Let me tell you how I've lost 10 pounds in two weeks just by starting to brush my teeth with my 2 years old daughter. More importantly, how this little trick can improve your conflict resolution strategies.
Regarding keeping a proper weight, it's more than obvious that one should take in less than he takes out - eat fewer calories than the amount of calories one burns. Weight wise, moving aside any nutrition–health considerations, if you're willing to run on the treadmill long enough, then you can practically eat whatever you want.
For most adults, eating is much more than a way to answer the body's needs. We eat when we are bored, anxious, feel guilty or any other negative feeling that eating helps us cope with. On the other hand, since eating is considered a pleasure, we eat in order to indulge ourselves.
Hence, two levels of eating motivation can be distinguished: physical hunger, psychological hunger.
The feeling of hunger arises when our stomach sends a signal to our brain. The stomach sends such a signal whenever it starts shrinking – a process that starts after a certain amount of time without food has elapsed. Overweight people will feel hungry not because their body is lacking the resources to feed itself – its fat supplies are well over loaded – but because their stomach is shrinking and hence signaling to the brain: Feed Me!
Hence, psychical hunger can be deluding and should not always be answered with eating.
If you're way above your desired weight and your stomach is twice the size it should be, you must allow yourself to feel hungry in order to let it shrink to its normal size and regain your proper weight.
Psychological hunger is more related to the heart than it is to the stomach. It's our emotional traits that send the signal to brain: Feed Me! The way to cope with psychological hunger is by asking yourself, when you're about to grab a snack "Am I hungry or am I board, anxious, angry etc?" a challenging question indeed, yet if you want to lose excessive weight, there is not other way but to ask it. asking the question, and more than asking, getting an honest answer is challenging because your mind, which desires, not to say addicted to, the food for any psychological reason will cloud your thoughts with justifications to why it is o.k. that you'll eat. Yet, if you'll put your attention inward you can easily locate the voice inside of you that clearly say when you're psychologically hungry. Adhering to this simple rule of eating only when you're psychically hungry can't but make you lose weight.
"Much easier written than done." You may rightfully say to me. And indeed you are right, so in order to take what we all theoretically know into action in real life situations, we need to create ourselves rules that will motivate us to do the right thing at the right time – eat when we should eat and for the right reasons.
So how did I lose 10 pounds?
As I wrote at the beginning of this post, I've started brushing my teeth with my 2 years old at 6 PM. Later in the evening, when I felt like eating something and knowing that I'll have to brush my teeth again forced me to ask myself the question "am I really hungry?" and knowing I'll have to look myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth made me give myself the honest answer that almost always was "no, I'm not really hungry… board mostly…" Hey, I've lost 10 pounds in two weeks like this.
Again you may say to me "nice trick, but how can all of that improve my conflict resolution strategies?"
Like food, so in regarding our conflicts we know what we should or should not do. The challenge isn’t in understanding what we should or shouldn't do but rather in being able to implement it in real life situations.
By the same token, we should create ourselves rules that will motivate us to do the right thing at the right time – barricade our natural conflict behavior and open the door for a more productive action.
Such a rule can be, when you feel compelled to answer back when the other side has said or done something you find opposing to your point of view, to ask yourself "will what I'm about to say, promote me towards my greater good?" If the answer that you give yourself, and again it will be a quite voice inside of you, will be a 'no' then by succumbing to your desire to answer back you are knowingly sabotaging your own greater good.
Past life experience will help you detect that quiet inner voice that answer's with a 'no' to the question whether what you're about to do will benefit you or not.
Like with eating, it's much easier written than done. The reason, by the way, for the gap between theory and practice is the human ego. In times of stress, whether when certain psychological patterns kick in and make us want to psychologically eat or on the verge of a conflict, the human ego has an enchanting power over us. Unfortunately, and we all know it, acting from our ego usually yields poor to devastating results.
In order to decrease the gap between theory and practice regarding the way you manage your conflict, "brush your teeth at 6 PM" – create yourself self restraining actions – that will help you to improve your conflict resolution strategies – help you do the right thing and, with all due respect of course, shut up when you should.