“ I have anxiety about eating» or « Night comes and I eat because of anxiety» are two very common expressions that, without statistics in hand but with experience ahead, they can be one of the most listened to in consultation. They are especially so in those people who want to lose weight and who often do not succeed or do not have a balanced and healthy relationship with food.
It is for this reason that due to the large number of people seeking help after this so-called “wild card” demand – I have anxiety about eating – we wanted to dedicate a full article to deepen, clarify and contextualize this reality. Are you ready? Let’s start!
What do we understand by anxiety to eat?
The word anxiety is used very frequently and at times, I would even say a little “lightly”, being a somewhat generalized term. The truth is that anxiety is defined as a symptom, a signal … as a reaction of people to a certain situation or moment, which especially worries us excessively and that is why we feel this feeling from: not getting there / not measuring up / not measuring up or simply not being able to control.
Anxiety is often capable of causing us a feeling of hopelessness, which takes over our body, and in turn causes us physical sensations as well: the heart is capable of beating stronger or our hands sweat excessively … All of this overwhelms us and even scares us. And it scares us in such a way that our reaction is to run away from it, cover it up, anesthetize it, whatever “works” to make it disappear. And here food becomes our main ally to get rid of it for a moment.
Food as a refuge
But what perhaps no one has taught you yet is that despite our intense desire to get rid of anxiety, the more we try to make it appear that it does not exist, the more force it will gain and the more powerful it will become. So what used to be snacking between meals , little by little becomes more and more disorder, or more food, more meaningless ingestions, … .. and at the same time, our discomfort is mounting with no hope of finding a way out.
At this point, a large number of people believe that the solution to the problem will be to follow a diet, to find someone to control what they cannot control: when they eat, how much they eat, how they eat , what do you choose to eat, etc … Perhaps in some cases, a nutritional education process with a nutrition professional is a solution according to the problem. But in many others, it is very common to observe that dietary intervention is not enough, being necessary to delve into more individual and internal aspects of the person , to help us understand and understand this behavior that we have with food and that we call eating anxiety.
What do I do if I have anxiety about eating?
For this reason, two of the realities that I intend to capture in these lines are:
- Yes Episodes of urgency for eating or eating disorders occur rarely in our day to day , or at very specific moments in our lives, without being a source of intense concern for us. It is convenient to reconsider and bear in mind that we can all feel at some point that our relationship with food is destabilizing and is not a constant.
- If we feel that our “problem” is that we have anxiety about eating , it is essential that we clarify that the problem is not food or our way of eating. Food or that feeling of urgency for food is nothing more than a manifestation of the true personal problem, an alternative that until now we have found to manage anxiety. This is so because, among other reasons, we have not been able to solve it in another way and we have turned to food as a “provisional” tool to improve it.
It is in these cases that either various solutions have been tried on our own or dietary aids without results, it is essential to consider the possibility of seeking the help of a professional psychologist , specialized in understanding what personal difficulties can be masked in these eating patterns that are characterized by lack of control.
Seek the help of a professional psychologist who specializes in understanding what personal difficulties can be masked behind anxiety about anxiety. food, it will be essential to solve it. @aarroyof Click To Tweet
Anxiety as a signal has come to visit us to inform us of something, it is another carrier pigeon such as our emotions, who bring us their message, their function, their use, their usefulness and their meaning in our lives. And until we pay attention to it and stop looking for alternatives in food, we will not start to be on the right track to solve this root problem.
Therefore, it is essential that if we feel identified with these lines, we understand that psychological help and emotional support will be of great help to us to discover new ways and ways to function without resorting to food giving it functions that do not belong to it. Food is innately a source of pleasure (but by no means the only one) and a necessity for our body to function well, but it should not become a source of discomfort, a mediator of our emotions or our currency of change of the personal difficulties that we all have.