The human body can easily adapt to a variety of environments. We get stressed out if we know that we are in a dangerous area or are generally uncomfortable in a certain environment. However, stress is not entirely a bad thing. It’s only our body’s reaction to certain environmental factors.
However, too much stress can affect our bodies and lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms in the long term. Have you ever felt like you want to eat all your worries away after a long day at work? If this is the case, there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing stress eating.
Stress eating is one of the most prevalent ways of managing stress for many individuals. In fact, a recent study has shown that around 40% of adults have resulted to stress eating as a coping mechanism.
Although there’s no problem with eating and having a well-balanced diet, most individuals that engage in stress eating won’t know how to control themselves in this situation. This can lead to obesity and breed even more unhealthy eating habits.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to manage stress eating. Here are some practices and solutions that you can consider.
How Do You Know if You’re Stress Eating?
But before getting into some crucial ways of managing stress eating, a prevalent question in this scenario should be answered: how do you know that you’re stress eating?
Here are some signs that you should be wary of:
- Eating at a faster rate than what is perceived as normal
- Consuming more food than the average amount
- Eating food even when you are still not hungry
- Feeling guilty and embarrassed after eating too much
- Rewarding yourself means eating food
But one of the most prevalent symptoms that you stress eat as a coping mechanism is that you are powerless or have no control over your eating habits.
So what are some important ways of managing stress eating? Here’s what you need to know.
Getting Professional Help
One of the best ways of addressing stress eating is by getting professional help. It’s vital to consider the fact that stress eating and many other types of disorders are psychological. When this becomes a habit, the body resorts to these mechanisms to relieve stress.
Fortunately, many professionals are knowledgeable about this condition. This eating disorder has inpatient treatment programs that are a great way to treat disorders like bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders.
Focusing on Exercise
Probably one of the best ways of managing stress eating is by making changes to your lifestyle. Although getting into the habit of exercising can be a bit challenging in the first few days, you can eventually get into the habit of it. Exercising is a great way of lowering your stress levels. If stress is related to your eating habits, then this can effectively eliminate your cravings for food.
You don’t have to spend too much time exercising since many ten- to 15-minute exercises can help keep your mind off food. Not only is this a good way of removing stress, but this can help replace stress eating as a coping mechanism. Keeping yourself hydrated can also help keep your stomach fool while ensuring that your body’s organs are healthy.
Finding a Support Network
Last but not least, another best way of managing stress eating is by confiding your feeling with someone. Building up a support network can give you more motivation to address your unhealthy eating habits. It’s important to note that no person can handle emotional and mental problems by themselves. Sometimes, you should talk to someone if you are stressed out. You might want to consider talking to a friend that has the same hobbies as you.
Seeing a therapist is one of the best ways to address root problems and effectively know some of your triggers. Do you instinctively crave food in certain types of situations? Do you think of food when you’re only stressed out? These are some things that you can consider.
Although there’s no problem eating and appreciating good food, eating as a coping mechanism can be unhealthy. Even though it’s alright to indulge your taste buds once in a while, it’s best to observe what you are eating and draw a line on when this becomes a cause for concern. Stress is a natural part of life, but there are always healthier ways of dealing with mental and emotional problems.
After a long day at work or when you’re stressed out, you can always release some steam by exercising or hanging out with friends. If you’re unsure what you can do, you can always consult a therapist who can manage your stress and develop better ways of addressing it.