Separate Food from Your Feelings
From the childhood, we naturally learn to associate food with love, nurturing and warmth. In infant period, we were being fed by our mothers. It was accompanied by the security of being held and gently rocked. In the childhood, we may have been rewarded with food for good behavior. In cases when we were hurt, physically or emotionally, we were given a special treat or meal to make our feel better. In adulthood, we turn to food to continue the practice of rewarding ourselves, lifting our spirit, or searching for love through eating. But for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you must separate food from your feelings.
Due to these facts it is not surprising why many people mix up hunger for food with their hunger for emotional fulfillment. As it often happens, when people are anxious, bored, sad, frustrated, angry, and lonely, they choose the foods that are salty, fatty, sweet and high in calories.
Replace eating with following activities to separate food from your feelings:
– Stress: Imaging yourself in a calm place. Breathe slowly and deeply. Make some yoga or meditation. If you don’t know anything about them, go to your local video store and check out a video tape on the subject.
– Boredom: Most everyone experiences this emotional condition at one time or another. Choose any activity from your list or engage in some physical activity.
– Loneliness: Visit, call or write a relative or friend. Also you can join an organization or get involved in your community.
– Depression and Sadness: Try to understand the reason of your depression. Once identified, try to put your feelings into words or simply talk with a friend. If the depression has more advanced stage, seek professional counseling.
– Frustration: Realize the source of your frustration then oppose it and deal with it, if possible. Use positive communication skills to express your feelings and desires. Don’t be angry.
– Anger: Give yourself some time to calm down. Use relaxation techniques or simply go for a walk. Once relaxed, try to cope with the situation that’s leading the anger with the help of using positive communication skills.
– Anxiety: Try to find the real cause of your anxiety. If it is caused by coffee or something you have taken try to find a way to correct the situation from happening again. If the cause is emotional, try some deep breathing and relaxation exercises.
– Tiredness: Have a short nap or get some exercise.
– In the mood to celebrate: Get together with friends, go to a movie, buy something you have been wanting, go to the barbershop or go dancing. Do things that improve your mood.