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I think all of us will agree that stress makes people eat. Or grief. Or celebration. Thankfully, these emotions are fairly easy to identify and associate with overeating.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: we're all emotional eaters. Some more than others, of course, but we all eat emotionally.
Emotional eating is simply eating to change the way we feel. And many of us eat when we feel stressed or happy or sad.
But what happens when we're nothing but a big tangled ball of emotions and we suddenly feel crazy because we can't identify what we're feeling at all?
We hate our job. Our spouse is giving us the cold shoulder. We got into a fight with a coworker. Our kids are being unappreciative. The laundry is piling up...
Unfortunately, there's no escape button.
So when we're faced with emotions that we don't even understand ourselves, food can seem like an easy way out.
And while food will certainly provide us an escape, sitting with this big ball of feelings - although uncomfortable - can help us sort through things so we can really see what our reality is.
When there's a lot going on, the key is to sorta act like Vanilla Ice (wow, never thought I'd write that in a inspiration) and instead of, "Stopping, collaborating and listening" we should slow down, look, listen and feel.
Because if we don't, this overwhelming feeling can create so much "noise" in our head that the idea of going into what I call a 'food trance' seems so appealing.
When we're tempted to overeat because we feel overwhelmed, it's helpful that we:
1. Slow down
2. Talk to a friend
3. Write it out and get clarity
4. Wait before acting
5. Think things through
6. Take each stressful situation and give it a feeling. Then --> think of three things we can do to help this situation.
While food gives us momentary escape (and this is why our short term, irrational mind is so drawn to this), it blocks us from reaching a long-term solution.
When we work to understand what we're feeling, there is always so much clarity, insight and possibility, and that feels very exciting.
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