Everyone has negative feelings as they are a normal part of your thought process as you go through life. You aren’t trying to prevent them but learn healthier coping methods. This is especially important if you tend to turn to food or substances to deal with your emotions.
Here are some healthier and more constructive ways to deal with negative feelings.
Don’t Ignore Them
Step number one for dealing with your negative feelings in a healthier way is to not ignore them. When you turn to food or other substances for your negative emotions, you are not resolving them or even accepting them; you are hiding from them.
Ignoring what is bothering you isn’t going to make it go away, it just puts a Band-Aid on it for a little while. The more you do this, the fewer coping skills you learn that are going to help you get through life.
Change What You Are Able to Change
In many cases, there are things you can change related to what is bothering you. That is something you can focus on. Instead of just dwelling on whatever is causing you to feel negatively about yourself, other people or the situation you are in, just think about what you can do right now to work towards a resolution.
It might not be something that will change the outcome right away, but every little action you can take will help distract your mind and give you something helpful to focus on.
Take a Pause and Acknowledge Your Feelings
In intuitive eating and mindful eating, when you are tempted to turn to food to deal with negative emotions, you are often told to take a pause. That’s it. Just stop what you’re doing and take a moment to reflect.
The pause isn’t meant to solve any issues, but simply allow you to sit with your feelings, to understand what they are and what is causing them, and to help prevent you from making a rash decision you might regret later.
If after the pause you still want to eat that food or make that decision, then that is yours to make.
Find Ways to Cope
Lastly, you need to find new ways to cope with your emotions and stress, that are not related to the food or other bad habit you have been using to cover them up. This isn’t always easy, but with time, you can learn to train yourself to look for other ways to cope.
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