I used to love pick and mix. In my twenties, I remember visiting the cinema and greedily scoffing all my freshly bought sweets during the trailers, before returning for a refill before the film had even started! I loved the variety of textures and tastes; all the fizzies and the jellies, the liquorice, and the fudge…and I wouldn’t say no to a white mouse or four either. Not surprisingly, my teeth did not love them – and as Pam Ayres had predicted… the drill it did whine in those molars of mine…oh I wish I’d looked after me’ teeth!
Luckily, these days, pick and mix has become an occasional treat and I can happily take it or leave it, especially as it often looks like it has been sitting on display for a decade. Now, when I do indulge and buy a bag, it is just for fun and to be sociable – as I am much better at sharing it than I used to be, thank goodness!
As an NLP* and EFT* practitioner, I have often used a range of visualisation techniques to help people overcome negative or unhelpful thought patterns, obsessions or phobias. One of my previous clients had an addiction to Wine Gums. After just one session with me, there was a tangible shift in her thought patterns which enabled something really powerful to happen and I was extremely happy to receive the following feedback from her:
“I have had a fairly good diet for most of my life, low in sugary food, alcohol, and gluten-free, with lots of vegetables and water. There were always two treats I allowed myself; a square of 85% chocolate once in a while, and the occasional Wine Gum, and I mean occasional.
Over the last five years, while nursing and then working through the deaths of both my parents, my health deteriorated. This coincided with my need for a ‘reward’ after visits to hospitals, care homes and meetings with doctors. My occasional Wine Gum became a whole packet, then all I could think about was the journey home from anywhere so I could have more Wine Gums.
Sadly, my ability to eat chocolate without dreadful indigestion stopped even the small amount I was having. This wasn’t the case with Wine Gums. Every time I filled up the car with fuel, I would rush to buy one or two packets of them, hidden in the glove compartment, but not for long.
I mentioned this passion for the little gummy sweets to Jen and so she worked through some visualisation techniques with me during my consultation. On my journey home, I continued to think of Wine Gums, but as I filled the car up with fuel, I didn’t even see any Gums, let alone look for them, which was so unusual as it was always the first thing I looked for.
Seven months on and I haven’t had a single Wine Gum. I have thought about them in passing, but not succumbed. My Life IS Wine Gum Free! Yes, I miss them, but I do not want to eat any.”
We can all relate to experiencing pleasurable feelings around certain foods, which can build and grow, and an occasional treat can become something we fixate on and crave. We will then continue eating this ‘treat’ for the immediate dopamine hit it provides, despite knowing how bad it is for us, as our thought patterns lock our feelings into a cycle of behaviour that we are unable to stop.
However, by using NLP techniques such as those made famous by Paul McKenna, it is possible to break this cycle, as I did with my client, to eradicate the perception of addiction. McKenna became an advocate of Havening after the technique was demonstrated on him, following a break-up of his relationship.
In a matter of minutes something I was sad about, angry, even furious about… The emotion was gone. A lot of people say this is a distraction and it’ll come back. Yes, sometimes you have to reinforce it, but with most people you don’t. I didn’t need to.Paul McKenna
AION Editor: In case you missed it in last week’s issue, we also featured Jen’s Havening in The power of Havening – and in other news
* Neuro Linguistic Programming
* Emotional Freedom Technique