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Combatting Comfort Eating Print

Many people resort to food when they feel sad, angry, hopeless, bored or lonely. Some foods, such as chocolate, affect the chemicals in the brain that regulate your mood. For that reason, you often feel better straight after you have eaten chocolate but these effects usually don't last for very long and has harmful effects in the long term. Eating in response to emotions, particularly if you are not hungry, is known as comfort eating.


The problem lies within

We often do not understand the causes of our discomfort and pain we experience in our body. Yet from arising to going to sleep we spend much time tending to the comfort of our bodies. In trying to gain this understanding we need to comprehend certain fundamentals of life and that the world is a place of cause and effect. Physical and mental problems are due to incorrect actions and motivations. Jealousy, slander, lying, cheating, etc. affects one negatively. Far too many people search for fulfilment in external material things and similarly blame others when anything goes wrong.


Mind and body

To help ease our minds we need to focus on something neutral to bring about a peaceful and relaxed existence. The result will be reduced need to consume comfort foods as unhappiness, boredom and frustration decreases. A stressed mind weakens the body and disease occurs. Pain is a signal that something is out of order and needs to be addressed.


Guidelines to achieve balance

  1. Accept the past and work on improving the present.
  2. Put in place an action plan for the future.
  3. Listen to your thoughts and take notice of what you are paying attention to.
  4. Think positively.
  5. Making an effort is reward in itself. Do not be disappointed by non-attained goals.

How to manage your eating

  1. Be Aware of What Makes you eat - It is helpful to look at your eating patterns and try to work out what is causing you to eat. If due to a bad emotion try managing it better.
  2. Explore Other Ways for Managing Feelings - there are things you could do to help you deal with your feelings in a healthier manner. You may like to try exercise, drawing or writing.
  3. Plan for Dealing with Boredom - It is not uncommon to eat when you are bored. If you find yourself doing this regularly, you may find it useful to think of some things you can do when you are bored.
  4. Eating Healthy Food - Try to eat healthy foods most of the time rather than those that are high in fat.
  5. Talk to Someone - By talking to your local doctor or a counselor you should be able to work out some of the reasons why you may be comfort eating and different ways to manage it.

Turn to Allah

Allah has power over everything and in His Hands lies the solutions to all problems. Islam teaches that all difficulties are the result of punishment for the disobedient or a test for the obedient. The disobedient should thus repent and the obedient should exercise patience. Turn unto Allah and remember Him. The Quraan declares,

"Lo, through the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment."

Reciting abundant salutations upon Rasulullah sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam is especially beneficial for stress-relief.



sk/2008-05-07 09:37:40

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