As a cognitive therapist I help my clients understand that our thoughts are directly connected to our emotions; we feel what we think. But, it's not just our mindset or thoughts that create how we feel, it's also the F factor: FOOD. Not just the food we feed our bodies, but also the food we feed our spirits. It's how we feed the areas in our lives that matter; areas like our relationships, our family and friends, our careers, our personal growth and contribution to others. All these areas are vitally important when it comes to the state of our emotional well being. When we neglect them we die inside, or we may feel we are just existing wondering if there is more. But when we nourish these areas of life it feeds our hearts and minds and we thrive!
Food that we eat and food for our soul go hand in hand. Consider times when life was not going well. Did you ever use food for comfort? If you're like most of us you have. And what's "comfort food" anyway? You know, those high carb, sugary and salty goodies that we all crave now and again especially when there's excess stress in our lives. The problem is it's a perpetuating cycle. Because of today's hectic lifestyle, the stress often leads to going for the junk food that doesn't serve us and that typically leads to crashing and burning which makes us go for more junk. The ups and downs in blood sugar creates turmoil for your emotional state. This may commonly show up with intensified feelings of anger, nervous tension, frustration, which in turn creates turmoil in your relationships, your job, your motivation... Round and round we go; our nerves go up and down, and sometimes so does the scale. Sound familiar? So yes, we feel what we eat!
Hey you know what? I am certainly not perfect. Perfect is boring and stupid anyway! Food IS meant to be enjoyed and celebrated too! But, I know that there is a food and mood connection and understanding the F Factor is vital in becoming truly emotionally fit.
Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R is a certified cognitive therapist, strategic interventionist, relationship educator, board certified health coach and soon to be author.
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5 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make (Includes Bonus Recipes!)