Have you ever wondered why you crave chocolate when you have been emotionally drained, or cake when you are stressed, or maybe a gallon of ice cream when you go through a breakup? It all comes down to your mind-body connection. This connection can actually assist you to lose your unwanted weight.
The mind and body
Let’s look at the ways the mind can influence the body. Your body can have a physical reaction to your emotions in ways. For instance, when feeling sad or defeated you may slouch your shoulders and back. This is a physical response to the emotion you feel. Also, your brain will release certain chemicals in accordance with whatever emotion you are feeling. Blood flow can either increase or decrease depending on the emotion. Your emotions also affect your breathing patterns by causing shallow or rapid breathing. It isn’t something you do on purpose, but subconsciously.
What does this have to do with weight gain? After having long-lasting muscular tension, the body begins to alleviate itself from the tension. It does this by administering additional fatty tissue to the afflicted areas.
There are psychosomatic ways to release the tension. One is yoga. The peaceful stretching and focusing of the mind relax you both physically and emotionally. Yoga’s meditative structure eases the mind and allows the negative thoughts exhaled out with calming breathe. The different stretches work different parts of the body to relieve muscle tension all over the body.
Oh, my food!
Another aspect to weight gain is food, which is the obvious factor most professional point out. As humans our emotions influence just about every aspect of our lives, including our eating habits, hence the different cravings of the various emotional states.
We are capable of readjusting and becoming more mindful of the connection between our emotions and our eating habits. Thus, we can better reduce the cravings and work for a healthier diet.
Healthy eating doesn’t completely cut out cake and ice cream from your diet. Healthy eating is eating in moderation. Healthy, well-balanced meals include a protein, a vegetable, and starch. Healthy eating is also eating three smaller meals with a healthy snack in between. A little dessert after a meal once or twice a week is okay.
You have to be mindful that food only temporarily satisfies your emotional needs but ultimately fulfill those needs. Meditation, working out the “kinks”, getting in tune with oneself is the way to meet those emotional needs. For instance, Jill gets bad news from the doctor about pain in her knee. She is stressed about the prospect of having knee surgery. Instead of giving in to her urge to gorge herself with the gallon of ice cream in the freezer, she goes to her happy place. She closes her eyes and focuses on the memory of the site that brings her the most joy. She keeps her breathing calm and controlled. She is in tune with her emotional needs, and the craving for ice cream has subsided.
What to remember
Once you can start gaining control of your mind & body, then this connection ensures that the weight will begin to come off. You will feel more at peace with yourself emotionally and physically.