Avoiding Sadness with Food

head in handsIt is natural to want to avoid pain.  We usually do not like feeling sad, lonely, overwhelmed or anxious.  It becomes a bigger problem though when we eat because we are feeling sad, even though we are not hungry.  Have you ever grabbed a bag of chips, something chocolate, or a baked treat because you thought it might make you feel good?  It may not even have been at a conscious level.  Perhaps you were looking for the sugar rush, the taste you enjoyed last time, the carbohydrate high, or the memory of something that comforted you as a child.  Unfortunately the pleasure only lasts a short time and then the feelings that you haven’t dealt with come back again.  The food you ate may end up adding to your size.

Many people avoid their feelings with:

  • eating
  • shopping
  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • taking drugs

Healthier ways to deal with your feelings:

  • noticing what you are feeling, acknowledging it and letting it go
  • tapping on your upper chest with your fingers where Tarzan used to pound his chest and breathing deeply
  • going for a walk
  • laughing with friends or at a tv show
  • using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • talk to a friend
  • write in a journal
  • paint, draw, create