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Loneliness can also prompt eating to symbolically fill the void you feel inside. Instead of filling up on empty calories, work on building stronger social networks. Volunteering is a good way to meet new people, as is enrolling in an evening class to learn a new skill. Making friends as an adult can be difficult since it requires a concerted effort to make a real change. If people aren’t coming to you, you will have to go to them. Don’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring—people are busy and might not realize that you need their attention unless you approach them first. You might learn that they are just as lonely as you are but were afraid to reach out to anyone.
So Angry You Could Eat a Whole Cake
Were you taught that it’s not nice to express anger? Many people are conditioned to bury negative emotions like anger instead of dealing with issues openly. So instead of working through their anger constructively, they eat their way out of their emotions.
What works for relieving stress—exercise, deep breathing, meditation—can also help relieve anger. While this gets rid of some angry energy and can help you calm down, it’s important that you deal with the initial cause of your anger. Talk to the person who may have upset you, or write about the issue in a private journal to clarify your feelings without hurting others—you can keep the words to yourself or show them to the other person.
A Good Cry
Many people are uncomfortable with sadness and some automatically think it’s a sign of weakness. It’s okay to feel blue some days and it’s natural to have emotional ups and downs. It helps to be able to pinpoint what prompted the emotion in the first place. If a bad argument with a friend leaves you feeling blue, for example, you can work on patching things up instead of eating to console yourself. But don’t forget the power of a good cry! Crying can help reduce stress and really help you feel better. Plus it’s much healthier than eating a bag of cookies!
If you feel sad or weepy but don’t know why, try journaling for a week to see if the reason is revealed to you. Persistent sad, hopeless feelings that last for two weeks or more can be signs of depression that you should discuss with your health care provider.
One Thought at a Time