Feeding and drinking away our emotions
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Lisa Proudfoot - Dip TA Counselling COSCA accred reg
27th April, 20180 Comments
Sometimes, when we become under distress, it's only too easy to reach out to food and/or drink for comfort.
So many times, individuals sit with that uncomfortable feeling, then desperately decide to raid the kitchen cupboards or seek out treats in their local shop or takeaway to get their next unhealthy fix.
A bar of chocolate suppresses anxiety, a takeaway pizza suppresses the overwhelming feelings of loneliness and a bottle of wine or a few beers helps your body relax back into the sofa after another hectic day.
We end up feeding and drinking away our emotions without being consciously aware of it. Then later we self sabotage with internal and external thoughts of not being good enough, too overweight and undesirable which in turn lead to feelings of anger, guilt, shame, hopelessness and despair.
Some find they have the urge to withdraw from social connections and from having intimacy with their partners because of this, as this has a huge impact on their self esteem.
I believe that the behaviour of feeding and drinking away our emotions could have been learnt from parents, grandparents, culture and media. If for example, we had a mother who turned to the cupboard for a packet of chocolate biscuits, packet of crisps or maybe she even decided to do this in secret and hide away the evidence instead of modelling healthier ways of self care.
Another example could be that when we fell over and grazed our knee as children. We were immediately rewarded by a packet of sweets to make it all better instead of that hug or reassurance that everything was going to be ok.
This could highlight the lack of emotional intelligence throughout generations and why we learnt to feed and drink away our emotions as adults.
Some people can decide to repeat this behaviour or some people can learn to change it.
We are born to be connected to our thoughts and emotions and it's important that we are educated on this so they don't become threatening to our being.
Many people are not aware of this therefore we decide to suppress our thoughts and feelings by engaging in all sorts of behaviours so they don't think or feel.
These other behaviours include:
- over working
- watching tv
- social media
There is no right or wrong way doing this however, what I have learnt is that in order to create a healthier balance away from addiction in our lives, we have to learn to look inside the discomfort to find comfort in order to feel in control and more content with our actual beings
This can also be done via all sorts of self care such as, eating healthy, exercise, hobbies, relaxation and communicating in our thoughts and feelings to a therapist, family, friends and loved ones we can trust
The key is to remember that you are not alone in your distress and that you are good enough.
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