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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Are Our Emotions Blessing or Destroying Our Health?

Nov 03, 2019 11:56AM ● By Cynthia M Spencer
Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death across the globe, and the number affected is steadily increasing. Obesity and emotions are tied together in sometimes devious and unconscious ways. We can reduce obesity globally when we learn to recognize what leads us there.

Understanding our emotions and giving them direction and healthy outlets can do far more than anything to lessen the excess pounds we carry through our lives. One by one, we can make a difference in lowering this very controllable disease.

Our emotions initiate action. They provide us with joy, bliss and beautiful experiences of life. They can also produce confusion and lead us astray. Mindfulness may be an overused word in today’s world, but it is the key to helping us control our own eating habits that lead us down the slippery slope to obesity.

Here are some areas where we can invest mindfully to help reduce our excess weight or prevent it from rising.
•  Responding to others when we disagree or just being still, instead of reacting.
•  Being aware of going along with the crowd and needing to belong.
•  Eating when we really aren’t hungry. It’s a habit.
• Making the assumption that someone will be “hurt” if we refuse their food or don’t eat cake at a friend’s birthday party.
• Eating when we are tired and pushing ourselves to stay up at night.
• Just plain eating out of habit, like popcorn at a movie, or three kinds of pie for Thanksgiving. We convince ourselves we need or want it.

Angry or fearful minds tend to cling to negative emotions and the mind mistakenly thinks that food will make us feel better. We just need to pay attention to what we are feeling and thinking and doing. Learn about the foods that make the body healthy and eat them; leave the rest. If we are mindful that we are the only ones who can make our self an integrated and healthy being, we can be an example and make a difference to global obesity.

Cynthia M. Spencer, MBA, MDiv is author of Losing Me, Finding Me. She has lost 140 pounds and is currently teaching classes on changing habits. She practices Integrative Wellness, and is a Life Coach and Spiritual Director. Connect at [email protected].
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