maladaptive coping

The Real Cause for Emotional Eating

Emotional eating has less to do with control, and has more to do with learning to process emotions.

For many, it’s the inability to allow ourselves to feel difficult emotions.

We’ve been conditioned to avoid pain. That if you’re experiencing some sort of disharmony—you need to ignore it, suppress it, and cover it up.

And so we adapt maladaptive coping mechanisms—food, drugs, alcohol, sex—anything that will numb what’s going on inside of us.

But these coping mechanisms don’t solve anything; they only distract us momentarily and temporarily, and then usually exacerbate everything and manifest into something bigger later on.

For example: in the case of emotional eating, you use food to numb, but after eating your feelings, your problem still exists, as do your emotions. And now, on top of that, you feel guilty and uncomfortable from eating too much.

Relate?

Part of disrupting this pattern and breaking up with this behavior is allowing yourself to lean into your emotions. To process them. To understand them. To feel them.

And sometimes feeling is uncomfortable.

AND THAT’S OKAY.

You’re allowed to feel hurt, insecure, sad, lonely, heartbroken, depressed, anxious, afraid, helpless, overwhelmed, nervous, jealous.

Bring awareness to what you’re feeling, without judgement attached.

Whatever’s coming up for you is valid, allowed to be seen, and just wants to be heard because it has something to tell you.

Your emotions are your friends. Even, when it hurts. They want to protect you. And the more you suppress them, the more they persist, because you’re ignoring what it desperately what’s you to know.

So, identify what the emotion is telling you and what the need is: comfort, security, love, connection, care, support, just space to breathe. And then address how you can fill those needs.

When you acknowledge what’s below the surface and allow it to move through, the discomfort eventually dissipates. Feel your feelings, boo—only then will you experience true liberation from it.

I’ll share more on this topic in a future post 🖤