A Workbook for the chronic stress eater
Are you a stress eater? If you are a chronic worrier, have anxiety about the people and/or the circumstances of your life, and tend to stress out, you might use eating as an effective coping skill. Food calms us. It grounds us. It gives us that “pressure” release that we need. It helps us escape our thoughts and feelings for a time. The problem is that it doesn’t align with our health goals, so it’s not the best coping mechanism. After we eat, we feel frustrated, ashamed, disappointed, self-critical, and these feelings tend to only fuel the flame. Even though it’s an uncomfortable sensation to feel worry, anxiety, and stress, it’s a familiar feeling, and we tend to gravitate towards what is familiar. It’s simply easier than treading into unfamiliar territory. So, if you’re a chronic worrier, stressor, you’re just stuck in that loop of familiarity. And we feed our stress or worry for the same reason; it’s familiar and effective “in the moment”.
It’s important to do some thought work around our worry, anxiety, and stress, because it’s not always as easy as just deciding to stop feeding our stress “in the moment”. If it were easy, we would have done it. This workbook has some questions for the stress eater, the anxious eater, the worry eater that can help lay the groundwork to changing your behaviors. This is an opportunity to get to know the way your mind works a little better. Hopefully working through these questions will help you see how stress and worry affect your life and give you some additional motivation to not only try to stop feeding your stress, but to better manage your stress and even reduce your stress on a daily basis.
Use the questions below to get you thinking about your stress and worry and the role it plays in your life.
Deep dive questions into stress, worry, and anxiety
How does stress, worry, anxiety benefit me?
What are the negative effects of my stress, anxiety, or worry on…. My health? My family? My work? My life partner? My happiness? My social life? Which one of these impacts you the most?
Does your stress, anxiety, worry affect anyone else in a negative way? How?
How would my life be different if I wasn’t always feeling stressed or worried?
What are 3 other actions I could take besides eating my feelings? Which one is the most appealing? Am I willing to try at least one of those things when I’m “in the moment” and want to stress eat?
In answering all these questions, what have I learned about myself? What are 5 things that I appreciate about myself?