Free Webinar: Loving Your Life After Divorce | Join us February 27 at Noon EST |   REGISTER NOW

Ep. 15 – Buffering and Behavior

What is buffering?

Divorce stirs up so many emotions and often they linger.

In this episode, we explore all the different ways we turn to outside pleasures to suppress emotions and get a dose of dopamine.

This is a natural response to a grief but let’s talk about why and how we can change this behavior.

Transcript

Hello, my friends. How are you? I wanted to let you know that I will be mixing up the topics that I will be speaking with you about, you know, between my coaching life skills, with topics that I hope are relevant to you as to issues stemming from your divorce and post divorce. Listen, my. This podcast is for you.

And so if you have anything in particular that you want me to dive into, please feel free to go to my website, your amazing divorce.com and there is a place to ask for info. And so you can email us and I will be sure to see the email and look forward to hearing from you. What if I told you that your divorce could end up being one of the best things that could happen to you?

I’m Doreen, Yaa, marital, and family, lawyer, and certified life coach. I’ve been coaching and consulting women for over 26 years. I’ve seen it all. Now I’m sharing my expertise and my own personal experiences to help you turn a difficult time into your amazing divorce. So let’s get to our subject today.

This is one of my favorite subjects that I have loved to speak about for a while now. And it’s called buffering when you are going through a divorce and after the divorce, when you have all these negative thoughts that create negative feelings and my friend, sorry, but negative actions and results in your life.

Many of us try to escape by buffer. Buffering is something I want to share with you because you may be doing this. And if you are, it is not helpful to you. And it certainly is not gonna get you to the best place in your life. It’s what I call a dream Steeler, and it can have a lot of negative long-term side effects that can cause you a lot of unhealthy behaviors.

So I have dealt with buffering myself buffering by having that glass of wine to ease the edge of when, you know, when I’m stressed and not liking all the after feelings and thoughts surrounding a stressful day. I don’t buffer with wine any further. As I have taken up other healthy ways of dealing with stress like walking and getting my tushy into the gym.

I find this works for me and has of course much better after effects. You see, when we turn to outside pleasures, such as sugar, alcohol surfing the net for hours, social media, gambling, drugs, and on. You know, we end up cheating on ourselves. What Doreen, what do you mean cheating on ourselves? You know, what does that mean?

Well, when we are living in these places of what I refer to as outside things that make us feel good, we are not fully experie exploring our lives. And we are not fully present to be aware of what we can do with our lives and all of the potential that we absolutely have, but it’s not our fault. You see, when we are experiencing a feeling that doesn’t sit well with us.

And that results in negative feelings. Our brain tells us to seek pleasure to turn that negative feeling into feeling good. You know, no one wants to feel bad. I get that. And who feels worse than someone going through divorce or fresh out a divorce? Or even after that many stats about divorce, say that it’s one of the worst experience experiences that somebody can have second to losing a loved one.

And it’s a lingering hurt. Do you know divorce stirs up so many negative feelings, anger, sadness, jealousy, fear, loneliness, confusion, grief, and on, and. If you sit down and you list it out on a paper, all the emotions, the roller coaster of emotions stemming from your divorce. I bet you could fill up a whole page without any problem.

You know, we know that there are different stages of divorce. As the experts teach us that there are five general emotional stages of divorce that most of us go through. And each of us goes through these maybe at different points. Those five emotional stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

You know, each one of these stages of divorce have a whole set of emotions that go along with each one. And depending on where you are in the stages of your divorce. Realize though my friends, that things will, I promise things will get better. It just takes time. What I want you to understand is that you have to permit the negative feelings to be there and not buffer it away, but instead to let those negative feelings flow, Through us in order to get to the other side.

So you can start to gain confidence, feel better, get stronger. And. Get into a better place. See, the problem is that when we buffer with these fault pleasures like food and alcohol, as examples, we stop the process of getting through and pass the negative emotion because we immediately get this big hit of fault pleasure from the dopamine hit that they bring.

Which says, oh yeah, this feels much better than the sadness. I was feeling. Thank you. Glass of Cabernet or Chardonnay, if that’s your choice and you know what, I think I will just have another, because yeah, this feels much better than that stress or negative emotion that I’m feeling. But when you do. You never work past the negative feeling.

And then when the alcohol or sugar high or social media buzz or flicking binge is over, you have the added issue now of all the guilt that goes with it. I get that many of us don’t wanna face the truth of what we are feeling from the divorce. It is natural. To want to feel good all the time. Remember my friends though, life is a balance of good and bad of 50, 50 life.

However things happen like our divorce that naturally come with the expectation that we will not feel good about. in fact, I would venture to say that if we, or are ecstatic about a divorce or happy about it, something would likely be off. Even if you wanted the divorce, you see my friend, part of the reason that we buffer.

is because we have these things to go to so easily, like food, alcohol, the internet, and our fingertips, you know, these companies make sure that we see and hear all about their great pleasure providing products everywhere. Commercials magazines, billboard, social media platforms, online ads show us through their marketing.

If we eat this drink that spend on this new, whatever that we will be happy, hip cool. And all of our problems will disappear. These companies are banking on you to find their products pleasurable because there is a lot of money to be made. If you. We want these things because they make us feel good and they give us this immediate hit of dopamine pleasure.

It actually has a notable physical effect on us when we eat sweet foods or drink alcohol. And these are just examples because it can be a lot of things that one can do to buffer. The brain’s reward system called the Mezo limbic dopamine system gets activated. Dopamine is a brain chemical released by neurons and can signal that event.

The drinking of the alcohol or the sweets, for example, as being positive, when the reward system fires, it reinforces behaviors, making it more likely for us to carry out these actions again. Right. It just makes sense. They are banking also. These companies on the more we have, these hits a pleasure, like the glass of wine, the more we will continue to want it.

And the more we continue to want the pleasure hit some, call it a pleasure trap. The more we will seek out the pleasure, which means the more we will buy. It just makes sense. So I’m not suggesting here that you forgo all these things like sweets or Netflixing. And on what I am saying is to look at why you are drinking that wine.

Is it because you are stressed out and feel you need. The wine to calm down, or maybe it’s become a habit every night. I never forget seeing this. T-shirt on a friend of mine that kind of summed it all up for me a bit. It was a v-neck simple, short sleeved, white t-shirt that had some red sparkles and words on it that I couldn’t quite make out until my friend came closer to me.

And what it was was a small wine glass with little red sparkles for the wine. And under it, it said, mommy juice, you know, it was cute. It was funny. But at the same time, I was think. It was interesting, like suggesting that as moms, we need the wine because our kids are stressing us out. I don’t know. It was just a thought that I had when I was thinking about and teaching about buffering to one of my classes.

The issue is the more we eat, the more we eat. And the more we drink, the more we drink and the more we shop, the more we shop. And it continues because it just feels better than feeling negative. I did a class on buffering for some of my women, divorced clients, and I think they walked away having the insight that they needed.

To just stop and think. Well, have I gotten myself into some coping behaviors maybe more frequently than is good for me that I just need to be aware of. And that’s what I want you to do. Just be aware of things. You see, education is key in so many ways and it brings awareness and awareness is good. My mom always used to say to my sister and I less is more, I think she meant like less drama and stuff growing up to stop and think so that there is less.

But when I think about her saying that today, I think it’s a very important thing or saying when it comes to buffering. Less is really more when it comes to alcohol and shopping and sugar, right? Most just equates to hangovers and maybe even addictions and overweight and less money. When you aren’t overdoing it on these false pleasures in life, you can achieve more, be healthier, look better, have more money and set out to accomplish your dreams.

It’s hard to accomplish dreams when you’re hungover from too much. Many people don’t wanna hear about less is more. They want more and more. They think that if they give up these things that they’re gonna miss out on enjoyment in life and all the fun and that they will end up just being bored or boring.

I used to think this way, I couldn’t imagine years ago, going to a party and not having a few glasses or more of. , but that can get you into some bad habits, not to mention health issues and extra pounds, which isn’t fun. And so when I started to really think about limiting drinking, I was afraid I would be bored.

And boring, but you know what it was really. Okay. In fact, I found myself having a better time and able to get up well, rested and feeling ready to go and have a great start to my next day and reach my goals. And that was super cool and so much better. wine for me. I really started to question why I felt this need for fault’s pleasure.

You know, I get for many of you that you are not buying into all of this, like you are saying, there is no way I am not having my wine or my sugar or whatever it is. And I get that. And I also understand that dealing with divorce. There’s lots of negative feelings surrounding it and those negative feelings fuel what we may believe as to why having these falses pleasures is justified.

When I ask though, do you get to a point where you start in your life to at least think about doing away with certain things? Look, I have some friends that love good food and they really get into it. And that’s amazing and don’t get me wrong. I love the taste of great food also, but I also know that I wanna fit into my jeans and be able to zip them up without having lay down on the bed and hold my breath.

That’s not fun either. For me, I realize that I am willing to do without, because of the long term effect, the long term goal, the long term, more lasting pleasure of fitting into my jeans that feels so much better than that piece of chocolate cake. I would indulge. Often, and I have to say that it isn’t easy to say no to a great piece of chocolate cake, but I try to also think before I indulge.

At first it’s super weird and uncomfortable. Like anything is just, it takes time, retraining your brain to have and take in new habits. Sometimes you just get to a point in your life. Like, I think I had enough of that for a lifetime and maybe I will try something different. I feel like for me giving up some things has helped me to be kinder to myself as I’m not always beating myself up with all that guilty, the guilty feelings like.

Should I just have ate that candy bar, which has like 400 calories that equates to one hour of workout on a Peloton. just to burn it off. When I have all those other stored fats that I need to burn off as well from all those years of Snickers and Cabernet and on. And. it’s just opened up my brain to my ability, to be able to focus on so many other things that I wanna do with my life and for the world.

I think we use these external pleasures to try to feel better, you know, and it does physically have an actual noted effect on our body that makes us physically feel better. But we. Are really fooling ourself because are we really happier or are we just physically numbing the negative feelings? I think that’s what buffering is.

It’s when we use external things to change how we feel emotionally and artificial, external thing changes how we feel emotion. Not dealing with our negative emotions by buffering is similar to what many of us do, changing things outside of ourselves. Okay. To make us happy. You know, that person, for example, who is always changing jobs.

Going in and out of relationships or changing something in their life. They’re never happy where they are always trying to manipulate the world around them, the external stuff, instead of finding that internal. Happiness that they need. They want to check out of the situation to be happy. But what she doesn’t realize is that you can’t buffer or change the external things around you to find happiness.

You have to know. That you will be fine. And that if you you’re willing to work through the negative emotions, the negative feelings that you can uncover the cause of your unhappiness and get some control over it, you need to stop the buffering so that you can get yourself to the other side of it. And if not, if you don’t do that, if you stop the negative emotion by buffering getting that dopamine hit.

You’ll never get to the other side and figure it out. It becomes this loop and each time you buffer, you are starting from a place lower than you were before. And it all adds up my friend. So, what I want you to do, my friend is to realize that negative feelings that you’re having from your divorce or anything else that’s going on in your life, just to recognize, to know, to be aware if you’re buffering to avoid the discomfort, to avoid the pain.

What could. And what would your life look like if you could work past that negative feeling to the other side and stop all the over everything and instead get to the heart of it, learn what it is, and then work on it to have an actual, authentic, real life. You then can get to know your. In a whole new way.

And without all the after effects of buffering, like hangovers and extra weight and having a non-productive day, the day after that’s living an authentic life, when you can avoid so that you can get to the best part of who you can be with that authentic life. When you get there, you can build confidence and confidence is.

You know, people wanna know what buffering really is. Like if they’re watching or binging on, let’s say a Netflix series, they’ll say to me, Doreen is that buffering. Like they get the alcohol and the food and, and shopping and things like this. But they’ll say, Hey, if I’m binge watching like a documentary, as an example, is that buffer.

So there’s really two questions. You have to ask yourself to determine whether or not you’re buffer. and that the buffering is having negative effect on you. One, the first thing is, are you doing it to avoid a negative emotion? And the second question is whatever the buffering is, does it have negative consequences when the pleasure is gone?

If you answer. To either of those questions, then yes, it is buffering. And you likely need to take a deeper look at that because buffering is something that we. Do to avoid the pain and we just need to be aware of it. All right. My friends, that was a lot. I get it. I know you’re questioning whether or not you wanna give up certain things in your life.

So remember those two questions, ask yourself the questions. Be honest with yourself. And I’m here for anything that you wanna ask me, any help you might need. Go to my website. Again, your amazing divorce.com. Reach out to me, love to speak to you and listen, love yourself. Give yourself a break hold space for yourself and have a most amazing week and day.

And listen. Remember, yes, you can do anything you want and have anything you want in your life. Buy my friends. And until next time, have an amazing rest of the day. And remember, yes, you can buy everybody. Thanks so much for listening for tips, updates, and expert advice. Be sure to visit your amazing divorce.com.

And remember my friends. Yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce. See you. Views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by YFA family law group or your divorce law center, their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, or representatives.

The content of your amazing divorce is for entertainment and educational purposes. Only none of the content on your amazing divorce should be considered legal advice, nor does anything here in create an attorney, client relationship as always consult a lawyer for your legal questions.

Start creating your best life after divorce and book your complimentary Discovery Call