Written by Kathy Best, CNTC, March 12, 2018
Through my 15 years of research and study in nutrition, wellness, healing, spiritual and personal development I’ve found that one of the biggest contributing factors to excess body weight is emotional dieting. Scientific studies reveal that repressing feelings can lead to stress. Stress activates cortisol—the stress hormone—which significant research has shown directly impacts our metabolism leading to weight gain. Stress prevents our bodies from functioning properly.
How can we reduce our stress and our emotional weight gain?
Stop stuffing down your anger.
Stop pigging out to avoid painful feelings.
Stop drinking down your disappointment.
Express your feelings, release your need to control situations and people, find ways to feel compassion for yourself and others and recognize that we are all doing the very best we can with the information and beliefs we have in our life right now. The tips below will allow your body to find its healthy balance between constant stress and inner peace and start a conscious emotional cleanse.
Carry Less Baggage – Emotional baggage can have far-reaching, long-term health costs. Take time to focus on your biggest issues. Dig down to determine why these are continuous issues for you and decide if it is something you can control or something you can let go. Does it truly serve your highest good or is it something you’ve been carrying around because it is familiar, like an old blanket or something from child hood that may no longer be true. Clear up unresolved conflicts with family, friends, or your “little me”. Lighten your load and your life!
Let Them Flow – Whether you do it alone, with a trusted friend, or in a group, start to speak, write, sing, or dance to express your feelings. Do whatever it takes and keep doing it! Emotions are energy, and energy is in constant motion. Those feelings need to go somewhere. When we refuse to recognize and respect our feelings and constantly stuff them down they either begin to leak out in ways we cannot control like irritability, outbursts, and addictions; or they begin to fester and rot inside our body creating the perfect environment for disease and chronic illness. When you get them OUT in a healthy way, you can then deal with them in a rational way.
Seek Help – There’s no shame in reaching out when you need support. The human experience is all about connecting with others. Talk through emotional upsets with a good friend. If that doesn’t work, or just doesn’t do it for you, consider meeting with a counselor. Make sure to do some research and try to find one that you feel a rapport with. After all, you’re paying them to help you unwind your emotional strings.
Don’t Judge. Every feeling you experience is valid. Always! Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Your feelings are part of you, carry an energetic imprint, and every emotion is important. Think of them as arrows pointing out situations that bring up old wounds, patterns, or beliefs that need to be addressed. When, where, how, and why you express your feelings will yield varying experiences. You may begin to see patterns if you pay attention to the things and people that set you off. Regardless of the why, your feelings are never wrong.
Move Your Body. Get out of bed, off the couch, or out of the house. It’s not difficult to shift your energy. Something as simple and jumping up and down for a few minutes, flapping your arms, and then thinking of something that makes you smile, or laugh can totally transform your day. It doesn’t matter how you move, just move. Physical activity supports mental activity and whole body wellness as well as psychological relaxation. Feeling frustrated, anxious, depressed, or just pissed-off? Go for a walk, do some yoga, qi-gong, or jump on a trampoline. You never regret doing something good for yourself and the benefits can be priceless!