Many times emotional eating occurs after you’ve missed opportunities to practice self-care.
Are you on a weight loss or eating transformation journey?
If so, have you realized the importance of managing your emotions?
I just had a conversation with a wonderful woman the other day and she asked a powerful question – “how do I explore my emotions?”
So in this post I’m going to cover three steps free to follow, so that you can explore your emotions and ultimately stop binge eating, emotional eating and mindless eating.
These three steps are:
1) Gently Pause, Slow Down, And Feel The Emotion – you can’t take care of yourself and meet your needs unless you can feel your emotions
2) Expect Emotional Blockage – expect to feel fear or disconnection but realize the fear does not mean that something bad is going to happen, disconnection does not mean you’ve done anything wrong
3) What Would You Tell Your Best Friend? imagine your best friend is feeling exactly the same emotions of what you’re feeling and ask yourself – what self-care wisdom would I advise my friend to practice?
How To Get In Touch With Your Emotions, Other Musings:
So let’s dive into things real quick… Let’s cover why emotions are important extremely briefly.
Emotions are important because they are one of the two causes of binge eating. The other cause is nutrition or not eating enough which is a topic I’ve talked about extensively and I’ll link a video below.
The second cause of binge eating is emotional.
If you want more info on emotions like learning the 10 signs you’re in touch with your emotions, then read this article by huffington post here. It’s actually pretty good.
But nonetheless, let’s get back on track. Because…
That’s why it’s so important you learn how to get in touch with your emotions.
It means you are stuffing down an emotion, or trying to avoid feeling emotion, or an emotion is bubbling up like a volcano and exploding.
It’s in this second case we’re learning these three steps can have a powerful impact.
Before I go into these three steps about how to explore your emotions, let’s examine real quick what happens if we do not have any way to explore our emotions.
What happens then?
Well as the woman told me in her story, she got really mad at her son. Furious.
Absolutely horrendously furious. And she didn’t know what to do with her anger.
So she basically thought herself out of the anger by rationalizing and saying – I’ll deal with this later.
Stuffing her anger down, but then a few days later she was out of control eating and when we were talking about it over the phone, we realized that this was a pattern.
Here is my vision board below.
That stuffing down emotions led to out of control eating a few days later.
This is when she asked “how do I explore my emotions instead of stuffing them down?”
Realizing that without exploring her emotions she was going to be forever stuck in a cycle where if anything went wrong she would stuff emotions down then she would be out of control eating afterwards.
Here’s some additional related info on cravings, which are similar to out of control emotions but not quite the same.
So I told her these three steps which helped her learn how to touch with your emotions.
Working together for some time so she was already familiar with the feeling step and I asked her what comes up if you imagine feeling that rage in your body right now, and she replied “fear”.
She was afraid of the rage.
And I then asked her a follow-up question – “does this fear seem to be a message that something bad is going to happen?”
She replied – “yes it seems like this fear means that something bad will happen”.
I asked her – “well, rationally speaking, does feeling fear mean that something bad will happen?”
She replied – “no, by facing my fears there is less chance of something bad happening.”
Then I asked her, “what advice would you give to someone if they were feeling this rage and fear?”
Her answer was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
She said – “I would say it’s okay to feel mad and afraid. You need to talk and set some boundaries in a kind way once you calm down.”
And so there you have it the three steps in action.
First she felt her emotion and explored it in her body, she expected some fear to come up but she realized the fear was just her old conditioning and was not a true indicator that something bad was going to happen, and then she switched her perspectives and practiced compassion by imagining how she would respond to someone she cared about if that someone were feeling the same way she did.
This gave her the information to handle her own emotions! So let me know your thoughts.
What do you think?