Cope With Your Emotions With Kindness (Principle #7)


It’s important to learn to cope with your emotions with kindness and in ways that don’t always involve food.

Intuitive Eating is not a cop-out for those who don’t want to suck it up and stick to a diet.

It actually involves digging deeper to address and deal with the deep-rooted issues that cause us to eat in a way that is problematic. It’s addressing the reason why you find yourself eating more food than your body needs on a chronic basis (BTW, too much sugar and fast food is not the cause as many would have you believe … it’s a symptom).

Coping with your emotions with kindness is a huge part of Intuitive Eating.

We need to understand that food restriction, in and of itself, can trigger a loss of control. This can feel like emotional eating.

We need to find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve the core issues.

Sadness, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger, and frustration are emotions we all experience. Each emotion has its own trigger, and each of us has a different way to appease those emotions.

Food won’t fix these feelings. It might suppress or numb them for the short term.

However, food won’t resolve the problem. Consider other ways to cope with your emotions with kindness.

In fact, for those who struggle with this, eating for an emotional hunger tends to make it worse because not only do you end up right back where you started (since it doesn’t address the root issue), but many people have the addition of guilt, shame, or feelings of a letdown as a result of their action.

So, while it’s perfectly fine to eat for emotional reasons, even if you aren’t physically hungry, food won’t satisfy a non-food-related need.

This is where you kindly ask yourself what it is that you truly need. Then, take the steps to meet that need or have that need met if possible.

When you prioritize this rather than attacking the problem of emotional eating by restricting or giving yourself external rules to follow, you’ll actually be addressing the root cause rather than the symptom.

The next principle is to respect your body. Check it out.