The Connection Between Busyness and Binge Eating

Do you find yourself eating more when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or in an high-emotion situation? If you are stuck in cycles of eating so that you numb out and don’t have to feel all the pain of everything for a little while, then this note is for you.  

Recently one of my students came to me and said, “Natalie, I’m overeating because I’m feeling overwhelmed. I'm aware of what I'm doing yet can't or don't want to stop. I am using my tools, but it doesn’t seem to be working. What else can I do to help with this issue? I'm so frustrated with myself!”

Self-soothing is a completely natural, even necessary, part of life. It’s the truth! 

Life is really hard sometimes, and we need to do something to self-soothe.   It’s totally understandable that you go to food.  

Understandable, but ultimately not the most effective form of self soothing.  Just the automatic one.  

When we are in one of the particularly stressful moments of life, we need to up our self-soothing game.  If we don’t, automatic eating behaviors will force the numb out self-soothing time.

How can we self-soothe without turning to mindless eating? 

Rest. 

Do you give yourself time to just chill out or are you caught up in the mindset of needing to feel productive and busy ALL THE TIME so that you feel worthy?

What if I told you that not only are you worthy, but that you’re worthy of rest? 

Common culture doesn’t value rest. Culture constantly tells us that we *must* be productive in order to be worthy. With the go-go-go all the time mindset, most people don’t give themselves permission to just kick back and rest, unless they are engaging in some other kind of numbing behavior, like eating. 

The problem is that this isn’t actually effective rest, and is more harmful than helpful ultimately.

If you give yourself full permission to rest, your need to eat to cope will decrease. It’s really incredible to find the connection between the lack of rest and the numb-out eating behaviors.

I’m not talking about sleep. I’m talking about lighting a candle, closing the bathroom door, and taking your shower as hot as you can stand while you inhale the sweet scent of lavender and lemon. 

Or, rest could also look like lying in your dark room alone with your eyes closed, listening to your favorite relaxing song as you melt into your soft, warm mattress, while you purposefully breathe to release tension.

Ask yourself right now: What is the most effective and available form of rest that you can do as a Tiny Action each day? When life gets super crazy, you gotta turn up the dial on self-soothing.  What can you do to purposefully rest more in your day?