Do you ever struggle with your emotions? I have a really difficult time with simple things like labeling my emotions. It seems like that would be simple enough but for me, it has always been a struggle. I am assuming so of you also struggle with food addiction like me and that may be why you are here. This topic came to mind for me because a lot of my food addiction centers around emotional eating. I say that a lot….”I’m an emotional eater.” But what does that mean? And how can I say I’m an emotional eater if I can’t even label my emotions?
There are a lot of different ways you can journal about your emotions and cravings. I have done a lot of different journaling for cravings and found that helpful. This journal prompt will be more about identifying emotions (that may or may not have anything to do with cravings). I think before we can get into cravings journaling it’s important to be able to identify and label emotions.
“Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.” -ThisIsLoveLifeQuotes
The first thing we need to do is figure out what are emotions. I have a hard time with this. There is a difference between sensations, emotions, moods, and judgments. For example, I may say something like “I feel fat”. Fat isn’t an emotion though it’s a judgment. If I don’t fix that though in my head I may start to become a feeling of sadness and over time could cause depression.
Sensations: hot, cold, tingly, soft, hard, numb, tense
Mood: depressed, stressed, anxious, content, manic, sexual
Emotions: happy, sad, mad, scared, fear, lonely
Judgments: ugly, fat, worthless, unworthy, outcast
For today’s journal prompt:
Write down in your journal as many thoughts as you can that you commonly have when emotionally eating. Just write them down in your journal as they come to you.
Now go back through the list of things you wrote down and mark them with an S, M, E, or J according to the list above. Are you having sensations, moods, emotions or judgments? I suspect that some of the things you thought were emotions may be judgments. Are you allowing the judgments we put on ourselves to lead to negative emotions?
For each judgment, on your list write down a positive affirmation that changes your judgment.
I feel fat. This is a judgment. I see myself as fat and judge myself that way. My positive affirmation could be I love myself regardless of size.
Over the week practice using your affirmation when you find yourself using that judgment. Keep note if it helps to reduce your emotional eating over the week.