If emotional eating is as rampant and commonplace as nutritionists and health experts believe, this could be one of the reasons people are more overweight and obese than at any other time in our history.
We are eating because we are happy or sad, instead of when we are truly hungry, and in those occasions, the foods we consume are usually far from healthy. Then there is the problem with volume, because emotional eaters tend to down large quantities of this unhealthy food.
Overweight and obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as other health problems both brain and body-based, are your rewards for not eating properly. It makes sense then that if you could stop eating in response to a mood or feeling, and only eat when you are truly and physically hungry, you could avoid a long list of bothersome, dangerous and even deadly health problems.
Turning to an Ancient Answer - Meditation
Meditation has been used for thousands of years for stress-relief and other mental health benefits. Meditation practitioners point to physical health benefits since your emotions are linked to your physical health, as well as your mental state of being. While many people have different ideas about what meditation is, it is simply a state where you are unconsciously aware.
In the early part of the 21st century, meditation has proven effective for many as an emotional eating treatment. Here is how to end emotional eating with meditation.
1 – The next time you are about to eat anything, a meal or snack, big or small, find a quiet place. Get seated comfortably or lie down, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Don't think about eating. Don't think about existing. Just exist in the present moment. Focus on your breathing, being consciously aware of how you feel and what is happening as you breathe.
2 – Clear your thoughts. If any thought or emotion enters your mind, gently push it away. Your goal is to not consciously "think" about anything. You are not focusing on thinking; you are just being.
3 – When your mind is clear, think about a single occasion or event when you were peacefully happy. Focus on that one occasion only. See it in your mind. Don't judge it, just watch it in your mind. Attach positive words to that memory. Think of things like fulfillment, happiness, peace, serenity.
4 – Give yourself anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes for this process. Instead of an occasion or event, you may choose to focus on a physical object or simply continue to live in the moment, experiencing your breathing.
After this process, your emotions are calmed and soothed. They are not positively or negatively elevated or lowered. Now ask yourself why you were about to eat. In this meditative state, you will find it easy to answer yourself honestly. Maybe you were physically hungry.
If this is the case, eat a healthy meal, instead of the junk food and unhealthy food emotional eaters turn to. Do this frequently, and you will be able to quickly enter a state of consciousness that can help you end your unhealthy emotional eating habits.
Bypassing Your Conscious Mind to Beat Emotional Eating
Like meditation, hypnotherapy speaks directly to your unconscious mind. Your conscious thought patterns are bypassed, and through specific speaking patterns or relaxation techniques, you can reprogram your mental hardwiring.
When successful, hypnosis has proven nearly a miracle cure. The list of physical and mental problems hypnosis has been able to treat effectively is diverse and nearly endless.
Since your emotions are based in your thoughts and feelings, hypnosis is a logical and alternative treatment option. You speak directly to your subconscious, teaching it to avoid responding to emotions with negative eating behaviors.
Your unconscious mind can form new habits incredibly quickly, which means hypnotherapy may rapidly heal your unhealthy emotional eating episodes when everything else you have tried has failed.
How to Use Hypnotherapy to End Emotional Eating
Seek a licensed hypnotherapist in your area. You can alternately search Google or YouTube for "emotional eating hypnotherapy music" or "emotional eating binaural beats". There are self-hypnosis books, DVDs, CDs and courses sold online.
Whichever remedy you choose, get started as soon as possible. Healthy hypnosis will begin with you comfortably lying down, closing your eyes and attempting to remove your thoughts and emotions from your mind.
You will then listen to calming, soothing music that helps your mind enter an unconscious state rather than a conscious one. This music may or may not be accompanied with vocals or instructions.
When your hypnosis session is over, take a few deep breaths and tell yourself you’re getting better at controlling how your emotions drive your eating habits. Feel good about this.
Tell yourself you are positively becoming more aware and conscious of everything that surrounds the eating process. Feel good about yourself. Tell yourself that you look forward to your next hypnosis session.
Immediately following your initial hypnosis or self-hypnosis session, you may feel a little unsettled. This is a typical response to hypnotherapy for beginners. After 3 to 5 sessions, you will notice the following results.
You will experience less stress and anxiety, and calmer, more even emotions.
When your emotions are about to cause you to make a decision, you will be unconsciously aware this is happening, and more capable of controlling your emotional response.
You will feel good about yourself, and you will want to practice this relaxing, calming, leveling process daily.
In every aspect of your life, not just eating, you will begin to make smarter choices.
You will become consciously aware when your emotions may be leading you to make unhealthy eating choices.
You will find yourself feeling healthier and becoming healthier in mind and body.
You are going to experience emotions. It is part of the human condition. However, you don't need to get over those emotions by resorting to comfort food.
Hypnotherapy helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle and remove stress from your life, and since stress is one of the major motivators for emotional eating, this is how hypnosis may be able to end your emotional eating once and for all.