Do you ever find yourself eating to try to escape feeling anxious?
It’s something we do when we’re trying to distract ourselves or get away from feelings.
Often we don’t even realize we’re using food to not feel anxiety. The eating just happens so quickly.
I recently was having a bad day. And was interested to see what Google had to say about feeling better.
Everything told me to DO something. Take a walk. Work out. Call a friend.
But the thing is, these are all other ways that we distract ourselves.
We never find the cause of the issue.
We never find out what’s really going on when we are distracting — with food, exercise, or friends.
Anxiety won’t go anywhere. It’s a feeling that is caused by our brain, and until we change the way we are thinking, anxiety isn’t going anywhere.
It is going to be there even after you’re done doing whatever it was you were doing to distract yourself.
It’s vital for us to learn how to FEEL emotions instead of distracting them away.
Most people, when it comes to anxiety, think they’ve been feeling it.
We just want to get rid of it right away.
But the truth is they haven’t been feeling anxiety at all.
They’ve been reacting to it, avoiding it, trying to get rid of it. But they haven’t been willing to just feel it.
It’s the hardest thing to do, to just sit there and feel your emotions. But doing it is powerful.
Doing it will make you realize that what you’re feeling, what you’re running away from, is just a feeling. It’s a vibration in your body.
Here are three tips for dealing with your anxiety without eating to avoid it:
- Work from your head down.
Anxiety can be overwhelming, so taking it piece by piece will take you inside your body, helping you realize it’s just some vibrations. You’ll feel a complete shift, eased in the intensity of emotion. Not necessarily gone, but significantly lighter. Start with your forehead. What does it feel like. Your eyes. Your nose. Your mouth. Your ears. Your throat. Describe the feeling like you were describing it to someone who has never felt a feeling. Get really specific. What is it like?
- Do a thought download.
See what’s going inside your head that’s creating anxiety. It usually seems like anxiety is caused by situations outside of you, but in reality it is being created by sentences in your mind. Write them. All of them. Without editing them or trying to make them different. Get everything out of your head so you can clearly see what is creating your anxious feelings.
- Remind yourself that anxiety is something you are 100% supposed to be feeling.
There is nothing wrong with you for feeling anxious. You are a human being with a human brain. Your brain is trying to keep you safe, and the best way it knows how is to make you think there is extreme danger around every corner so that you don’t do anything and stay in the cave away from all of the dangerous things out there. We don’t need to get rid of anxiety. It’s part of the human experience. And there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling it, there is nothing wrong with you for wanting to finish an entire carton of ice cream and there is nothing wrong with you for feeling anxious while doing incredibly normal things. The whole idea of learning to feel your emotions is a skill. It takes time. And it’s necessary for you to be feeling right now.
The only way to change it is to not resist the anxiety. Make it a goal to believe that feeling any feeling is totally okay and that you can handle it no matter what.
What if you knew that you had to feel anxious 18 times per day in order to get really good at feeling your emotions and conquering it? What if feeling anxious meant you were right on track?
Dealing with anxiety is like a relationship- you have to cultivate it. What do you want to think about your anxiety? What do you want to believe about it? Do you believe it will hurt you? Or serve you?
One of my favorite mantras is that everything is happening in my favor. And if that’s true, anxiety is in my favor. It’s here to serve me for some reason and I will make it a mission to find that reason.
Know that anxiety gives us power in times of need. We have these emotions to keep us safe. If we didn’t have anxiety or fear, we’d be running in the street and jumping from rooftops. It’s not here to hurt us, it’s here for a reason. And we just need to figure it out.
You’ve totally got this. Promise.
Download this FREE worksheet to learn the exact steps to take to start creating an amazing relationship and having full control around food.
Wanna hear more? Listen to the full Abs are Made in the Mind podcast episode below!