Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stop Eating Your Angst

What is angst and why would anyone want to eat it? defines angst this way:

a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish.

Per Merriam-Webster:

angst: a feeling of anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity

For me, angst is an emotion, a feeling; and not a very pleasant one.  But one that we all encounter every now and then, and have to deal with.

How do you deal with your angst?

One way far too many people deal with anxiety, anguish, apprehension and insecurity is through emotional eating.

What is emotional eating?

It is using something as basic and necessary—like ingesting food for survival—as a crutch to combat angst, all of those sometimes everyday emotions we must learn to deal with in a healthy way.

Why not just ignore your angst?

That’s part of the problem—angst, or any adversity, when ignored still festers inside us all.  In fact, pretending that what’s bugging you is not really bugging you may lead to having that anxiety present itself in an unhealthy way—like through an indulgence with food when you are not hungry.

Without eating we do not live—that’s as basic as breathing, sleeping, and drinking water.  And there’s nothing wrong with using food to celebrate a success, a birthday, anniversary, or any number of wonderful reasons to take your family, friends, and loved ones out for a night of wining and dining.  We all do it; in fact, it is quite healthy to do.

But eating as a celebration should be done only occasionally.  Eating to hide or ignore emotional adversity done oft times daily is another story.

Emotional eating, or eating ones angst, is not only the wrong approach to what’s ailing you, it may just kill you.

Overeating, which leads to being overweight and obesity, is the leading cause of death in the world.  Being overweight leads to:

·        Heart desease
·        Diabetes
·        Cancer
·        Degenerative joint disease
·        Gastrointestinal distress
·        Depression
·        Death

What can you do?

We all have our share of angst, of distress and anxiety from time to time.  The best way to deal with it is to embrace it, acknowledge it, understand it, and then take action.
If the first thing you reach for when you feel angst whispering in your ear is a candy bar, slap that thought out of your head and replace it with:

·        A stick of sugarless gum
·        A handful of healthy almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or peanuts
·        A sugar free hard candy
·        A toothpick
·        A piece of fruit
·        A book
·        A jump rope

Replacing a bad habit with a good one—in other words, reaching for a jump rope or taking a walk when I feel anxious, rather than cramming a handful of potato chips into my mouth—has helped me more times than not.

What else can you do to help stop eating your angst?

·        Take a walk
·        Meditate
·        Call a friend
·        Plan a vacation
·        Volunteer
·        See  your doctor
·        Research your health options
·        Rethink your lifestyle
·        Go on a healthy diet
·        Livelife365

Changing your life for the better is something most of want to do—who wouldn’t?  But taking that first step, understanding that you are not alone in your struggle, is challenging.  The first thing you need to do is to realize that when you are upset about something and automatically seek refuge in the refrigerator or cupboard that you must take a moment, suck in a deep breath, and just say no.

Reach for help, a friend, another option, an alternative.

And not eat your angst.  Eat to live, to celebrate occasions and successes, in moderation.

Do all that you can to try to be the person that you know you want to be, that you deserve to be, that you will be.

Livelife365 will always be there to help you on your journey to better health, to balancing your mind, body, and spirit, to living your life to its fullest, every day in every way.
Think about it.

Until next time…




Karen and Gerard said...

I was surprised to learn from reading "Who Switched Off My Brain?" that it's actually harmful to eat when you're angry or upset. Great post!

Amy Putkonen said...

I have found that food and eating is so closely related to how I feel in my everyday life. If I am eating poorly, I feel poorly. If I feel poorly, I eat poorly. Not quite sure which one starts the ball rolling, but I find that my food seems to match my mood. Thanks for a great post!

Kathy said...

Good post with helpful information. I thought I should check it out because we have blogs so closely related
:-) I will check back frequently to see what you have to say....

Vee said...

I love your resource for emotional eating, any advice for PMS? I NEED dark choc (usually 1-2 rows of it or the equiv of a small candy bar size) when PMS hits to combat the tears. There has been research done that links cocoa and PMS symptoms.

I hope you don't mind me linking your site in my blog:

Your video is raw and sincere and really just says it how it is.

Would love to hear from you.


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