Are you Stress-Eating?

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“I was going through a breakup… I am lamenting the loss of him going away.”

“I was so stressed because of my exam… studied all night.”

“My friends betrayed me…I was lost, broken and upset.”

“I did not get a promotion in spite of putting enormous efforts.”

“You know I am working in a hostile environment… I am discontented with my job. The routine is so tiresome.”

“My parents never understand me… I had a heated argument with them.”

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These are some of the reasons we give to ourselves when we use food as a medium to vent our feelings. But is it rational to fill the void and holes in your life with food? Seriously, what is wrong? You are trying to feed your feelings. Is eating that bowl full of ice-cream the answer to your stress and worries? Feelings are meant to express not suppress. Stress is detrimental to the body. We should release our stress in the environment rather than keeping it all in and trust me food cannot help in discharging stress. Food can only solve the problem temporarily. Stress can cause ailments, it is best to get rid of stress.

Why are we using food as a stress buster? Food does not question your emotions. It patiently listens. It does not become defensive. Are these the reasons you are giving yourself? I should tell you, you are very wrong. We find comfort in eating because the food we eat has compounds that helps us to cope with loss, fear, anxiety, stress, loneliness, exhaustion and a mountain of other emotions. Eating fatty food can help reduce the stress levels and in turn make you happy. But this happiness is short-lived as the problem is only hidden or suppressed and not solved.

It is understandable for you to think that sometimes food is the only answer. But is it? Or it is stereotyped that way, for example if you are lonely or upset or worried open a bar of chocolate and gulp it down your throat. We can run from our emotions but we will be truly happy only when we face them. Agree or not? Did ice-cream take your worries away when you were drowning in sorrow over your breakup? No, it did not. It was your friend who convinced you that you deserved better and it was fated that way. Trying to fight your emotions you have put on those extra pounds.  What for?  For that momentary exuberance you kept on eating, trying to make it better.

So then, how to deal with stress? In our modern lives we encounter so many stressful situations be it the daily job for the bread earner of the family, the domestic chores for the housewife, the competition in academics for students, and the peer pressure for youth. The mantra is not to give up against food. After all food is only a primary need for sustenance.

If your relationship is too tiring for you, be open to your partner about it. Talk it out. I am sure they will understand.

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Try to divert your energies towards something creative, something you are passionate about. When you are busy, there is no time to over think and overanalyse your problems. Learn to dance, to sing, to play a guitar. This way you can kill two birds with one stone.

Take a bubble bath or go for a massage. Spoil yourself a little. It is time for some self indulgence.

Do yoga and meditation. Yoga relaxes your mind. It is good for both your physical and mental well-being. If you meditate properly, meditation can take you to another dimension where you will experience inner peace and satisfaction.

Write a diary. Writing down your feelings can help a lot. It helps you in determining your emotional quotient. You cannot always have a shoulder to cry on or a patient listening ear. Help yourself, sometimes it is for the best.

Sipping green tea and camomile tea is both healthy and at the same time helps in relieving you of stress. Adapt a healthy lifestyle. Fight the stereotypes. Let go off that chocolate bar you are holding and crying. Rethink your way of life. Stop filling your life with food. Make new friends, go on a vacation, take time off your mundane life, listen and be listened, stop overreacting.

Try to question yourself and look for answers. It can set you on a path which you never imagined. When you introspect, you find true meaning of life. People have left their lavish lifestyles and adopted a simpleton life just by introspecting.

Next time you get your heart broken or lose a lifetime opportunity or you experience a downfall in life, just get up and dust yourself; tell life to bring it on. Accept the challenges that fall your way. Don’t go crying to your fridge for answers. It is inanimate; it cannot solve your problems. It can only make you obese and happy in the short term.

It is time to have control over your life. We are mature enough to not to give in to emotions, fight our desires and instincts. Break away from shackles of food and live a wholesome life.

Stay happy and healthy! Ciao.

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