In this article series, we discuss the importance of high energy levels to thwart food addiction from our system. We have already conferred about the significance of energy, sleep, and blood glucose levels to better combat intense cravings and addiction to food.
In this part, we will discuss the vital role that emotions play in our fight against food addiction and talk about what we can do to avoid negative emotions.
What are Emotions
Emotions are feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and so much more. Simply put, emotions make us human beings.
These emotions have many uses for human beings. For example, we can improve our endeavors by drawing strength or inspiration from our emotions. We can channel our angst, sadness, happiness, or other feelings through the music, artwork, literature, or any masterpiece that we create.
We can also understand, relate, and connect with other people through the emotions or feelings that we (or they) have. Let’s say you saw your girl- or boyfriend with a creased forehead, frowning lips, eyes burning with rage, and fists in balls. What does that mean? It means that you are in deep trouble because you probably did something wrong to anger her or him. See that? Through outward expression of emotions, you will know what you are dealing with or what you need to do.
Link Between Emotions and Energy Levels
Emotions have energy rates that can be measured. Neuro-peptides are released as emotions flow through the neural pathways. For every emotion felt, different rates or frequencies activate emission of particular neuro-peptides.
Neuro-peptides are chemicals that send signals to the body to create a biological response. Hormones and endorphins are just a few examples of the known neuro-peptides in the body.
Happiness and other positive emotions stimulate release of endorphins. These chemicals give you a different kind of high, make you feel better, and increase your energy levels. Additionally, they strengthen the immune system, and are good painkillers.
When you feel negative emotions like fear or anxiety, the neuro-peptide adrenaline is released to help your body cope with your emotions. Your blood vessels will expand, your body, particularly the muscles in the stomach area, is getting a higher tension.
This process is undergone by the body to prepare for “fight or flight” situations. It can be helpful at times when it is most needed but it can be hazardous to your health when in high “doses” and in longer time. It weakens the immune and digestive systems, exhausts important vitamins and minerals, drains energy, and is extremely addictive.
According to research, pessimistic views, and negative feelings and emotions deteriorate the body while positive emotions have the opposite effect. The more you nurse negative feelings, the weaker your body becomes and the lower your energy levels will be. But if you keep up with the optimistic thoughts and actions, you are on your way to a better and vigorous life.
As discussed in our earlier posts, with low energy levels, fighting food addiction is an impossible undertaking. To have higher energy levels, one way we need to do is to handle negative emotions in a healthy way. Here are just some things you can do:
- Surround yourself with people who love and treasure you. You can take a breather when you’re with the people who love you. They can give you unsolicited hugs and kisses to comfort you when you are feeling down or they can simply listen to what your heart wants to say.
- Be thankful for what you have. Many of us harbor ill feelings towards other people because of envy or jealousy. The reason is that we always compare ourselves with others and then end up feeling bad for ourselves because we can’t or don’t have what they have. Instead of constantly comparing ourselves to others, we should focus on our blessings. This will make us feel thankful and good at the same time.
- Distract yourself. Keeping your mind off things especially the negative thoughts will help you cope with your struggles. For example, you can paint, play basketball, or do anything to divert your attention. Or you can find any activity that makes you happy.
- Think of happy thoughts. Peter Pan was not wrong when he told Jack and Maggie that happy thoughts will make them fly. Well, not literally for us mere mortals though. J Happy thoughts keep the bad vibes away and will make you forget why you are on the dumps lately.
- Meditate. Meditation relaxes the body and calms the mind. It also counterbalances the negative effects brought about by stress hormones. In the long run, you will learn to overcome negative emotions by doing deep breaths and clearing your mind through meditation.
- Listen to soothing music. Relaxing music has similar effects like meditation. It helps you relax and calm down. I myself like to listen to this music.
- Accept the fact that negative emotions are normal. With our daily experiences in life, it is only normal that we experience different kinds of emotions including the negative ones. Recognize these feelings but don’t dwell too much on them.
- You are your life story’s leading man (or woman). Don’t exaggerate or make a soap opera out of your feelings or bad experiences in life. Instead of making the story a glum one, try to create a story that will lift your spirits. For example, instead of saying “I will die when you are not in my arms”, just say “I miss you”. Remember that what you feel may not always be real. For example, you might feel down because you think that you are unloved by your parents or are not reaching their expectations. It could not be true, you know. You can write down what you feel though. This really helps as it slowly lessens the intensity of your feelings.
- Count. When you are extremely angry or upset, try to take deep breaths and slowly count one to ten before saying or doing anything. This is an old and popular advice that I usually hear from people but it works wonders.
- Learn from your experiences. Find out which experiences make you feel intense (and negative) emotions. Study them and identify the triggers that caused these negative emotions to surface. This will help you equip yourself in better handling pessimistic thoughts and feelings.
- Love who you are. You might not be successful in your career (based on other people’s or the norm’s standard of success) but you are very diligent and smart. You care for every living being and forgiving. There might be many things you don’t like about yourself but there are MORE things to love about you. Love yourself and take note of the positive things about you. Doing this will generate positive emotions.
- For those who believe in it, praying could be an option. You may always face difficult trials or rained down by powerful storms but there is always that divine power that guides us. It can be Jesus, Allah, Angel, or whoever it is that you always call. Praying or calling for divine intervention can be a huge support in calming your emotions.
Having negative emotions is like carrying a sack of potatoes everywhere we go – one potato for every negative emotion felt or every bad emotion suppressed. Imagine how heavy that weight could be. If you continue to carry that weight, it is no wonder why you feel so low, depressed, and unhappy. It is not wonder why you don’t have the energy left to manage your food addiction.
You can get overcome your negative emotions and handle your food addiction in the long run, my friend. Take the first step of acceptance and soon, you will be on the road to an optimistic life and better health. Good luck!