I used to eat my feelings and my guess is you did too.
Maybe you still do. I’m still tempted. It’s been a long day, I get a stressful piece of news, I feel like I have too much on my plate (literally and figuratively) and I just want to eat ALL the things. I know there are more ideal coping skills I could use, but in that moment, eating works. Food is comfort, right? It tastes good. It makes me feel good, whole, complete. That’s why we create the habit of stress eating. The issue though is that it isn’t an effective coping skill long-term, and often leaves us feeling other distressing emotions like guilt, shame and remorse.
Stress eating, emotionally eating, eating our feelings (whatever you want to call it) is incredibly common and multi-faceted. I want to separate stress eating from more clinical issues such as binge eating disorder, binging and purging, or other topics that are best discussed in therapy. However, if you’re using food to cope with stress, there are tools you can use to decrease stress eating.
Stress eating is commonly used when we are:
🧘🏻♀️ Not able to mindful with our eating. Taking time to be grounded in the moment and check in with your 5 senses (what does the room LOOK like? What do I SMELL? How does this food TASTE? What do I HEAR? What does this chair FEEL like that I’m sitting on) can help pull us back to the present moment. Practice a grounding mantra or meditation if that works well for you.
🏃♀️ Struggling to utilize other coping skills can be another reason we stress eat. Life is tough. What can you use to move through it, and not simply try to numb? Perhaps you can incorporate more physical activity, emotional outlets, or rely on social support during difficult times.
🙇🏻♀️There’s an issues that’s causing distress, and that distress is causing you to cope with food. While distraction can be a good quick fix, and using other coping skills can be helpful, the ultimate goal is to identify the real issue and try to make change.
What helped you overcome emotional eating? - 7 minutes ago