Are you having a difficult time with emotional eating? Chewing down when you feel down, or anxious, or worried, is a problem which plagues most people and if you are trying to lose weight, this can be a major stumbling block. Unfortunately, food is a major source of comfort and a way to quell negative emotions; combine this tendency along with little physical activity and you have the perfect recipe for obesity.
You can overcome emotional eating but you need to learn how to control your emotions. When you can effectively observe what is happening, without acting on your emotions, you will be able to see what is really going on and what you can do about it. You can watch the feelings, or emotional triggers, that lead to emotional eating and then you can release them, without acting on them.
Emotional eating is a problem for many because few people are actually aware of their feelings. Almost all of us live a reactive life, feeling an emotion and reacting quickly, to try to cover up or bury the emotion—often times, eating is a primary strategy. This only makes the emotions stronger, as whatever you bury only grows bigger and bigger, until it eventually either creates an emotional outburst or manifests as illness in some form.
Learn to become aware of your feelings and you can see the beginnings of emotional eating. You can watch the despair, or anger, or loneliness, and sit with it, and let it go, instead of acting on these low energy feelings in the form of overeating. This is terribly uncomfortable at times, but it really is the quickest path to purifying your mind and ceasing emotional eating quickly. Simply value your overall health and well being more than you value a quick fix, or quick high, and you will learn how to sit with these difficult feelings for your betterment. I would like to share some tips that have worked for me personally in hopes they will work for you as well.
Meditate Frequently to Become More Aware of Your Feelings
Meditation helps you to become aware of your feelings so you can become an observer of your thoughts. As you become a watcher of your thoughts you can allow an impulse to arise, observe it and release it, without acting upon it; by becoming more aware of the fleeting nature of your thoughts and feelings, you may not feel as compelled to do something –like eating—to make them go away the second you start to experience them. Meditation simply makes you more aware of what happens in your mind, and by becoming more aware of your emotional eating habits you can spot the triggers and release them. Commit to meditating for at least 10 minutes each day. Find a quiet spot, relax your body and still your mind. Slow down and calm down. Focus your attention on your breathing and when your focus moves to a memory, or thought, or feeling, or sensation, note the object of your attention and move your focus gently back to your breathing.
Exercise Frequently to Create an Outlet for Your Emotions
So much emotional eating is rooted in stress, or worry or anxiety. Or you might feel empty, and eating seems to temporarily fill the void. If you can exercise persistently you will create an effective outlet through which you can channel your emotions. Exercising for at least 30 minutes each day can help you release endorphins, boosts your mood, and you will quickly see that running or jogging is the ultimate stress buster. Go outside and get busy! Exercise each day and stop turning to food as a temporary cure for your emotions. Exercisingis fun and easy. You need not buy a gym membership to pump iron for hours on end. You can simply go for a walk, or maybe you can hit the stairs at the local sports field, to get a calorie burning workout while giving yourself an emotional boost.
Tie Your Life to Some Higher Purpose
If you can tie your life to something bigger than yourself you are less likely to engage in self destructive habits, and emotional eating is one of these habits. Start a business, volunteer, take up a hobby that you feel passionate about. Devote yourself entirely to your job, adopting a servant’s mindset. If you simply help more people on a persistent basis you will be less likely to turn inward and hurt yourself with emotional eating. You will be more balanced, more poised and you will feel better about yourself, and when you love yourself more you will not intentionally do things to hurt yourself. Be disciplined and follow these tips on a daily basis so you can kill the habit of emotional eating.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness content; she especially enjoys writing about how to eat healthier.
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