Bad things happen. But I don’t think we know that anymore. We’ve mastered quick, efficient, streamline processes for everything in our life. We think we can control our environment. We even use phrases like, “I just want to be happy”, as though it’s some ideal expectation for normal life every day. But then it happens – realty. In real life, we get hurt. We are flawed. People hurt us – intentionally or unintentionally.
People rarely know how to manage bad feelings anymore and are totally taken by surprise when they happen. Bad does happen. Life isn’t fair. How do you manage when bad circumstances, bad emotions, and ugly situations pop up? How do you cope?
Are you ok? Are you eating in sorrow? Are you eating with overwhelm? Have you stopped knowing how to manage any emotion? Is it all too much? Is food how you cope?
It is at epidemic proportions that people handle emotions with food. If you are an emotional eater, it’s time to learn some new coping skills.
Let me make a special note here, if you need to see a counselor, there is no shame in getting help. There is so much negative social stigma about counseling. People say, “You’ve done this to yourself” or “just suck it up and get over it.” But in my most gentle honesty – there are MANY emotional issues that need professional care. Seeing a counselor could be the most proactive healthy thing for you to do – NOT the weak, wimpy thing to do. What may feel like defeat (seeing a counselor) might in truth be an action of strength, hope, and help for the future.
Here are some other options to manage negative emotions. We can’t avoid them. They WILL happen. Do you have a plan to address them when they occur? If not, food might be your goto. Next time something bad happens, try another option on this list rather than food:
- Go for a walk: 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 45? Just to breathe and think. Breathing and sunshine majorly impact our emotions.
- Call a safe and trusted friend. Choose a person rather than food.
- Find a pet. Get comfort and cared for in your hurt. Furry friends can boost our mood.
- Serve somewhere. Often when we help someone else our self-pity cannot pull us into a negative emotionally place. Seeing a need and meeting that need can give perspective.
- Work out. Pounding the pavement, pounding a racquet, punching a bag can expend the negatives.
- Cry. I know this seems obvious, but many emotional eaters do not cry any more. They stuff in emotions. They stuff in food. They stuff everything inside hurting themselves in the process. It might take some time to learn how to cry again.
- Pray. You are not alone. Someone intentionally and purposefully created you, and wants to care for you.
- Journal. Write out all that happened and expel all the negatives into a safe place. I have a friend who does writes down when hurts happens. She then shreds the papers so she can’t take the feelings back inside her heart or re-read them over and over working herself into a tizzy again.
- Play music that heals your heart. Soak it up. Sing it out.
- Take a hot bath. Heal. Mend. Comfort.
- Rest. In crisis we expend so much emotionally stress. Sometimes you need to stop, sleep and heal up. (If you are sleeping too much and can’t yank yourself out from under the covers, you might be battling depression).
- Get a Massage: healing touch can help fend off hurt.
- Hug it out: let someone hold you in the hurt. Stop pushing everyone away, stop going to food. Go hug and be comforted.
- Try something new. Get out of the rut. New things bring new feelings and a new start.
- Forgive. This might be really hard. If you are holding in a grudge, it might keep on the weight too. Letting go is not for the person who hurt you, it’s so you can be free.
- Draw. Do you remember drawing as a kid? Something about doodling, or a new box of crayons allows things to come out of our hearts that might not otherwise. Try it, see if it might make you feel better.
There are hundreds of ways to begin healing from negative things. Are you doing any of these? Or is food your only comfort?
I know life is hard. Don’t do it by yourself.
Food is not a good friend in times of emotional need.
Food might comfort those feelings initially, but then it hurts you 10 pounds, 30 pounds 70 pounds later. If you need comfort, get REAL comfort. Food is NOT real comfort.
Need immediate help? Overeaters Anonymous Online.