Dealing with emotions

Many people turn to food in response to difficult emotions. We often eat to cope with feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, or stress. At those times, we may reach for less nutritious choices that meet emotional needs rather than nutritional needs. These are times we’re more likely to overeat, making weight loss harder.  Rather than turning to food, you can learn healthier ways to handle your emotions.

Pay attention. Examine how you’re feeling. Question why you’re having these emotions, and what, if anything, you can do about it.

Be in control. You can’t control your emotions. But you can control how you express and cope with them. Getting angry is okay. Punching a hole in the wall is not.

Talk it out. There's always a constructive way to express your feelings. It’s best to say, “I’m upset. This is how I feel. This is why. I’d like you to listen and understand.”

Let it go. The more you try not to feel something, the more it may build up inside you. Expressing emotions can be a healthy way to process them and then move on.

Reframe it. Intentionally focusing on the positives can help you feel better about negative events. 

Know it will pass. Difficult emotions are normal. To help you tolerate difficult feelings, it helps to feel them, acknowledge and accept them. Remember that all feelings have a beginning, middle, and an end.