How Are Your Emotions Affecting Your Health?
Do you occasionally have that empty sensation inside that you crave to fill. Or maybe you have a fear that a particularly unpleasant feeling will return.
You know when you have had one of ‘those days’ and feel like someone has just beaten you with a 4×2 each time you turned around. And you are left feeling despondent, flat, angry or maybe even depressed and anxious.
*Work; some politics took place and someone else took the credit for you achievement.
*Home; kids venting on you, cupboard empty or dinner burnt.
*Finances; credit card bill came in and is unexpectedly high.
*Partner; decides that you didn’t really mean what you were trying to convey and argument ensues.
Sometimes to combat these concerns we try and change an emotion with food. This may not always be a conscious feeling just a driving uncertainty and a desire to eat.
If we have had a particular reaction to an emotional experience and that internal sensation caused us to eat then next time we have a similar feeling, the probability of responding the same way will be higher.
RESPONDS TO WORD AND PICTURES
Here is the funny thing about our minds. It always hears what we say. So if our internal dialogue says I don’t want to feel empty, our mind will go in search of how to fill us up. However our mind doesn’t know if we are being literal or metaphorical, it just hears that you feel empty.
If you then put a fear of feeling empty into that self-talk, now you have created an even stronger emotional link and a more prolific need for the mind to help fill that void.
This is how many clients come to me. They tell me I don’t eat junk food all that often, but I do have snacks as I don’t like to feel empty. Usually this empty isn’t a feeling of hunger as much as an emotional reaction to something.
The other thing our mind does is that it always want to make us feel safe. Therefore when we get that empty feeling, be it hunger, loneliness, apathy or anxiety our mind will try and give us a help out.
So now we know that our mind our mind wants what is best for us, but the way of achieving it may not be the best for our health.
The reason we now turn to food is because we have a habit, it is familiar, it has become our go to, and therefore it is easier. No thought involved really. Instant albeit short lived relief. This worked before we had momentary reprieve so why not do it again.
Let’s face it none of us like feeling sad, anxious or any of those negative other emotions that pop up. We go in search of some sort help. But imagine if that help was a healthy option that you could access just as quickly but without the guilt or feelings of bloatedness afterwards.
So if our mind responds to what we tell it, it wants to keep us safe, and hears our words then with practice and a few techniques we can change how we react and then create a new way of responding.
One I personally like to use when my emotions are ramping up is to think of first of all how I like to feel when I am on top of everything. By focusing on that I start to change how I search for the next step. Then I remind myself of how I felt when I took an unhealthy route and make that even more unpleasant in my mind. The final step is to remind myself of a healthy choice I did instead. This replaces the thoughts of sitting, moping, or eating high sugary or fatty ‘rubbish’, and makes me more motivated to go and do that more productive practice.
These process didn’t happen overnight, and when I work with clients we often have to do different techniques, but there are options for everyone, and with practice you just get better and quicker at them. Way quicker than even reading this blog.