Last Updated on November 7, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Depression and anxiety can result in misjudgment when it comes to many things regarding health. It’s easy to get into a negative mindset and sabotage your own efforts to improve yourself. Many of us, including myself, feel compelled to punish ourselves by overeating snacks that we know are not the healthiest options. Is there a way to break that cycle and get back on track, especially if the world is crashing down around you?
Breaking the Cycle of Overeating Snacks
One of the major components that drive you to overeating bad foods is the “comfort factor.” This is for those who find comfort in eating, such as myself. This can be driven by a psychological need, but a lot of it has to do with chemical adjustments.
Chocolate, for example, is often a food of choice for someone who suffers from depression. This is partially due to the fact that it has been found to affect the state of mind of consumers. It’s essentially a “happy” food that impacts the body through various chemicals such as serotonin.
For many of us, the cravings can get to a point where it seems almost like an obsession. In an attempt to feel good, we overeating snacks loaded in chocolate. While this can help deal with depression, it will also impact your overall health. In fact, I experience a great deal of abdominal issues when overeating such as diarrhea.
While a little bit of comfort food may be OK in some instances, you need to keep focus if you don’t want it to affect your health. Overeating snacks can lead to a myriad of problems, least of all is weight gain. So, what can you do to break the cycle of delving into that bag of left-over Halloween candy?
Find a Distraction
Find something that can give your brain a distraction. Many people like myself will turn to video games as a form of therapy. This is because it can help you focus on content other than what is happening in your life. It’s like taking a vacation without the cost of a plane ticket or a hotel room.
Regardless of the activity, you need to find something that can give you that release. Here are a few things that you could get into that may pull your mind out of despair and anxiety, if only for a few moments:
- Video games
- Writing in a journal
- Getting into sports, whether it’s at school or on a city league
- Reading a book
- Writing fiction pieces, even if you don’t plan on publishing them
- Clean your house, because the activity can help clear the mind while working up a sweat
- Get into art
- Build scale models, something I did a lot and really enjoy
Come on, now. This is an exercise and health site. What better advice can I give than to exercise more? Besides, studies have shown that increasing your exercise can help your body increase natural serotonin production. This compound directly affects your mood and is linked to the effect of “Runner’s High.”
A runner’s high is a term used that describes the feeling of euphoria after intense physical activity. In essence, you make yourself feel ultra-good by pushing your body to it’s physical limits.
Running is only one way you can increase your levels of serotonin without overeating snacks. Aerobic exercises can also be of great help. In reality, any activity that is physically demanding can produce higher quantities of this “feel good” hormone in the brain.
Deal with the Depression
A lot of people will approach foods as an addict would approach alcohol or drugs. It can be a quick band-aid on a more severe wound. Instead of focusing on overeating snacks that can help you feel good, deal with the problem. I know, it can be overwhelming at times. But if you don’t address what is causing the depression, it may return sooner than you think.
Don’t be afraid to seek help for your depression, either. In my case, depression has turned my life upside down and inside out. I once thought I could handle anything, but life has proven to me that some things just can’t be faced alone. Find a way to address your issues before they overrun your life.
Discover Why You Punish Yourself
A lot of people such as myself will succumb to punish ourselves because of actions we take or because of something we say. It’s quite a common practice, actually. It’s when you feel that you have done something so wrong and no one is making you pay the price.
And often times, we punish ourselves even when we are technically being punished. This is because we don’t feel that we are suffering enough.
But do we really need to drive our suffering in such a manner? It’s quite a common problem for people to mentally abuse themselves. I know I do it far more than I would like to admit. And it’s really no way to live. From overeating snacks to picking up bad habits because they have potential to cause harm, we tend to take things too far.
The most difficult part is discovering why we punish ourselves in such a manner. Why do we think that we deserve to suffer even more than we are? Unfortunately, this problem may be too big for you to analyze yourself. Sometimes it takes a third-party who is unbiased to actually see the devastation and point it out to you.
The Impact of Counseling
I have been a person who has to face my issues alone and overcome them. Because of my current situation, I’ve discovered that I am not the super hero I once thought I was. Some things are just too great to take on my own…a lesson that has essentially crushed my family.
You’re not any less of a person for seeking help. If I would have dealt with my issues years ago, I wouldn’t be in the predicament I am in now. You need to find that part of yourself that realizes that everyone needs help once in a while.
Talking to someone who has no stake in your success or failure has potential to show you what is going on. This individual can help you develop plans that will put your mental health back on track. He or she can help you move from overeating snacks or otherwise punishing yourself to a happier and healthier frame of mind.
You don’t have to relish in the idea of punishing yourself through overeating snacks or even cutting your arms. No matter how bad things seem to get, you always have options other than self-harm. What you need to do is realize your potential and find ways to break your own cycles of destruction. You are not cursed if you don’t believe in it.