Emotional Eating? Here’s How You Can Manage And Control It

It is not a secret that everyone has experienced stress eating at least once in their life. It is a usual scenario when one experiences a sudden stressful activity. Such might be a sudden influx of workload and tight deadlines. What follows is the immediate desire to eat whatever it is that you have been craving since last week. You will feel that a single serving is not enough at the moment.

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While emotional eating is a common effect of stress, it does not produce any good result to anyone. Maybe it somehow helps us feel better, but the long-term effects are not worth it. Find out how you can manage and control emotional eating in no time:

  1. Track What You Eat

Keep a food diary. If you are a calorie-conscious person, then keeping track of your food intake will help. Jot down what you ate for breakfast, what you had for lunch, and every drink or small snack that you took for the whole day. Once you have a record, there is a chance that you might find some connection between your mood and the food you eat.

When you feel like stress eating, keep in mind your calorie goal for the day. Think of the possible consequences on your fitness goals if you grab those multiple servings of sweets from your cabinet. While cheat days are completely tolerable, frequent and excessive eating is detrimental not only to your physical figure but also to your mental health.

  1. Stock Up On Healthy Snacks

There are other healthy alternatives to the food you are craving. On your next grocery shopping, look for other options other than junk food and fatty snacks. As an example, you can opt for a frozen yogurt rather than a pint of ice cream. Aside from the fact that yogurt is good for the digestive system, it is also helpful in maintaining our body weight as it does not have many calories.

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When we are stressed, we often crave for junk food or meals from fast-food chains. Bear in mind that this stuff mostly contains excessive fats, calories, carbohydrates, and processed sugar that are harmful to the body. Make sure that there are available healthy snacks near you for your emergency stress eating.

  1. Ask Yourself If You Are Truly Hungry

Every time you feel like you are about to stress-eat, ask yourself first if you are really physically hungry. Maybe you only need to drink water, breathe, and de-stress for a while. Make it a habit to do this self-questioning so that you’ll know when the hunger is real or it’s only an unhealthy urge to stress-eat.

  1. Find Emotional Support

Most of the time, we only need someone to listen to how our whole day went. It will not only address emotional eating but will also be beneficial to our mental health in the long run. Emotional support can be the best cure for our stress.

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Let’s all admit that stress and mild anxiety have already been a norm in our lives nowadays. Nonetheless, it does not mean that we have to accept that it will eventually go away on its own. Having healthy alternatives alone will not cure the cause of stress-eating. We also need our own determination to live healthily and the support of others for a better us in the long run.

Journaling As Self-Help In Battling Anxiety And Depression

Whenever people hear the word “journaling,” they picture a teenage girl writing in her diary with her feet dangling from the bed. This visualization is a misconception that journaling only caters to the young generation. However, this technique is perfect for all ages, especially for individuals battling anxiety and depression.

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Effective journaling helps you improve your quality of life. There is no single approach to this, and it varies from person to person. Overall, this writing practice has been proven to deliver the following results:

  • Improved mood
  • Enhanced sense of well-being
  • Reduced intrusion of stress
  • Enhanced working memory
  • Reduced symptoms for anxiety and depression
  • Healed traumatic experience
  • Increased self-awareness and self-expression

To get you started, here are some tips on the best practices in creating and maintaining your self-help journal.

Make It A Habit To Write

Remember, making a regular habit out of journaling will help you feel its benefits more. Decide on the time of the day where you will sit down, reflect on your emotions, and start writing about it.

Some people prefer to do this practice in the morning to go forward and start their day right. On the other hand, some are more inclined to journaling at night to check up on themselves with regards to how their day went. Whichever you choose, make sure to have a place for this activity in your daily routine.

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Focus On Your Intention, Not Your Plan

Making a plan defeats the purpose of journaling. If you’re not the type of person who is spontaneous when it comes to writing, then focus on your intention or goal instead of a detailed plan. Avoid dictating what the outline is and what you should and should not include in there. Take note that your journal should be a safe space where you can jot down uninhibited thoughts and emotions. This practice will help you relieve your anxiety.

Take Note Of Important Questions

The best way to tap your real emotions is to connect with the realities of your life. Here are some questions that can guide in your self-reflection:

  • What are the fears that are holding me back right now?
  • What are the areas of my personality that I need to fix?
  • What factors contribute to my anxiety?
  • Are there relationships (friends, partner, or family) that I need to work on?
  • What is/are my coping mechanisms?

Make sure to answer these questions as honestly as possible so that you can adequately express and process your emotions.

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Practice Non-Judgement

It might be a little bit challenging not to be horrified with what’s happening with your life if you’ve been through a lot. However, you must always remember that even though things may get ugly at times, it does not mean that you are an awful person. Almost everyone goes through this stage.

What you should do is to practice self-compassion and non-judgment every day. These should be present, especially if your journal is full of negative narratives. Once you reach this kind of mindset, it will be easier for you to write, assess, and forgive yourself for what you are currently going through.

Anxiety and depression are difficult to address. With the help of journaling, however, rest assured that you will ease the burden brought by these mental health issues.