When We Eat What We Feel: How We Let Our Emotions Consume Us
What did you have for your breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner? Did you have something delicious?
How hungry were you? Were you satisfied with what you had? How did you know you were indeed hungry?
Have you ever had those moments?
When you need to eat or feel like eating, but you are not hungry? But you eat anyway because you are feeling all these emotions: happy, sad, bored, anxious, overwhelmed, etc.
What do you do when you are feeling like any of this?
What can you do?
How do you release the tensions from your body, mind, and heart?
How do you handle your stress?
For me? I eat and eat. I eat anything that I want when I want to, and whenever I feel like it.
And I am going to be very honest with you. I do cheat with the foods that I eat. My lifestyle is not perfect but I think I am okay. I don't make smoothies or those healthy and nutritious drinks or shakes. I also don't jog or run every day.
I'm not physically active, but my brain is. It's been working non-stop. Plus, the emotional waves I go through with the people I connect and interact with can be draining.
As I write this post, I am surrounded by food and drinks. Right now, I am eating spaghetti and drinking a glass of soda. However, I already had rice and sausages for my breakfast earlier, and that was just an hour ago. I also have here with me are two chicken pies, sweet bread, bags of chips, candies, and chocolates. I also ordered a double patty burger, fries, and macaroni salad.
A lot of food...I know. But it's not just me.
Did you know?
According to the American Psychological Association (1)
Many adults report engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors as a result of stress and say that these behaviors can lead to undesirable consequences, such as feeling sluggish or lazy and feeling bad about their bodies.
Thirty-eight percent of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress. Half of these adults (49 percent) report engaging in these behaviors weekly or more.
Thirty-three percent of adults who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say they do so because it helps distract them from stress.
Twenty-seven percent of adults say they eat to manage stress and 34 percent of those who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say this behavior is a habit.
I know these food are unhealthy, but in some way, they comfort me and alleviate my problems, even just temporarily.
And I think that is also why I find it difficult to de-stress.
I have been eating a lot lately. I have so much mental and emotional stress that instead of smoking or drinking, I eat to comfort myself and to ease my hungry demons.
I am aware I am not alone.
This is not something new. Emotional eating has already existed. But because eating is just one of our basic needs as a human, we probably haven't paid much attention to it.
Emotional eating means turning to food for comfort, not because you’re hungry. (2)
Most of us are guilty of this.
Who would ever suspect that we have a lot of things going on inside us when we are just eating?
Does the food we eat give people ideas of what we are going through?
Probably, if they are observant of us and close to us, but most people would not notice or even bother.
It is not like when you are eating a burger or a hotdog sandwich; it would give this signal that you are bored or anxious. Having an ice cream would not tell your friend that you are going through a break-up or divorce. Slurping a big bowl of ramen would not say that you are happy or excited while you think of your favorite person.
Well, I am full now like a big fat house cat. I also feel sleepy and lazier. I don’t know if I will be able to finish my to-do list for today. Sadly, this is the downside when I eat with my emotions. I feel drunk but with food.
One moment of happiness can make me end like this. This is just my escape from all the overwhelming stimuli of my world.
It's okay to indulge once in a while. However, emotional eating can lead to a range of negative emotions such as guilt.
There are ways to manage our feelings without having to overeat.
But that my friend, will be on a different post.
Shall we get that pizza now and talk about your crush who likes someone else?
Thank you for reading!