How to stop emotional eating by facing your emotions

Dealing with difficult emotions can be scary, often it feels safer to avoid them or you may find it easier to distract yourself with food. I used to say “Let me just eat his so that I can feel better” .

To be honest, our feelings don’t just magically disappear when you turn to food for comfort. They will be there after you eat and you might have additional guilt from emotionally eating an entire bag of cookies.

For many years I would hear people say “just sit with the feeling” and I did not know what that meant. Especially when I wanted to avoid what I felt. I definitely didn’t want to just be in the emotion.

Emotion is energy in motion and we need to allow it to be there so that we can let it pass through us. If we avoid emotions, our bodies hold on to them for later, which means eventually we need to face them.

Here are some healthy ways to face your emotions

How to deal with emotions in a healthy way

Step One: Be compassionate
Accept your emotion, this might be difficult at first because we so used to avoid emotions.
However, when we ignore the emotion, we know that it’s not really going anywhere.
& we are just using food to distract ourselves in the moment.

Step two: Label your emotion
Focus on identifying that you are experiencing an emotion, and then try to label the emotion.
Instead of saying, “I’m feeling” angry or frustrated, lonely, depressed,
rather say “this is anger”, “this is anxiety”, “this is loneliness”,
acknowledging that it’s there, but also empowering you to create a distance from it.

Step Three: Accept the emotion
Allow it to be there
Whether it’s grief, sadness, loneliness, boredom,
whatever you experiencing in the moment, just accept that it’s there, that it’s part of you.
We all feel emotions and having emotions is normal.

Step Four: Acknowledge that emotions are impermanent
Emotions don’t last forever.
Especially if we deal with them, allow them to process through your body, through your mind, through your thoughts.
& just be there with it!!
The sooner we allow the emotion to be there, the less we’ll feel it as it dissipates.

Step Five: Get Curious
Why did this situation or thought invoke a particular emotion?
Figure out what thoughts drove the emotions.
What belief drives the thoughts
What fears come up for you.
Understanding what brings on emotion is how we can start changing the way we think and the way we act.

Step Six: Swap judgments for curiosity
Instead of trying to control your emotion, or trying to avoid it completely, just allow it to be there,
know that emotions are a normal part of our existence, and there is nothing wrong with you for having an emotion.
So allow it to be there, Be curious, and just see what happens.

Mindfulness can lead to the reflection in true hunger , once the mind is in a calm space we can easily ask “Am I really hungry, or is there something else I need in this moment”, and “What am I feeling?”

I have tested these strategies and successfully incorporated them into my recovery and now teach these to my clients

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