Emotional eating is a real concern for so many of us.
Scroll down a little to watch the video below about how to reduce emotional eating and feel more in control of your eating habits.
Beautiful sunrise today!
One of the most common problems around overeating, and not being in control of your eating habits, is to eat to cope with your emotions. And this is something we are all taught to do when we're babies. The baby cries, give her a bottle; the toddler cries, give her a snack.
It's not really our fault. We were literally trained to eat whenever we feel an emotion (positive or negative).
And even sometimes when it is positive, we celebrate so many different occasions with food and alcohol. So it's an interesting thing that we're doing all the time. And we're perhaps not even aware of how intense it is.
So how do we deal with this? Well, the first step is awareness. If you're not even aware that you're eating to suppress your emotions, that's going to be a problem. The first step in all change is awareness. And the second step is commitment.
So, be aware that something's happening, and then commit to make a change.
And it's actually not that hard.
See, we use the term feelings, but what we're really talking about is a mixture of emotions, physical sensations, bodily sensations, things that are coming at us. There's a mixture of things when we talk about feelings. Just pay attention to that; separating out your emotions from your physical, bodily sensations.
The next time you eat (could be a regular meal, a snack, or it could be your worst time of the day when you binge eat), pay attention to what you're feeling; both your emotions and your bodily sensations, and just write it down. Or simply tune into it.
And usually, if we're feeling angry, we're going to feel it in our neck, upper back, and the upper chest area.
If we're feeling sadness, we're going to feel a heaviness in our chest.
And if we're afraid, which is probably the most common one, underneath it all, it is usually in our belly area.
So just take note, “Oh, I'm feeling a little stiffness in my neck, and I'm really pissed off, so I'm going to eat a ton of food.” Or. “I'm frustrated.” Or “I'm feeling sad and I feel that heaviness in my chest.” Or “Oh, chocolate cake would just make me feel so much better right now.”
Tuning into those bodily sensations and those emotions may not be so clear to you. Maybe you have five different things going on. “I'm frustrated, I'm annoyed, I'm disappointed”, you know, use as many words as you can to describe that emotion.
And also the physical sensation: sometimes you may feel it in your toes, or maybe you just feel numb throughout your body. Take note of it and write it down on a daily basis. You’ll probably start to see some patterns! You will learn a little bit about yourself, and maybe next time instead of eating, you can journal about your emotions, or do something to alleviate those emotions other than eating.
This is a fantastic way to start to overcome stress eating / emotional eating that all of us probably do at one point or another.
We want to release those emotions and process them!
So that is it, just the beginning of how to overcome emotional eating/stress eating. And I think that if you try it out, you might find some very interesting things about yourself.