Are you using food as fuel or feeding your emotions?
Updated: Apr 10, 2022
Are you using food as fuel to feed your body or are you using food to feed your emotions?
When working to build mental health wellness, each area of your life needs to be incorporated in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. This means it’s important to eat the right foods for mental health wellness and use the right tools to effectively deal with the daily stressors in life.
Using simple tools to self-regulate yourself during stressful moments or challenging times is important. Why? Sometimes we use drinking, eating, gambling or gaming as numbing distractors that turn you and I away from dealing with the problem. This can amplify the troubles you are already hiding from. Turning to food as a way to comfort yourself, instead of looking for a solution can be a challenge when you don’t have the correct tools to help you process what you are feeling and thinking.
I, myself, have turned to food in the past as a way to comfort and soothe the stress of everyday life or numb myself from traumatic experiences until I learned how to self - regulate.
Today, I will tell you about Self- Regulation and explain a tool that will help you gain the confidence to address the challenges and daily stressors of life.
Have you ever noticed how actors in movies deal with stress? Comfort eating, drinking, gambling and binge watching tv are the favorite ways to regulate emotions. As children we are taught how to deal with stressful situations in life by watching our Parents and family members. Those tools can be destructive, unless you were gifted with Parents who knew how to process their emotions and have a solution focused mindset. When you pay attention to how you deal with challenges is your process similar to theirs?
That is okay because, now you will learn another way to navigate through your feelings, use your logic and get focused on having a solution focused mindset.
Emotions & Logic are two sides of the same coin. I will share with you the picture I use to mentally define each side of the coin.
The Emotion’s side uses mad, sad, glad and fear as a way to create awareness for you to see that something doesn't feel right. It is reactive and expressive. Imagine a little kid about four or five years old that got its feeling hurt and says- Hey, I am mad at you! Or You made me sad.
The Logic side uses compassion, empathy and remains calm to further assess how to resolve the challenge or stressor. Imagine this side of the coin as an adult, parent or best friend that hold and supports you but, does not go down the rabbit hole of emotion with you. Instead affirms your feelings as you get focused on finding a solution.
Emotionally, self-regulation is the ability to calm yourself down when you're upset and cheer yourself up when you're down.
We use our emotions and logic everyday. Sometimes one side more than the other. Sometimes only one side. The best part about using both sides of the coin is choice. You have the power of choice to stay in your emotions or use logic as a way to address the daily stressor in life.
How to use this tool:
--- Take 3 Deep cleansing breaths to get centered.
--- Allow your emotions to move through you.
--- Identify why the emotions of mad, sad, glad or fear wants your attention?
--- Acknowledge the emotions without engaging in them.
( It is hard. I trust in you and you can do it! )
--- Now, bring in the Logical side of yourself.
--- What is the stressor or challenge?
--- Look at it for what it is, not for what you want or hope for it to be.
Okay! Now toggle back and forth between your Emotions and Logic until you find the solution to your stressor or challenge.
Know that this is super hard at first and that is okay.
Everytime you use this tool you will become better and better.
Remember, when we value ourselves, we value each other.