Emotional Eating: Your Triggers Are Your Teachers

If you find yourself using emotional eating as an outlet when stressed, it is best to view it objectively and learn from the trigger. It is common to use food and alcohol to numb and comfort emotions. However, in reality, this prolongs and worsens the problem. Let go of the guilt and, instead, try picking up your journal and writing about your needs. By simply understanding the emotion and somehow communicating to yourself what that trigger is, the craving will subside. This is the empowering practice known as self-awareness, in which you act as the observer, followed by reflection and resolution.

To stop the habit of emotional eating you must discover the source of the craving. Try evaluating when the craving starts and why it is there. Approach your behavior with a curious mind. Once you feel a strong craving coming on, remain mentally attached to that feeling and stay away from the kitchen. It is never too late to start this process. Right after a binge may be just the time for self-inquiry. Try not to be irrational or guilt-stricken, understand that acceptance is the first step to truly loving yourself.

When you practice emotional eating, you suppress valuable information. Also, emotions that are not felt and released become buried and absorbed by the body, which can cause serious illness. Emotions are the most reliable indicators of how things are going on in our lives. Once you can get in touch with your emotions the healing process can begin and your needs can be fulfilled.

Here are a few ideas to start the journey away from emotional eating:

· Don’t try to control your emotions, accept them and let them flow through you.

· Identify your negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations.

· Focus on what makes you happy and why it does.

· Enjoy life, don’t work too much.

· Own and stand up for your feelings.

· Set boundaries and say “No” to those who drain your energy and do not support you.

· Rejuvenate your energy with alone time and intentional clearing of others’ energy you have taken on.

· Write in your journal and ask yourself how you feel and why. What can you do to resolve that emotion?

Discovering and resolving your core issues by learning to deal with emotions will reduce or even eliminate the habit of emotional eating. For example, issues such as fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, victimization, and materialism in place of spirituality could be sources of the problem. While discovering what your issues are can be uncomfortable, accepting them and being patient with yourself and your resolutions will lead to deeper self-awareness. The elimination of emotional eating actually can be the gateway to emotional responsibility and self-empowerment.

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