If you are like me, and almost any other person on this planet, every now and then in times of acute stress you like to indulge in something delicious. This is because these foods help increase our levels of serotonin, as well as insulin, which decreases cortisol and makes us feel good.
You may be surprised to hear that indulging in comfort foods occasionally is completely normal, however indulging in comfort foods regularly can take a huge toll on your physical health as well as your mental health.
The solution is to have a bank of strategies to use in times of acute stress, and this could be anything from:
- Going to see, or call a friend or family member
- Listening to music
- Any form of physical activity, be it walking on the beach, swimming, going to the gym, yoga, anything that gets your body moving
- Watching up uplifting or funny movie or TV show
- A 5-10 minute meditation
- Taking a bath
There are a ton of different strategies out there, and it’s all about finding what works best for you at any given time.
We live in a world now where we are encouraged to take a pill and mask our emotions instead of figuring out what they’re trying to tell us. Emotions are there to move us into action to live a better life, not to make us suffer. Food can be a great way to mask and suppress our emotions, but it is definitely a short term game.
If you are interested in living a high quality life and want to get on top of your stress eating, the best thing you can do is build a bank of go to strategies so that the next time you experience acute stress, you can pull a strategy that suits you at that particular time and you can continue to live by your values and live life on your terms.