Kindness is an admirable trait easily recognizable the first time you meet someone. Often we are distracted making sure we are kind to others and we forget to be kind to ourselves. Being kind to yourself is a great emotional place to be and can help break any stressful situation, including binge eating or the stress-eating connection. It requires …
- understanding, and
- the desire to develop new habits.
Many studies suggest stress is a contributing factor for overestating. Numerous Type 2 diabetics come to realize that they are stress junkies who fuel their stress with cookies and caffeine. The first step to dealing with an eating disorder is to use kindness as a way to unlearn unhealthy habits. Being fully present and aware of your feelings allows for the opportunity to deal with them in a different way. When you are aware of a mood or a situation that encourages you to eat …
- step away from it,
- have a chat with yourself, and
- be kind to yourself.
Harsh words or thoughts will not help you overcome whatever situation is making you struggle. Have the same patience with yourself as you do with your loved ones.
Unlearning a habit can be as simple as taking yourself out of the situation that caused it. Then, you have less opportunity to experience a feeling leading you to feel out of control …
- if the habit is a bad relationship, take steps to change it or get out.
- you may feel overwhelmed every day at lunchtime as the topic of food comes up. Find a kind and creative way to help you deal with this, such as packing a lunch and healthy snacks. If your co-workers ask why you never go out to eat with them anymore, tell them you are financially conscious.
Be kind to yourself by putting your well-being first. It is not your responsibility to explain yourself to others; it is your responsibility to take care of yourself.
Next, take your new found motivation to relieve stressful food situations and create an atmosphere you find comforting and healing …
- you might find it helpful to take a few deep breaths before each meal.
- find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and connect with yourself.
- ask yourself how you are doing today? Is there anything making you feel stressed, sad, or uncomfortable? Think about this feeling and write it down if you have to.
Being harsh on yourself will bring out negative emotions.
Finally, practice new habits not involving food. Each night before bed, or even while sitting in your car during traffic, think of the rewarding moments you had during your day instead of what did not go your way. Maybe you walked more, took the stairs, or drank more water. Or sometimes you told a joke that got a few laughs or took time out of your day to be there for a friend. Use yourself to spread kindness and others will follow. But most importantly, be kind to yourself always. There is no guarantee anyone else will.