Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships
When you are overwhelmed and feel like you are sinking in quicksand, your body wants to flee from the threat. But your life style and schedule keep you trapped in a very a very stressful situation.
You feel out of control
You feel helpless
You feel angry and resentful
You are terrified of failing or having a breakdown
You put even more effort into trying to be perfect and get everything done the way it should be so you can meet your own high standards and expectations
You imagine others complimenting you and envying you
BUT THE STRESS GETS TO YOU AND ALL YOU WANT IS FOOD. YOU WANT THE COMFORT AND THE NUMBNESS THAT EATING CAN BRING.
YOU WANT THE CALMNESS OF AND PEACE THAT CHEWING AND TASTING AND STUFFING YOURSELF BRINGS
YOU WANT TO FILL THAT HOLE CREATED BY ALL THE ENERGY YOU LOST STRESSING OUT OVER YOUR SCHEDULE
SO YOU GO TO THE FRIDGE, YOU ORDER IN, YOU GO TO THE STORE AND BUY ALL THE JUNK FOOD YOU NEVER USUALLY ALLOW YOURSELF
YOU DESERVE IT FOR ALL THE HARD WORK YOU HAVE DONE.
EXCEPT ——————————- YOU KNOW YOU WILL REGRET IT. Why self-sabotage?
Here are a few ways to control emotional/stress eating:
1. Research, prepare and cook something good for yourself. You take care of yourself in several ways that reduce stress –
- taking time out from your routine gives your body a chance to build up reserves and recharge your battery.
- focusing on your personal needs for a while balances your psyche so that your judgement remains sharp and unimpaired.
- you give your creative processes a chance to get juiced up when you switch to thinking about choosing, buying ingredients and preparing a special meal for yourself.
- the sequence of actions that you engage in to make your meal steadies your emotional rudder, since you bring order and timing into the equation.
PLUS 1: Being aligned with food gives the brain the message that it is being de-stressed.
PLUS 2: You don’t get more stressed by depriving yourself of the comfort of food – you just give it to yourself in a more controlled way.
2. Since stress floods the bloodstream with adrenalin it’s good to use it on getting all those odd jobs done that have been on your mind
- Use up the adrenalin so that you don’t feel the negative effects of stress – only to crave food in ever increasing amounts.
- You will feel accomplished and in control – the most effective antidotes to stress.
- Your food cravings will have be satiated with the rewards of taking care of yourself and getting your house and environment in order. The neurotransmitter – dopamine – that triggers the reward centers of the brain to make you feel good, will give you lots of ‘pings’ for completing all those unfinished jobs, as it would if you ate food. So do the jobs, feel rewarded, and you won’t want to stuff yourself with food.
3. Write letters to the people who are causing relationship stress. It’s a proven fact that putting things into words, calms the brain and reduces stress – without the calories!
- Composing a letter to someone who has just stood you up or has hurt you yet again, makes you aware of the pain that you need to feel in order to process it and make room for more soothing experieces. Food would just bury the pain in the short term, keeping the feelings in tact for the next time you get burned and have to experience it as a double whammy.
- So be good to yourself, and feel the pain as it comes – so that you can externalize it in words towards the person who hurt you. Putting your experience into a story that explains your side of things gives you a boost. You are no longer invisible, helpless or a martyr. You are taking care of yourself by speaking up.
- The act of writing to the one who hurt you gets your psyche to feel assertive and worthy. You aren’t just swallowing the pain, which is what you would be doing if you ate to numb yourself- literally and figurutively.
- Writing to the ones who caused you pain also organizes your past hurtful experiences. You get to see a pattern. The pattern gives you valuable information of what to look for next time before it’s too late.
- Putting pen to paper or typing on a keyboard also enables you to appreciate that you are actually coping with the bad feelings. You have survived and can write about it. You dont need all that junk food to pacify you. Knowing you are still alive and haven’t crumbled is an enormous boost to your sense of competency and sense of self-empowerment.
copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
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Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond