Emotions are a fact of life. And while sometimes they will be of the more pleasant variety, there will be moments when things are far from hunky-dory.
The big question to ask is this – how am I going to react? Or better still - what will I do when life starts pelting me with sour, rotten lemons?
If food is normally part of, or all of, your answer, I am sure you know pretty well that your solution doesn’t typically play out so well.
If you find that you are upset, anxious, depressed, lonely, bored, overwhelmed, angst-ridden etc. then the kitchen is really not where you should be.
That is because
You will likely eat foods that are not super healthy for you.
You will likely eat way way,way too much of these unhealthy, highly caloric foods
You will more than likely feel pretty lousy after – both mentally and physically.
The lesson here: food is not really going to fix what ails you.
There is no denying that food does comfort us. But abusing it when we are an emotional mess never ends well. What you need is to formulate a battle plan. You need to be prepared. When those nasty emotions rain on your parade you need to channel the bad feelings in another direction, far away from the fridge. What you need is a list of alternative coping actions.
So rather than turning to food you could:
Take a long, hot bath
Go for a walk
Go see a movie
Take a long drive
Call a friend
Clean – scrub your shower, organize your closet, wash your car, vacuum
Listen to mediation & guided imagery cd’s
Add music to your iPod
Go the library or bookstore and find a new book to read
Go to the mall and window shop
Work in the garden
Work on an art project (or go buy one and start it)
Go sit at the beach
Go the gym
Paint your nails
Put photos in an album
Start or work on a scrapbook
Play a game
Do a puzzle
Just find something else to do. Distract yourself. Direct your energy elsewhere. Maybe you’ll do one thing, maybe more. Make a list and be ready to take action when the going gets tough. This sort of stuff will not only get you busy, but will likely help to soothe you as well.
This may not always work. Then again, it might. Or it may only work sometimes. It never hurts to try – and the more you try, the better you’ll get at not eating for emotional reasons.
So, do you eat when emotions overwhelm you? Have you found any good solutions to the problem?
Flickr: brentdanley; gaspi ‘your guide; Matt Gorecki; ldhren;