What is buffering?
It’s when we create an imaginary bubble around us to protect us from feeling negative emotions. It may sound nice, but it keeps us from living our fullest lives and often leads to a negative outcome.
We have been socialized to create only good feelings and pleasure in our life. But it is creating more harm long term and becoming a vicious cycle.
When something bad happens that results in negative emotion, we can do one of 4 things:
1) Avoid it by picking a splurge habit that makes us feel better for a short time
2) Resist it by pretending it’s not there, only to make it stronger
3) React to it in a way that we regret later
4) Allow it- and embrace the shitty feelings for a bit to process them and move on
#1 is fairly common. It looks like overeating or overdrinking or over scrolling on social media when we really don’t want to.
But we do it to avoid feeling our negative emotions. Because it offers a false sense of pleasure and blocks our true feelings.
Our eagerness to solve for our discomfort by using an external source of pleasure actually worsens the original issue. The buffering behavior may “take the edge off,” but it will not help you process those emotions. So they will come back even stronger with a repeat exposure or trigger, and it will take even more buffering to push the negative feelings away. Thus creating a never-ending vicious cycle leading to other problems- being overweight, alcohol dependency, and device addiction.
Rather than picking up a glass of wine, or your phone, or a cookie, focus on what you really feeling. What’s so bad about feeling the discomfort of a negative feeling? Why are you so afraid to feel that way?
When you take responsibility for how you feel and process it, it simply goes away.
But it takes practice. It take repetition. It takes believing in yourself.
Ready to learn more?
Discover your inner self. Schedule a Discovery Session with me today.