Anxiety - Feeding Herman is a Way to Describe the Effect of Negative Self-Talk

Health and Fitness Mental Health



I'm from Saskatchewan. Sometimes people there do rather strange things!

I remember going to visit a friend one time only to be delighted by the beautiful, delicious cinnamon buns that she served. After asking for the recipe I was surprised to watch her open the fridge, take out a large container and then cut off a piece of bread dough. She carefully wrapped it and then gave me a sheet of paper with directions that clearly stated I was to "feed" the dough regularly.

I decided to call my new friend "Herman" and lovingly placed him in a sealed vessel in my own fridge. How excited we were as we counted the days until we could "feed Herman". On the seventh day I removed him from his resting place and added the eggs, flour and other ingredients. For the next three days we watched as he more than doubled in size. How wonderful that first batch of buns tasted!

The next week we kind of lost count of the days and soon it was time to feed and then bake Herman again.

Over time we began to lose interest in the project. It didn't take long until no one really wanted to eat Herman anymore. I began freezing his produce, giving it to neighbours and eventually became somewhat resentful about the time and energy he required. Herman was taking over our lives. How quickly the relationship had deteriorated. Now I had to decide what to do with Herman. Give him away or kill him!

Herman is somewhat like fear. At times, we need to be a little bit afraid or worried about certain things like how to protect our children and ourselves from diseases, accidents and failures. If we continue to feed our fears, however, they can take over our lives and eventually lead to anxiety and other stress-related illnesses.

Psychologists are trained and experienced in helping people learn scientifically-proven techniques that can lead to healthy living practises.

Take a moment today to think about the thoughts you have been feeding lately. Will they lead you to a place where you will fear life or enjoy it? The choice is yours.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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