Chocolate therapy sounds like a dream right? Well it was!
Soon as I heard about it, I’m not going to lie, I was well giddy! An actual great excuse to scoff my face with chocolate because now it’s therapy! Can’t think of a better excuse! But that kind of backfired on me. I didn’t end up scoffing anything, shocker right?!
The group therapy kicked off with relaxing music and an introduction to LifeWorks Foundation in Dubai by speakers Monica and Sharon. They specialise in emotional health and wellness via coaching or workshops. For the icebreaker we were asked to share to what is the main stress in people’s current life. Of course my answer was based around having to deal with a cheeky toddler and a needy baby, who was basically in my arms the entire time and needed an exorcism to go to sleep after I tried putting her down; holy water and everything.
It was really interesting to hear what the stressors and consequence of those stressors were doing to other individuals. I was totally immersed in others lives.. A lovely lady to my right was a doctor and she spoke about how shes seen many people die and dealing with that stress was so hard that she quit. How brave is she! My kids screaming like a pair of banshees was no comparison, and now I’m questioning what am I doing here? Oh yeah, chocolate..
They taught us the 16 second breather as an instant de-stressing technique. Breathe in to the count of 4, hold that to the count of 4, breathe out to the count of 4 and hold that to the count of 4. Simple but pretty effective because by some miracle Bambi fell asleep. Haaaaallelujjah.. It just might be true that babies sense if your calm or not. Must be the reason why EVERY single baby, before I had kids, used to scream when I would visit. Let’s be real, before you have kids you don’t know how to hold scrunched up baby aliens.. well I didn’t anyway.. So back to therapy, we tried something more relaxing, a 5 minute muscle tension and relax technique, where everyone laid on the floor and was talked through how to release muscle tension. Of course I’m the only one that stayed sitting because of the kid on my lap blissfully asleep, but I did try my best to take part and stay awake. You ask me to close my eyes and I will fall into a coma.
Finally out came the chocolates, yaaaaas! They were Patchi and a smiley face Lintt chocolate, so I knew this was gonna be so yummy!
I mentally prepared to engulf these chocolate treats in a couple of bites and have any stressors magically disappear. But we used the mindfulness approach to be more aware of the chocolate, starting with the gold wrapper and the detailing on it. I never did pay attention to the wrapper but it definitely helps start of the chocolate experience. Boy o boy, I was excited, 11am and not shamelessly hiding in the loo scoffing a KitKat. I’ve literally made it in life! .. Monica started telling us every time she has done chocolate therapy, no one has ever finished a chocolate bar. Is that a challenge? Mwahahaha, she shall see my inner Jabba the Hut.. finishing a chocolate bar is achievements in life ok, don’t judge me 😭.. after opening the wrapper and having a look at the pretty details, smelling the rich milky chocolate aroma and having the tiny person in my brain jumping up and down.. we were told to take a bite and let it melt on our tongue, whilst using the muscle relaxing technique. Savoring the chocolate flavour was so good! Couple of bites in she mentions in her soothing sing song voice to think of a happy childhood memory it reminds you of. Now everyone is probably thinking of happy times eating chocolate while stroking unicorns but I thought of the time I went Cadbury’s world in Birmingham, UK, and I felt sick. Thanks Monica. Although you never knew what happened to me in Cadbury’s world 😂
I remember lagging behind my partner I was paired up with because of school trip rules and secretly inhaling every free sample of Cadbury’s bars in sight. It might as well have been drugs the way I was covering my ass. “Go ahead, I need to do my laces”, “I’m going to the toilet for the 86th time”, “I’m coming I just need to give my autograph to a fan that knows my superstar gran” ..every excuse Tracy Beaker taught me. I had eaten so much that I was on the verge of having a chocolate nosebleed… There was a ride where a cart takes you through the process of making chocolate. Every picture of a stupid smiling cocoa bean came along, it made me feel sickER. Then someone from the cart in front of me let out an alarm from their backside JUST as we went past the automatic camera shot. Many people bought that picture because It caught me mid fainting at the smell of diseased chocolate. Safe to say I was traumatised and didn’t eat chocolate for about a year.
So here I am, in the middle of chocolate therapy, put off chocolate. I realised I lost my own mental bet of finishing all this chocolate but before I could feel sorry for myself, suprisingly no one in the group made it half way to finishing their chocolate bar because the taste was overwhelming, we actually didn’t need to eat the entire bar. And we all actually enjoyed being in the present moment of savoring the delicious chocolate taste and for those few minutes, any stress had vanished. Minus my stress of recalling fart related circumstances of course. But really goes to show that if you are more mindful about what you eat, it can help give you few minutes to focus on yourself and your taste buds. Might even help me loose weight, whoohoo!
Overall the experience was great! Free event, free chocolates and leaving calmer and happier.. PLUS I got a goodie bag with a free voucher to do any course they provide! Win win me thinks!