Is stress causing problems for your diet? In our 3rd blog of the Stress Awareness Series, we are going to look at the effects of stress and how it can lead to emotional eating habits.
Emotional eating is not just hard on your mental health, but your physical health as well. Unfortunately, it is typically associated with eating foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. If you are having trouble with emotional eating, it might be worsened by the daily amount of stress you have. In this post, I will guide you through the common triggers for emotional eating so that you can learn how to avoid them.
- Do You Have These Emotional Eating Triggers?
If you are just starting out with an attempt to reduce your emotional eating responses, then you may already know a few issues causing it. For example, you may know that stress can trigger emotional eating responses. What you may not know is that there are several common triggers to emotional eating that you may not be aware of in your own life. Here are a few of them, what you should know about reducing each one, and how you can avoid them in the future to help reduce emotional eating.
People in Your Life Who Are Negative and Toxic: Everyone has someone in their life, a co-worker or even friend, that causes ongoing stress. They may do this with actions, with words, or both. Either way they bring a toxic environment to your life by causing constant emotional stress. Ideally you would want to simply move these people out of your life.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to remove them completely, leaving them still evident in your life as a trigger. In this case, acknowledging they are a toxic person in your life will help. Once you acknowledge this, you can move to removing your emotions from them. By not giving them the power to hurt or stress you, you can slowly remove them as a trigger from your day.
Being Constantly Busy and Overworked: One of the more common emotional eating triggers is to overload your schedule. You say yes to the parent teacher party, the church social, becoming a team leader on an upcoming project, and working extra to make those holiday expenses you have for gifts and family. When you add on too much to your schedule, you may begin to overlook the fact you can say no to certain things and back out of those commitments.
Everything begins to feel like something you have to do instead of something you wanted to do. To avoid this trigger, sit down and look at your schedule. Fill in your day with your sleep hours and work first. Then start adding things in according to priority, making sure you leave at least an hour at the start and end of each day for quiet downtime. Stick to that schedule. If something you want to do fits in, then add it. If not, then say no.
- How to Reduce Daily Stress and Avoid Emotional Eating Triggers
One of the key triggers to emotional eating is your daily stress. This can come from a variety of factors, some of which you may never consider. If you are having an increased amount of stress, and notice and increased amount of emotional eating moments, then you may want to work on reducing the core cause of the stressors in your life. Here are some tips for locating the source of your daily stress, reducing that stress at the core, and in turn reducing the amount of emotional eating responses you are having.
Have a Regular Daily Routine: One of the key ways to reducing your daily stress and, in turn, reducing your emotional eating responses is to set up a routine. This doesn’t mean you have to schedule everything in your life down to the last second. Instead, look at starting a routine for small aspects of your life and work up from there. For example, when you wake up do certain things that make your day easier before you leave the house.
Make sure you throw in that load of laundry you always avoid later in the day that ends up piling up and causing stress. Start the dishwasher or empty it and put the dishes away. That way it is already done and the rest of the day is yours. You can do the same in the evening. Once you start getting into a routine habit in your morning and evening, you can span out to the point you have a daily routine that you are used to and stress triggers, like the laundry, are reduced.
Unplug on a Regular Basis: Technology can be a huge stress trigger for many people, even you. You may not think it is, but look at a few examples. Your phone is set-up to notify you of upcoming events, appointments, and bills. You also have notifications of things going on with friends and co-workers social media accounts. It is a constant attachment that can sometimes lead you to stressing over bills, upcoming appointments, and drama in your friends lives.
To reduce the stress, disconnect from your technology for one hour or so a day. Turn off your phone and leave it on a charger in another room. Go and game with friends online and get lost in an MMO, or watch your favorite show. You can even pick up something that is a 100% disconnect, like meditation (learn more here) or exercise. The stresses are reduced and something positive is replacing the spot.
These are just a few of things that can cause daily stress that piles on and becomes chronic stress. Looking for more ways to manage your stress? Contact me for a complimentary Stress Analysis.