[dropcap]A[/dropcap]lthough eating snacks can be a very healthy part of one’s diet, it can become problematic when we use snacks and food to bury our emotions. Since we are a unity of mind, body and spirit, as St. Paul affirms in (1Tess 5:23), it is natural when we feel something on the emotional level to want to couple it with something physical, such as eating.
Often turning to sweet or fatty foods to satisfy our cravings when we are stressed, angry, sad, lonely or as the video says, just simply bored, these little snacks build up into a bad habit that can lead to weight-gain and make one feel even worse over time. When the video states “if you’re human and you know it then you’re face will fully show it, if you’re human eat your feelings, eat a snack,” it is pointing to a common reality for many, many people across the world.
For those who are overweight, and even for those who are not, losing weight is more about being aware of ourselves and what we are experiencing, and learning how to deal with our emotions and feelings in the right ways by building good habits. Whether it was a stressful day at work, whether it’s a breakup, another Valentine’s Day without a date, if the kids are driving you crazy, you have tests or exams to complete or if you are facing a lot of pressure to reach a deadline, there are always healthy and unhealthy ways of coping.
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Healthy Ways of Dealing with Our Emotions
While that ice cream, cake or bag of potato chips might be awfully tempting in moments when emotions are running high or when we’re feeling low, here are a few other options that can help deter eating and lead to better choices:
Exercise: If you exercise even for a few minutes on a daily basis, the likelihood of building up anxiety generally lowers because the body is more relaxed, and we are usually able to process and cope with our emotions in a more clear and concise way. Having an active lifestyle is a way that we can use our drive to link emotions with something physical in a healthier way. Even a quick walk outside can do the trick.
Journal: This is a very practical way of processing everything that’s happened throughout the day, and especially in more drawn-out periods of difficulty writing down our thoughts and feelings can help us to categorize and take away the temptation to turn to food.
Talk: Sometimes a conversation with a good friend is the best remedy for having the blues, or if we want to share something good or exciting that happened. Talking with friends and being social can be a good distraction from turning to food.
Pray: Because we have been created in the image and likeness of God, we are also spiritual beings in addition to physical and emotional beings. That means that whatever we do on any of those levels will affect the others. If you maintain a consistent prayer life, chances are your emotional life will also become more stable, and you will be more likely to order your emotions correctly and make better choices in dealing with them. Crying or rejoicing with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, through a rosary, Mass or quick prayer can uplift, even if the difficulty remains, and when we do this we get the satisfaction of receiving our comfort from our Heavenly Father, rather than by what we eat.
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