Intuitive Eating Principle 7: Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
Principle #7 emphasizes the patience and compassion for ourselves we can embody to aid us in becoming a successful Intuitive Eater. By coping with our emotions with kindness, we can learn to not only accept that food can provide us some level of comfort and enjoyment at times, but also be able to move on from the negative self-talk that might be coupled with emotional eating.
Tribole and Resch associate a few different emotions with eating including sensory gratification, comfort, distraction, sedation, and punishment. Oftentimes, we use food as a vice to handle our emotions, which is most likely due to our basic biology.
As we know, overeating is often a result of restriction, so when we teach our bodies that we are allowed to enjoy food for all it gives us both physically and emotionally, our extreme cravings might dissipate. To overcome emotional eating in time when it is not serving us, we can learn to face our emotions head-on in other ways, such as talking to someone close to you, journaling, sitting with our feelings, or picking up a relaxing hobby.
When we teach ourselves to cope in other ways that don’t involve food, we might feel less inclined toward food, which might be an unfamiliar feeling at first. At all times, it is important to remember that we can work with food instead of it working against us. By respecting all of our body's needs, including physical and non-physical ones, we can achieve inner peace and improve our relationship with our bodies and food.
Stay tuned for Madi's posts on Intuitive Eating Principle 8-10!