Feed Your Emotional Hunger
Emotional eating is a very common behavior that many people experience through out their life time. It is defined as the “practice of consuming large quantities of food – usually comfort or junk foods – in response to emotions and feelings verse true biological hunger.” It is estimated that 75% of over-eating is related to suppressed and neglected emotions. While emotional eating once in a while can be perfectly safe, and even part of a healthy diet, it can also easily spiral out of control contributing to weight-related medical illnesses, depression, anxiety and other serious side effects. Learning to deal with your “emotional hunger” is an important part of being healthy and living a longer happier life.
Here are some tips to strengthen your emotional health and spirituality:
Reward yourself with non-food related activities:
Eating can often be used as a form of reward, or a pat on the back, for your accomplishments. Instead, find other activities that give you that same high and rewarding feeling that don’t involve eating such as getting a massage, taking a hot bath with scented candles, indulging in a 20 minute afternoon nap, getting your nails done, going for a 15-20 minute leisurely walk in the park.
Practice positive self-talk:
The more you say it the more you’ll believe that you’re worth it and your self esteem will gradually improve making it easier to deal with emotional conflict. Be sure to also reward yourself every time you overcome or avoid another emotional eating episode.
Express your emotions regularly to trusted people or professionals:
Letting it out is sometimes the best way to move on and feel better about a stressful or upsetting situation. Talk to your family, friends, or a seek a licensed therapist to make sure you’re venting regularly.
Learn to manage stress better:
Unfortunately, stress will never go away so you need to learn how to manage it in order to live a healthier happier life. Exercising, meditating, journaling are all financially free methods to alleviate stress that you can do anywhere and, almost, anytime.
Find support groups:
Positive-thinking can be contagious which is why finding a group of people who are supportive and positive will help you get through the tougher times of life without looking to food. You can find support groups on the internet making easier than ever to check in on a regular basis. Other options include OA (over-eater’s anonymous), weight watchers, or groups run by licensed therapists.
Take care of and nurture yourself:
Eat a healthy balanced diet, get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night and make time to exercise regularly. Not only will your body and mind thank you, but you’ll feel happier, more energetic and better able to tackle emotional roller coasters. Don’t neglect yourself and make sure to carve out at least 1 hour per day doing things JUST FOR YOU!