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A Habit to Call my Own

Mar 12, 2008
When people are tired, sad, lonely or even happy, they turn to comfort food. Everyone has their own personal, favorite comfort food. For me, it is Jack in the Box tacos. If you actually ate this food as an adult, you would never eat it again! But for some strange reason, you are still drawn to the food, it seems completely illogical

Here is the logic, the addition and craving you are feeling is emotional. You, like myself, can justify eating it because you think you will feel happy, content or calm. Deep down you know it will not make you feel better, but think it will subconsciously. After a while you actually start to believe it will make you feel better and because our minds believe this, you do feel better, but only for a short time.

As the taco is disappearing, a bite at a time, the guilt kicks in. You might have guessed this does not stop me from eating one taco, or even my second! I am sure you know this feeling, and it is very frustrating. I know I should not be eating the greasy and oddly textured taco, but I really feel like eating it. I have the same cravings, longing and urge to devour that taco, the same as you.

Inhaling the taco is a habit and the habit was learned through different ways. For me, I remember being seven or eight years old maybe. I was with my family on the way to the beach in Southern California. We were talking about Jack in the Box tacos. My mom and aunt talked about how good and greasy they are. We talked about how perfect the tacos would be to have at the beach. All of us were all happy and having a good time. It was a warm, sunny day at the beach, and we were going to play and enjoy ourselves, it would be a good day. We reached Jack in the Box and ordered the tacos, they were amazing! Some sand got into one of my tacos, but I did not care, we were having a fantastic day. Memories which are important are typically vivid and more influential than everyday random memories.

Today, just the anticipation of getting the tacos triggers good feelings which are associated with this memory. Sometimes the memory comes with it and sometimes not. It is important to understand how we relate feelings to different things in our lives, things like food, music or a voice.

Aerosmith was my favorite band of all time. I would listen to their songs over and over again, and never get sick of them. All this changed in the 90's when I took my then girlfriend to an Aerosmith concert. Things did not get well and since then I don't care for their music, each song reminds me of her which turns me off to their music. This is just another example of how memories can influence simple things in our lives.

It's SoCal, the 70's, my family has a van with pin stripes, and the interior was tangerine orange with matching carpet. Yes it makes me laugh too! I was about six years old and encountered a large black widow spider in this van. My parents made me and my brothers' get out of the van quickly. For years I had an embarrassing fear of spiders. I was able to link it to this memory. I am now able to kill spiders, but if I see a big one I still get nervous, but nothing like it use to be.

Other memories we associate with feelings or emotions might be something as simple as a voice. I don't know about you, but whenever I hear a stern voice, like my wife saying, Patrick Michael Glancy, I know I have either done something wrong or need to find something to do and fast! Most people feel like a child when they hear this tone of voice. Especially when someone uses your first, middle and last name!

Enough about me, the point of all this is to show you common sense examples of learned behaviors. Emotions associated with memories trigger very powerful, behind the scenes reactions and decisions in our minds. Take a moment and think about some powerful memories you have had and think about how they might relate to other things in your life.
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