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Hunger and satiety signals are difficult to tune into if you are living in survival mode

"Tuning into your hunger and satiety signals" is not a useful tool if you are stuck in survival mode.

Learning to listen to hunger + satiety signals is an important part of learning to eat naturally + can support the body find its healthy weight.

The hunger + satiety scale is also a great tool.

But if you are stuck in survival mode, either high arousal [fight or flight state] which might be experienced as panic, rage, worry, anxiety or overwhelm; or if you are stuck in hypo arousal [freeze state] which may be experienced as dissociation, memory loss or flat mood it is unlikely that you will be able to accurately tune into your body's internal cues, because the body is focusing on trying to get you out of a perceived danger.

For example when an individual is in fight/flight they may lose their appetite which means they cannot recognise when they are physically hungry.

Food can also serve as a self soothing mechanism as it engages the senses, opens the jaw + chewing creates a rhythmic motion. This may then create an association between stress - food - temporary relief.

In this fight or flight state individuals may present with purging, excessive exercise +/or chewing + spitting too.

In low arousal state you are in a state of disassociation + disembodiment, which means it becomes challenging to track hunger + fullness because you feel more like an observer than an inhabitor of your body. Individuals experiencing flat or low mood may use food so they can feel something.

often individuals move up + down between these states depending on their environment.

this means that before/alongside venturing into the world of tuning into our bodies + restructuring beliefs, we need to create safety to let the body + nervous system know it's safe to start feeling both physical sensations + emotions.

we do this gently + patiently, if we push too hard we could re-trigger the stress state.

Perhaps try daily;

- walking for 10 mins a day without headphones

- laying on the floor for 5 mins with something lightly weighted on top

- blowing bubbles through a straw

- listening to calm music

- humming for 2 mins

- deep breathing

You are safe here.

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