Emotional eating is something you probably don’t think about until after the fact. You were upset from whatever news you received, stress you had to deal with, or new issue that made itself known in your life. Your answer was probably to eat a little bit and think over the issue while giving yourself an indulgence or treat to help you get through. The problem comes when you are finished and you realize you over ate and the stress starts again. One way to help with emotional eating, maybe not to stop it but to at least curb it, is by journaling. Here’s how journaling can actually help.
Slows Down Eating
Even if you start journaling when your emotional eating starts, journaling can help slow the eating process down. While you eat, you can write which will cause you to pause and think about what you are writing. This will allow the food time to settle and let you actually feel when you are full rather than binge eating and feeling overly full later. It also makes you think about why you are emotionally eating, feeling the way you feel, and focus on the moment instead of just moving through the moment.
Focus on the Real Issue
When you are going through the emotional eating process, you are focusing on feeling better. If you are thinking about what triggered you, you are likely not thinking about the root cause of the issue. When you journal, you can work out the issues and get your emotions out. Once those emotions of hurt, anger, or stress are out then you will find yourself writing about the real issues. The trick is to put the journal away and go back to it a few hours or a day later. Read through what you wrote and work out what the real issue was. You may think that the trigger was a stressful day at work, when in fact the real cause of the trigger was something someone said or something that occurred in the workplace.
Narrowing Down Trigger Patterns
In addition to helping you slow down and move slower through an emotional eating process as well as helping you focus on the real issue that triggered you, journaling has another benefit. Journaling during or just following an emotional eating moment can help you see a pattern with what is triggering you the most. You can go back to the journal and note what the main trigger was that day. Just put a small note at the bottom of the journal entry that states what the trigger was for that moment. As you review your journal, and the notes, you will see a pattern. Once you see this pattern, you will be able to focus on those triggers and avoiding them in the future.
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By journaling through your emotional eating moments you can learn more about yourself, your true triggers, and what to do to avoid the issues in the future. These combined efforts will result in a reduction in emotional eating and stress related triggers in your life.