Counselor, author Elisabeth Davies on 5 tips to manage emotional eating

Do you ever eat because you're feeling sad, or maybe even because you're feeling happy?

Counselor and author Elisabeth Davies wants to help you stop.

"These emotions surface when we are faced with stressful situations we don't know how to manage: Losing a home, a job, a loved one, going through a divorce, bankruptcy, or a chronic illness can all be examples of situations that cause emotional upset," said Davies. "If we use food to feed an emotion, instead of a growling stomach, it is called emotional eating."

She said we often receive pleasure and reward from eating our favorite foods. When we eat these delicious foods it releases Dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps control the amount of reward and pleasure we experience. Dopamine also helps regulate emotional responses. Consequently, food can temporarily make us feel better and offer us a distraction from stress, anxiety, anger, guilt, disappointment and disturbing thoughts.

Her blog mentions some meditative breathing techniques that allow for emotional rebalancing.

Here is one simple breathing technique you can practice. Take in a slow, deep breath. Hold it for a few seconds and then slowly exhale. As you take in your next slow, deep breath, say in your mind, 'breathing in peace and calm.' Imagine filling your whole being with peaceful, calm energy. As you slowly exhale, say in your mind, 'breathing out all stress and negativity.' Imagine all the stress and negative emotions being released from your being. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds throughout the day, to calm uncomfortable emotions.

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One of the things that disallows emotional wellbeing is holding onto negative past experiences. Letting go of old hurts, traumas, losses and disappointments allows for emotional freedom and space for happiness. One way to let go of these emotions is through journaling. This gets them out of your being and on to paper. You can throw the paper away to symbolize letting go.

Talking to a counselor or emotional skills coach is another way to release and heal old emotional hurts. To schedule an appointment with Elisabeth Davies, MC call 602867-6988 or email

Although many foods are rewarding, eating to manage emotions is not a solution for mental or physical wellbeing. Emotional eating can become a habit if we do not learn healthy ways to manage uncomfortable emotions. It can also lead to compulsive overeating, weight gain, and negative emotions about our body. For effective strategies to manage compulsive overeating and unhealthy habits you can purchase Good Things Emotional Healing Journal-Addiction workbook at , Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Final thought from Davies:

Since our thoughts cause our feelings and emotions, we must intentionally put positive thoughts into our mind to produce positive emotions. One way to do this is to wake up and start listing what we are grateful for. 'I am grateful to have a bed. I am grateful to have food in my fridge. I am grateful for my eyesight. I am grateful for my hearing. I am grateful that people love me. I am grateful.' The thoughts we begin our day with can set the tone for the rest of our day. To reinforce positive thoughts, moods and emotions throughout the day, place positive affirmation cards in places you can see them. Good Things Emotional Healing Cards reinforce healthy thoughts and beliefs. To view, download or purchase Good Things Emotional Healing Cards go here .

Emotional wellbeing is crucial to having good mental health. When your emotions are balanced you have no need to feed them.

Sonoran Living Live viewers can get a 50% discount on the workbook, Good Things Emotional Healing Journal -Addiction + a FREE Good Things Emotional Healing Card when they order the workbook off of their website The promo code to get the 50% discount is SLLTV.

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