Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Feeling Bad? Overeating Will Not Make You Feel Better

In Ayurveda, digestion is one of the pillars of good health.  Food is the body's fuel.  If it is not absorbed properly, it is of little use to your body and may even cause the body harm.  There are many ways to maximize digestion, but there is one I want to focus on today.  This is your mood and mental state while eating.  If we eat food when we are upset, we make it harder to digest our food.  You digest experience, not just food.  Food that is eaten while feeling negative is impacted by the emotion.  We can eat the healthiest food in the world, but it will not serve us.  Imagine eating and sharing lunch with your best friend.  The meal is an experience that brings a smile to your face.  Now imagine eating a meal after hearing bad news.  Your stomach may feel tight or cramped, and you have no appetite.

Sometimes when we feel upset, we may use food as a way to comfort ourselves or to forget about our problems.  Yet, after the food is eaten, we have not addressed why we had to overeat in the first place.  A recent study found that unhealthy eating behaviors make a bad mood worse.  Even more interesting was the fact that if study participants felt positive before engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors, their good mood was not affected.

While I am not advocating overeating, it is better to overeat when you are in a good mood than a bad mood.  If you are looking to feel better by overeating, you are not making yourself feel better.  You will be making yourself feel worse.  Becoming conscious of how certain behaviors hurt us is the first step towards change.  If you want to clear out your bad mood, you can start to explore other options.  You have the possibility of really feeling happy, and that is a possibility worth investing in.  Both Ayurveda and Health Coaching believe that you have the answers to making yourself feel better.  Sometimes you have to dig a little, but it is there.

Stay healthy & well,

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