Anyone with a mental health diagnosis that involves ruminating thoughts knows that calming racing thoughts is hard, really hard.
An example would be me headed to the kitchen. I have a racing thought that I need to eat right now (even though my hunger is a 2 out of 10). Many other thoughts race through my head, “I better eat in case I don’t have access to food, because I am dieting” or “I deserve this” or “I have had a hard day, (or boring day or emotional day) so I better eat”. So I try to shut off my mind and eat.
This is where people try and tell me to control my thoughts or distract myself from my thoughts. Or sit in my thoughts and really feel the thoughts. Sometimes this works. Sometimes I just need to leave the kitchen and do something entirely different. Sometimes I need to give myself a break and realize I use food as a way to relax and reward myself.
Food is hard. It is not like alcohol or smoking in the sense that I can’t quit food cold turkey. I need it to survive and thrive.
How does improv help with all this you may ask?
Improv gets you out of your head and into your body. Its gets you in the moment. It gets you in tune with your authentic real self.
When I am actually truly aware of my body, and my hunger queue’s I eat healthier and less often. So, for me, it is about stopping the hamster wheel of thoughts and truly getting a sense of my body and what it needs. Much like improv, but I listen to my body and what it needs and listen less to the anxiety of my mind, I have a healthier day.