Just as you take in nutritional food and transform it into energy, positive emotions transform into resiliency.
People who are resilient tend to be able to take things in stride, choosing positive emotions and behaviors in the face of stress, and are less likely to engage in stress eating.
Stress resilience is about emotional resilience and emotional management skills. Learn not to take things personally, and avoid getting caught up in the drama of life’s stressful challenges. If you are building your emotional resilience, then stress-related eating will not be an issue.
Here’s 5 ways to stop stress eating and build resilience:
1. Stop dramatizing! We add to the negative impact of stressful situations by engaging in dramatizing. Here’s an example. A few months ago, I received a threatening letter from a company accusing me of wrongdoing. Since I had done nothing wrong, I was furious! I told all my friends, which of course validated my feelings and fueled my anger. Then I realized that I wasn’t doing myself any good because I was just keeping myself all worked up and feeling like a victim! I shifted out of victim mode and slept much better at night. Even if you are in the “right,” it doesn’t pay to dramatize it. Move on!
2. Don’t take it personally. Criticism and insults from other people are often hard to take. What you must remember is that they are dealing with the stress in their lives too. They may have had a horribly bad day, and/or they may not have the “people” skills to deal with the situation in a more compassionate way. In other words, they are doing the best “they” can – and it has NOTHING to do with you. Let it go and move on.
3. Get some perspective. How you look at stressful events makes all the difference. I’ll bet that you can recall more than 1 stressful situation that you initially *thought* would be a disaster, yet it turned out to be the best thing that could ever have happened. If you are having trouble coping with the stressful situation, imagine that you are in a helicopter looking down. It can help to see the bigger picture!
4. Shift out of negative response patterns as quickly as possible. Stress eating is both an automatic response to stress and a symptom of it. Your health depends on breaking these habits. The easiest way to break a habit is to substitute a healthier habit.
5. Recharge . . . recharge . . . recharge. Stress eating is an emotional problem – it requires support. Schedule that massage. Hang around positive people. Reconnect to old friends.
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