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Why People Do Such Crazy Stuff (Continued) – Frustration Can Drive You to Distraction (Too Much Food, Alcohol, and Sex!) - Episode 2

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Hello everybody:

This is Cal Banyan with the Secret Language of Feelings Program. And today I’m going to introduce some surprising ideas; for example did you know that distraction makes emotional pain worse? That’s right, when you feel bad and then distract, it makes the emotional pain worse. Did you know that there’s a crazy little thing called normal, healthy depression? That’s right, so hang on and we’ll get right into that after a quick review of some important points from last time.

Alright now, I’m so glad to have you back for another episode, now we’re going to get into it much deeper and you’re going to get a much deeper understanding of why people do such crazy things. First off, let me do a super quick review of why people do such crazy stuff. First of all they have a feeling inside them that they don’t like and they’ve learned to distract themselves from those feelings and this lead to a pattern of distraction that I call, feel bad, distract. All feelings are good when they come from accurate perceptions. Fear is good when you’re in real danger, for example but where did we learn. We’re taught throughout our lives to deny, ignore and distract ourselves from our feelings, to absolutely ignore this inner guidance, this inner wisdom.

Distracters can be food, alcohol, drugs, shopping even things people think of as positive like exercise; we can certainly exercise too much, study too much, and even work too much. Distracters, distracters don’t do anything positive to affect the cause of the problem; they just take your mind off of the unpleasant feeling for some period of time. So because of this we get into a pattern of feeling bad and then distracting. This is reinforced because it makes you temporarily feel better but as soon as you get finished distracting you feel bad once again. That’s right as soon as you get done distracting you feel bad once again. By the way there’s a very nice graphic on this cycle on page 43 of the book, The Secret Language of Feelings. I also have these graphics placed our website

Alright, if you need a little bit more review than that just go back the last episode. Now we can move on, so there you are you’re feeling bad and you know I’m using this word bad. Feelings are not bad; they’re either pleasurable or painful. I’m using the word bad because that’s what we just typically think of as I’m feeling bad. Like there you are you’re feeling angry or sad or lonely and so on. And you don’t know what to do about it, you certainly don’t want to show it and so you are you distract and so this happens over and over and in some resistance this is the feel bad, distract cycle.

Now here we go, new material, so there you are thinking about eating when you shouldn’t be eating or drinking alcohol when you shouldn’t be and so on. But you just keep thinking about over and over until you finally give in, so there you are thinking about it over and over and you finally give in. Now, after you’ve had that food when you didn’t want to gain weight or you had that alcohol when you’re trying to remain sober and so on, how do you feel now? You feel better or do you feel worse? Let me give you an example, this is going to sound kind of strange in the beginning, but let’s say you’re doing some kind of project at home and you have these two boards and you wanted to fix them together and you think well that’s easy, I’ve done this before, I’m just going to get myself a big nail.

And so you get those two boards and you lay them down there on the table one on top of the other and I’m just going to nail these two boards together and you go out and get your biggest, best hammer and you take a swing at that nail, wham, do it again, wham, and again, wham and it starts to go in wham, you get your confidence going, wham and it bends, you think ok, you know no big deal and you pull that nail out, you put another nail in you do it again. Wham, wham, wham, and there it goes, it bends again, now you’re starting to feel kind of unpleasant about this, you think well third times a charm wham, wham, wham, third nail wham, bend oh boy, now how are you starting to feel, you’re starting to feel frustrated. That’s right you’re starting to feel frustrated. Now there was some reason why you wanted those two boards to be nailed together, there was some game in that and you’re expecting that when you got done nailing those two boards together you will have satisfied some need, want or desire. So you started nailing away.

So we had some primary feeling ok, maybe you were just bored and you wanted to do your project, and get a feeling a sense of achievement and so you’re nailing those two boards together. Just remember I talked last time about primary, when ever there is a need, want or desire that’s being fulfilled or not fulfilled, the that’s feeling being generated it’s either positive or negative, as far as pleasurable or un pleasurable that feeling that comes from either fulfilling or not fulfilling your need, want or desire is called the primary feeling. It was that feeling that drove you, that motivated you to try to nail those two boards together ok. Here’s a little hint, I want to remind you that emotion is pure motivation that’s the purpose of it. The purpose of emotion especially painful emotion is to motivate you to do the sometimes difficult things you need to do to fulfill your needs, wants or desire. Alright, so there you are nailing that board together and this new feeling come up and its frustration. Let’s say you were board that was the primary feeling and you decide to do a new project and then when you started nailing those two boards together you kept bending the nails and now you are both bored and frustrated. You see frustration is a secondary feeling, and now we have primary and secondary. Over and over again when we try to do something and we are not successful, it always generates the secondary feeling. Frustration, frustration comes from trying and not being successful that’s where frustration comes from. Let me tell you I had a friend and she had recently broke up with her fiancé and she was very sad about that after that she had started to get lonely, you know a certain amount of time went by and she healed from that relationship, but she was lonely she needed someone in her life and she started going out and dating again and she started going out on a date, and meeting someone and going out on a date and hoping to fulfill her need for a relationship. You see that’s where loneliness comes from, we all have the need, want or desire for relationships in our life. Could be family relationship, it could be work relationships, or it could be husband, wife relationships. Well she was in one of the times of her life where she was looking for a mate and she was unable to fulfill that need want or desire and she was feeling lonely. And so that loneliness was there to motivate her to do what she needed to do to begin to build a relationship. So she started going out and dating and if she didn’t meet someone she liked she would get frustrated, so now she is lonely and frustrated. That’s what I want you to understand right now about frustration. Frustration is always secondary to some other primary feeling. People get angry and frustrated, lonely and frustrated, sad and frustrated, and so on. Where ever there is frustration, there is also the primary feeling. Now this is very important, remember in the very beginning, I told you that distraction makes things worse; it makes you feel more emotional pain. So let me tell you what I mean by that, so originally in my example of the board, with the two boards I started nailing boards together because I had a project, because I was bored. When I was unable to fix those two boards together, the wooden boards then I became frustrated, and if I quit then I would be both bored and frustrated. In my example of my friend she was lonely and frustrated. Now, remember it was the feeling that drove either me into action to start doing my project, or it was the sadness that drove my friend into action to start dating, and that kind of thing, well guess what, quite often before we start taking any kind of action to fulfill our needs, wants and desires we first get into the feel bad distract cycle. Feel bad, distract, feel bad, distract, ok. So when I can’t even think how many times in my life I’ve felt bored and started thinking about what’s in the refrigerator or what’s in the cupboard. Boy, if I had a button in front of me that I could press and it would immediately remove every ounce of fat from my body that I ever carried in my life that was put there because I ate because I was bored, woo, I think I’d have a significantly weight loss or that I consumed because I was frustrated, or because I was angry, these are other kinds of feelings. Think about that yourself if there was a button there and if you’re a little bit over weight if you could push that button, and it would you know somehow remove any excess weight that you’re carrying, because you ate because you were either bored or lonely, oh boy that’d make a big difference in a lot of peoples lives, ok. So here is the thing you start off with the primary feeling could have been bored, it could have been lonely, it could have been anger, it could have been sadness and most people will just distract, they’ll go eat some rocky road ice cream or they’ll go shopping or they’ll do some other kind of behavior that makes them feel good, but has nothing to do with the cause of the problem, and then they do that over and over and over again, and it doesn’t have any effect on the cause of the problem.

As soon as they get done with the distracter they still feel sad or lonely or frustrated, or bored and what happens is just like when I’m trying to nail the boards together what, I get frustrated or when my friend is unable to find a new mate, she gets frustrated, and so now we have whatever the original feeling was and frustration.

Now what we’ve actually done is created a secondary painful emotion, and guess what, what do drinkers do when they get frustrated, what do cigarette smokers do when they get frustrated, what do over eaters do when they get frustrated? You know they are going to go for their favorite distracter, and so when you respond to your emotions by distracting by drinking, smoking or whatever it doesn’t make things better it makes things worse, because it builds up the habit of distraction. It doesn’t do anything to satisfy the real cause of the feeling and it leads to frustration, and now the frustration and the primary feeling those two pains are now what, double the motivation that you’re experiencing to distract. If the sadness caused you to distract, certainly sadness and frustration would increase your motivation to distract, and so the drive to over eat or abuse alcohol, or abuse drugs or whatever it is has now been doubled, so distraction, responding to feelings through distraction makes things worse, ok good.

Now, if you want to talk about this I want to remind you that we have a group set up on yahoo just for this so that you can talk about it, you can also leave comments on the

Here is the address or URL for the yahoo groups it is there are no spaces in this it’s all one line and that will take you right to our group there and you can join it and you can talk with other people who are interested in this topic. Ok let me continue, so there we go. Distracters are bad because they don’t satisfy the need, want or desire. Distracters usually cause you to do too much of whatever the distracter is eating too much, drinking too much, smoking too much, eating too much and so on and what; it doubles the amount of pain. The emotional pain is pure drive to behave to act and what happens if you don’t know the secret language of feelings if you don’t know what your emotions are trying to get you to do you tend to just do more distracter and there is a really nice graphic on page 44 of the book, of the feel bad distract cycle and the frustrate distract cycle. Ok, that sounds terrible doesn’t it, well there’s going to be hope I’m going to get you to the hope part, but I’m kind of letting you know where it’s all coming from.

Now, it gets worse than that as you continue in that get frustrated then distract cycle, does the frustration go up or down? I want you to think there I am nailing or attempting to nail, nail after nail into those boards and I’m not successful my frustration goes up. What happens if my friend goes out and continues dating and not finding a mate? What happens to her frustration does it go down stay the same or go up, well certainly it goes up? So this is what I got to tell you, God or nature or natural selection, however you want to think about those things put a safety device inside you, a safety device you see that continuing, chronic experience of frustration is unhealthy. Its chronic stress and it can cause all kinds of health problems; it can cause all kinds of mental problems, like difficulty in concentration, difficulty in memory, inability to study or attend and all that kind of stuff and so thank goodness or thank God or thank nature, however you look at that kind of stuff.

Nature put a safety valve inside of you, so you don’t go ballistic and hurt somebody or hurt yourself in most cases and it’s called normal, healthy, depression. That’s right, sometimes getting depressed is the absolute best thing you can do at the time, and that’s what we’re going to get into next time because we’re running short on time for this program. We’re going to get into this crazy idea of normal, healthy depression and I’m going to explain to you that sometimes the best possible thing you can do is to go to bed is to do nothing, because guess what frustration is a call for creativity and depression is a call for rest and re-cooperation until you can risk frustration again. So that’s what I’m going to get into more and more in the next episode hang in there because pretty soon we’re going to get to the solution and how you can begin living that more satisfying life. If you want to if you’ve got the book you can look ahead, on page 48 of the Secret Language of Feelings book, there’s a very nice graphic there an explanation of the feel bad distract cycle, and then the frustration distract cycle and get depressed distract cycle and then explains this downward spiral of emotions. So once again you can get those graphics also and get more information about the Secret Language of Feelings at ,the books available there and it’s also available on and of course you can get involved in the conversation by going to our yahoo groups page on this topic at So what’s coming up in the future, in future programs we’re going to talk about the downward spiral of emotions and I’m going to answer that old, age old, question; What are Feelings for Anyway? I’m going to talk about some experiences I’ve had with some medical professionals on the topic, we’re going to talk about, also here’s another interesting one the wisdom of anger, the wisdom of sadness, the wisdom of fear, the wisdom of guilt and even frustration, depression. I’m also going to share some stories about how this approach has helped me in my life and my clients. Ok that’s it for now; this is Cal Banyan with the Secret Language of Feelings program out here in beautiful sun shinny California, signing off.

This recording is the property of Cal Banyan and Cal Banyan’s Banyan Publishing Incorporated, All rights Reserved, for private use only may not be duplicated without written permission.

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