Many people tell me they do not feel particularly stressed. They will say that nothing really stressful has happened recently. I would argue that our lives are inherently stressful.
There is a certain amount of constant underlying anxiety that many people experience on a daily basis. From work to kids to finances, stressors are pervasive in our culture. We just get used to them because they are so commonplace.
Food is used to calm and soothe and even numb these anxieties. Certain nutrients in food release the same chemicals in our brains that mood regulating medications stimulate. The habit of using food is a very effective way of controlling emotions. Sometimes it is the best we can do to get through a tough situation, and that is okay.
The problem is many people rely on food, unknowingly, as their primary way of coping. This means there is little insight about the cause of the eating--the underlying feelings. It can be helpful to learn to tune in and discover what is going on under the urge to eat when not hungry.
At Austin Counseling and Nutrition, we have dietitians to help you understand when you are hungry and when you are not. Our therapists can help you identify what you are feeling when you want to eat when you are not hungry. They can assist in processing these feelings or identifying and meeting the true underlying need. Call or Text (512) 655-3878 for more information.