Monday morning I was eating some raspberry Greek yoghurt and a thought cross my mind, I wonder how much
lactose in it. I am on a low FODMAP diet and lactose, a high FODMAP, is often a trigger for those with
bowel issues. I find I can have quite a bit of lactose without having any symptoms but I was still curious since I LOVE facts and numbers. So, anyway, I Googled it, as I do when I’m researching, and as I was looking for a good source I came across a question, “If you are lactose intolerant can you still have a little cheese or yogurt?”
My immediate thought was why would you want to? I mean there’s so many other options out there that are far more healthy than dairy. Especially cheese, which is really hard to digest to begin with. Granted I am thinking this as I am eating yogurt, dairy, myself. It struck me, why did I have that thought? I stopped to do a little self-reflection and I realized it was because I find myself eating foods that I would not normally choose to eat because I’m so limited. I found myself frustrated with those who choose to eat whatever they want because they enjoy it even if they could make better choices because I don’t have that luxury.
There is a name for this in psychology, if you were in a therapy session would be called counter transference. I have to do a lot of self examination, counter transference work, in my assignments as a student, I thought it was kind of interesting. I don’t have counter transference with my role playing
“clients” but I do have bias triggers, like this, people who make poor choices when they have better options available. Which of course is a judgmental thought and not helpful. I make poor choices when I have better options available too!!!
Bias trigger is one of those things that we need to be self-aware of. Others around us can trigger negative thoughts and feelings within us. Add to that we can never be truly bias free. We’ll always have opinions and ideas, and those were shape and form or thoughts and feelings. We may even find hints of racist, sexist, or ageist thoughts and having to admit that may frighten us or make us feel guilty. The challenge is not to make yourself the most politically correct person in the world, but rather to be aware the feelings and thoughts you have so that you can address those in your own mind. If we pretend they don’t exist we will
never deal with them. We have to admit our failings and faults, even embrace them and accept them. The paradox, once we accept we are human and fail, we then can make real change.
Sometimes just accepting it, changes it. For example: If I am deceiving myself or blind to a fault, and then I recognize and admit I am blind, just admitting it dissolves it and I see more clearly who I really am. That doesn’t work for all issues, but recognizing it then accepting it are the first two steps. Then you can work to adapt to it or crush it. In my case, with the yoghurt and the forum participant who wanted to know if they could have a little dairy, I started to ask myself what is it like for this person? They are a real human being with struggles, frustrations, cares, worries, and loss in their own life. How is it that I assume they have it easier and they should just choose better. Soon as I said “should” I remembered the 10 cognitive distortions (untruths we tell ourselves). If you’d like to learn more about telling yourself the truth click here.
*TEAM-CBT, developed by Dr David Burns, is an evidenced-based approach to psychotherapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) at its core, recognizing the connection between thoughts and emotions, and behaviour, but inclusive of various techniques across many approaches. TEAM is an acronym: Testing, Empathy, Acceptance (paradoxical Agenda setting) and Methods.