During difficult times, you may find yourself reaching for food to help soothe the uncomfortable feelings. While eating may provide a temporary distraction, eating isn’t the most effective way to deal with emotions.
Food is great for fueling us & satisfying hunger, but it’s not the best emotional regulator. Food won’t “fix” our feelings, so we want to have other tools in our coping toolbox.
Learning to feel your feelings and discovering healthy & helpful ways to navigate emotions will lessen your need to eat your feelings.
Try these three steps the next time you find yourself turning to food when you aren’t hungry:
1. Pause. Create some space between impulse (urge to eat) and action (reach for food). Give yourself an opportunity to understand what’s beneath the desire to eat.
2. Ask: What am really I hungry for? (Ie: comfort)
3. Choose how you will respond. I like to have my clients create a “happy list” – a list of non-food activities that can comfort you, entertain you and bring you joy. Here are some examples:
• Call a friend
• Go for a walk
• Read a book
• Listen to music
• Take a bath
• Watch a funny movie, etc.
Uncomfortable emotions are an unavoidable part of life, but there is power is in giving yourself the opportunity to make a conscious choice rather than letting the emotions sweep you away.
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What’s on your happy list?