Have you ever experienced a day when it seems like nothing is going well?
When your boss asks you to revise your report for the umpteenth time on the same day the nanny decides to bail out on you. Or when you’re stuck in traffic while a client angrily cancels your meeting.
Sometimes, when things like this happen, we open a calorie-laden candy bar and let the bittersweet chocolate comfort us. That seemingly innocent candy bar will soon be followed with a bag of salty chips or greasy fries.
This coping mechanism becomes a vicious cycle. You get angry, sad, frustrated, or defeated. Then you eat even if you are not hungry to numb the pain. This is called stress or emotional eating. This happens when you let your emotions dictate what and how much you eat. And this has been a habit of most people unknowingly.
Studies show that stress is closely linked to a person’s appetite. If you experience stress regularly, your adrenal glands release cortisol. Generally, cortisol increases motivation, including the motivation to eat. If stress does not go away, cortisol levels will continue to be elevated, which will result in increased appetite.
To stop emotional eating, the key is to find ways to manage the root of it all, stress. Here are five ways that can effectively allow you to say goodbye to stress eating.
Find a quiet place where you can practice focused breathing. Allow your mind to be free from distractions and negativity. Daily meditation practice can lead to mindfulness, which helps you become more aware of food choices.
Engage in physical activities that can alleviate stress. Choose an exercise routine or sport that you enjoy. Also, find activities that you can sustain for the long haul. Make sure that they are accessible, affordable, and appropriate for your lifestyle.
Seek Social Support
Sometimes, a simple phone call to your best friend after a stressful day at work can do wonders for your stress level. Family and friends can provide stable emotional support. Instead of grabbing yet another burger on your way home, grab your phone and pour your heart out.
Plan Your Meals
Get rid of salty and sugary snacks from your pantry, purse, or glove compartment. Start preparing healthy meals and snacks that you will eat on schedule. This will ensure that your body is nourished with the right nutrients at the right time.
Most of the time, stress is caused by an unorganized home or workstation. Missing keys, forgotten bills, or misplaced homework can start an avalanche of stressful situations. Create a system to keep relevant documents and things.
Eating during times of stress may seem to give a soothing effect at first. But soon, feelings of guilt, self-loathing, and health problems will follow. When you stop emotional eating, you get your life back on track. If you know someone who needs these tips, share and tag this article today and help a life.