Emotional Eating Part 2
Author: Maharishi Ayurveda Date Posted:21 September 2015
In Part 1 we took a step towards understanding comfort eating.
Some of the facts we explored
- Food can provide immediate comfort but it will not solve the underlying problem
- Sometimes people use food to try and manage emotions, stress or problems
- There are healthier ways to deal with emotional overload, stress or problems that can provide positive benefits to our life and wellbeing such as exercise, meditation, relaxation or hobbies.
Increasing awareness is making progress
Changing the way we do things takes time. Change often doesn’t happen overnight and increasing awareness is an important step in making progress.
When faced with internal pressure and deadlines that leave you feeling tired and lacking mental energy, what do you do? Do you find yourself procrastinating, avoiding stressful or unpleasant tasks?
As you reach for that chocolate bar, or fast food snack do you feel the desire to defend your choices? To take the next step towards reducing comfort eating it will be helpful to learn what defences you are using to justify your comfort eating and then the key triggers that have you reaching for comfort food.
1. My defences
Becoming aware of which defences you use can help you to use them less. Key defences are:
- Blaming If the children didn’t need a snack then I wouldn’t have snack food in the house
- Denying My comfort eating is not really a problem
- Making excuses I’m under too much pressure with my deadlines to try to stop comfort eating
- Rationalizing A little bit of what you fancy does you good
- Procrastinating I will stop comfort eating when the pressure of my workload is less
- Reacting I really get irritated when people tell me about the risks of eating high fat and high sugar comfort food
- What other ways do you use to defend comfort eating?
Which defences do you typically use? How often do you manage your moods with food in this way? What kinds of foods do you typically turn too?
The less you use defences, the more open you can be to new information to help you move forward. When you notice that you’re starting to use a defence ask yourself how might I respond differently?
2. My triggers
Identify what triggers you to reach out for your favourite comfort foods. Become aware of the events or situations that lead to the consequence of comfort eating. Once you know what triggers your behaviour you will be able to take charge of those triggers.
- Before relying on eating to cope with unpleasant emotions, stop and think about your choices.
Remember that small steps overtime can lead to big gains!
1. Be on the look out for articles on the web, TV or newspaper about the effects of comfort eating and how eating high fat, high sugar comfort foods increases the likelihood of becoming, or staying, overweight with a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, joint discomfort or other health problems.
2. Talk with someone who has successfully managed comfort eating or reducing weight. How did they successfully reduce comfort eating? Share your thoughts about eating in response to stress, boredom or unhappiness with one person.
3. Make a list of healthy strategies you can use to manage your emotions.
4. Make a list of the pros of managing comfort eating in a healthy way.
5. As you learn more about the benefits of changing your behaviour ask yourself
- Will I feel better about myself if I use healthy strategies to manage emotions rather than eating?
- Will eating this food change the situation?
- Will eating really make me feel better?
Remember that changing the way we do things takes time. Change often doesn’t happen overnight and increasing awareness is an important step in making progress and that small steps, over time, lead to big gains!
We will give you a month to apply the recommendations above before Part 3 arrives in your in-box!
Wishing you the bliss of balance.
|Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our weekly Insights. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: Linda.Sinden
Mobile: +64 212237525