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  • Writer's pictureMarisa Sherry

Let's Talk About Emotional Triggers and Eating Disorders

Today, I want to have a chat about emotional triggers and how they can lead to disordered eating. Most importantly, I want to share some tips on how to handle them in a healthier way.

What Are Emotional Triggers and How Do They Affect Eating?

When we talk about emotional triggers, we mean specific events, situations, or feelings that cause a strong emotional reaction. These triggers can come from past experiences or associations that we might not even be aware of. When it comes to disordered eating, emotional triggers can cause various behaviors like binge eating, restricting food intake, purging, or excessive exercise.

Here are some common emotional triggers:

  1. Stress: Stress can make some people eat more or lose their appetite, depending on how they cope.

  2. Anxiety: Feeling anxious can lead to disordered eating as a way to calm down or feel more in control.

  3. Sadness or loneliness: When we're feeling down, we might turn to food for comfort or restrict food as a form of self-punishment.

  4. Boredom: When there's nothing going on, eating can seem like an easy way to fill the time.

  5. Social situations: Being around food in social settings can cause anxiety and lead to disordered eating.

So, What Can We Do About These Emotional Triggers?

  1. Identify the triggers: The first step is to figure out what's causing the emotional response. Keeping a food and mood journal can help you spot patterns between your feelings and disordered eating behaviors.

  2. Find healthier coping strategies: Replace unhealthy behaviors with better options, like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or picking up a hobby to help manage emotions without turning to food.

  3. Get some support: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to share your feelings and reduce that sense of isolation.

  4. Be kind to yourself: Remember that recovery is a journey, so treat yourself with compassion and understand that setbacks happen.

  5. Talk to a professional: A therapist or dietitian can give you the guidance and support you need, tailored to your specific situation.

How I'm Here to Help

As someone who works with people struggling with disordered eating, I want to offer a safe, understanding, and evidence-based approach to helping you on your journey. Together, we can figure out your emotional triggers, come up with healthier coping strategies, and create a personalized plan to work towards a better relationship with food and yourself.

Please remember, you're not alone in this journey. Recovery is possible, and with the right support and resources, you can overcome emotional triggers and disordered eating behaviors. Don't hesitate to reach out for help – let's take that first step towards a healthier, happier you.

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