed stuck with his three frankfurter rule.
I’ve written about the various AI algorithms that allow for image and voice replacement before. How about this scene from The Shining – but with Jim Carry instead?