Emotional Eating is eating food for any reason other than hunger, choosing to eat to relieve some kind of pressure. We stuff down our feelings and follow them with a food chaser.
Like any physical threat, the best way to overcome emotional eating is prevention, and the best prevention is practicing good self-care so you aren’t overwhelmed with the germs that cause emotional eating.
Three Ways to Prevent Emotional Eating
1. Manage the negative self-talk that overwhelms your thinking. I know. Easier said than done. But seriously, has all that negative talk going round in your head EVER helped?
Me neither. So how do we do manage that negative self-talk?
It will take practice, but break the habit of speaking to yourself in any way you would not speak to a friend. Instead, fill your mind with good things – things that are lovely, encouraging, true. If you’re feeling jaded about forcing yourself to look for the positive, think of it this way: Can’t really hurt, can it?
2. Stay on top of the self-care that works to relieve your stress, boredom, pain, grief, anxiety, or other negative emotions. Take that walk, journal, do whatever meditation or deep breathing works for you, have that bubble bath, or do something really physical. Have a night out with a friend or a good snuggle with your partner. Filling your own tank is important as it enables you to do everything else.
3. Learn how to manage those negative and painful emotions, particularly those you don’t know what to do with. This one is hard, and you may need a little help to both identify and unwind this. It’s kind of hard to think and feel your way through them on your own. We need some objectivity.
Honestly, some of them are just bad habits we picked up along the way. It has worked for us, so why wouldn’t we keep using it? It’s easier to give into an emotion than it is to learn to respond differently to it. Yet if you want true change, you have to do something different. It’s not easy, but it’s a worthy challenge.
Some result from painful experiences in your past. When your heart is wounded, that part of you stays very young, so you often respond from that general age of maturity. If ice cream soothed you then, it’s likely what you go for now. As the adult looking back, you can make different choices so your heart can heal.
We know the satisfaction from emotional eating doesn’t last. It’s like trying to fill a hole-riddled bucket — the relief drains out almost as fast as you fill it. Doing good self-care keeps your emotional tank filled, and how strong does THAT feel?
If you need a little help, don’t hesitate to contact me.