When everything seems to be going wrong in your life, it’s easy (and natural) to turn to food. Food is always there for us. Food can’t stress us out or disappoint us. But, the negative stigma behind “stress eating” is something that ends up adding even more stress to a person’s life because it can make you feel bad about needing to turn to food for comfort. This shaming makes it even harder for people to talk about their mental health, getting us stuck in this cycle of shame. I’m here to tell you that stress eating isn’t always a bad thing.
If someone had the choice to talk about stressors or food, pretty much everyone in the world will choose to talk about food. Stressors are something we like to push under the rug, along with a ton of other serious issues many people face. Blogs, like Stress Eats, use mouthwatering pictures of food to help ease the stigma surrounding mental health and to show the importance of talking about it. Stress Eats uses cupcakes and mac n’ cheese to talk through things like loneliness, acceptance and overthinking. By using food, which is something everyone talks and thinks about, the conversation about typically looked over topics can hopefully be made more open.
Snacks are a great way to keep your energy up until your next meal. So don’t waste those opportunities on foods and drinks with empty calories. Make your snack count! Dr. Martica Heaner, a Manhattan-based exercise physiologist and nutritionist, has put together 15 ideas for snacks that will fill you up and pack a nutritious punch.
Sometimes, it feels like you’re the only one whose life seems to be spiraling out of control. And then in turn, it feels like you’re the only one stress eating. But this is NEVER true. Everyone may deal with stressors in different ways, but everyone deals with stressors at least once in their life. Stress is a natural part of life, and so is eating. If digging into a tub of ice cream makes you feel better, or if stress baking helps you deal with something going on in your life, go for it!
Comfort foods are arguably the best foods out there. Who wouldn’t want an endless supply of pizza, fries, and doughnuts? And they are proven to work because our favorite comfort food that we always turn to creates an individualized system of reinforcements, which is why we crave that one food when something goes wrong. But sadly, typical comfort foods tend to be extremely unhealthy, which makes stress eating them that much better. But, stress eating doesn’t have to consist of junk food because there are a ton healthy foods that can help you cope with life stressors.
Stress eating has an extremely bad rep, which makes us second guess ourselves when we feel like we need to turn to food to help us cope. But, never let anyone shame you out of eating your comfort foods.
Everyone deals with stress in different ways, and some of the best ways of coping are individualized. And hopefully, by using something as universal and mundane as food, we can start opening up the conversation about mental health and stressors.