Unfortunately, disordered and emotional eating is extremely common but disproportionately affects women. Many people struggle with disordered eating due to a lifetime of chronic dieting, neurodiversity, traumatic events, and/or other mental health issues. If you are engaging in disordered or emotional eating it is likely due to a disconnect your mind has with your body. The best way to make a change is by calming your nervous system and connecting to your body.
Although this is much easier said than done, there are a multitude of effective techniques that will help. A key strategy to use is called the Body Scan. Body scanning requires you to tune into your body to reconnect to your physical self and notice any sensations you are feeling without judgment.
First, you shut your eyes and begin to relax. Slowly gather sensory experiences starting from the crown of your head down to the tips of your toes. Be patient and move slowly. Try to think about the specific areas that stand out to you and make a mental note of them. Once you have finished, revisit those areas, place your hands on the area, and put words to what you feel internally. Stay quiet for a few breaths and sit in this feeling. Once you are done, reflect on this experience. It’s important to note that you don’t need to feel any different. Simply engaging in the exercise provides mental health benefits.
This tactic allows you to distinguish the difference between external and internal awareness which will bring you one step closer to connecting your mind and your body. The connection between your mind and body is the ultimate key to personal health and success. Practice body scanning and resist the urge to give up. Over time you might be surprised at how much more queued you are to your hunger and satiation levels. If you’re looking to learn more about mind-body connectedness in relation to food consumption look into the work of Ann Saffi Biasetti.