One Unexpected, Totally Weird Way Anxiety Can Sneak Up On You

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how anxiety leads to emotional eating

I've gotta tell ya, I totally understand what it's like to feel high anxiety — anxiety that is so strong it makes you want to jump out of your own skin.

In fact, at the moment I am writing these words to you, I feel like I've been living in an overall anxiety hit that has been ongoing for the past 24 hours. The intense anxiety I've been feeling is impacting every area of my life.

However, the good news is this: I am feeling it. And I refuse to stuff it.

I refuse to stuff the uncomfortable anxiety I'm feeling with food, with emotional eating, or with binge eating like I would have done in the past in an attempt to make the anxiety go away, which doesn't work anyway.

Here's why: Any attempts to stuff the uncomfortable, negative emotions of anxiety with food only leads to more weight gain and/or obesity, and the anxiety doesn't actually go away.

RELATED: 9 Ways Successful People Turn Their Anxiety Into Something Powerful

While it may seem that your anxiety is soothed for a few minutes while overeating, attempting to stuff the anxiety with food ends up creating a pileup of negative emotion within one's inner self, which eventually leads to "spill over" in one's life, and on one's body.

If you are struggling with overweight or obesity because you've been trying to stuff your anxiety with food you're not alone.

I understand what it's like as do the millions who are living in the struggle with overeating, overweight, and obesity with you right now.

The good news is you don't have to remain a member of the group of food and weight strugglers.

You can opt out of the struggle and learn new ways to cope with your anxiety, instead of using food to abuse your body while attempting to soothe your anxious feelings.

"But pain's like water. It finds a way to push through any seal. There's no way to stop it. Sometimes you have to let yourself sink inside of it before you can learn how to swim to the surface," said author Katie Kacvinsky.

My decision for myself is that I am determined to be like a duck that allows the anxiety to flow through me and around me as it slides off my back just like water, rather than being like a camel and holding onto the weird anxiety in my hump by engaging in emotional eating or binge eating.

Because you know what would happen if I were to try to stuff it down by eating food in an attempt to make the anxiety go away?

It wouldn't go away. But it would make my body fat if I tried to stuff the anxiety down and squash it with food through emotional eating or binge eating, which is what I used to do in the past.

My choice is to just feel the anxiety, no matter how painful it may be. This is one of the Inner Self Diet secrets I teach my weight loss coaching clients so that they stop turning to food to try to stuff their emotions down. Once they get the shift (along with using the other tools I teach), then they get the result of struggle-free weight loss.

What do you do, though, if your anxiety feels totally weird?

What if it feels like your anxiety is sneaking up on you or you're simply not very self-aware at this time in your life?

What do you do if you're not very experienced at feeling the pain and allowing your anxiety to "just be" rather than attempting to stuff it down with food?

What if you have no idea where that weird anxiety is coming from? What if it feels like your anxiety sneaks up on you, just like every year the holiday season feels like it sneaks up on you...even though we all know it's coming?

That right there is a very good point — why not read that last sentence one more time before you read on? In fact, if you really want to get something out of this (maybe a neat inner shift!), then go ahead and grab a pen and paper and write that sentence.

Ok, now that you've done that (I hope you did!), here's where I'm going with this: What if your anxiety really isn't all that weird?

What if it's something that when you take a look, you can see where your anxiety is coming from, and maybe even anticipate it?

How much better would you feel to at least know where your anxiety is coming from, rather than feeling like it's out of your control and just plain weirdness that could hit you from any angle, at any moment?

Wouldn't you feel in much more control then? Can you see how having that control could help you to stop using food to stuff your anxiety down?

"Your emotions are very unstable and should never be the foundation for direction in your life," said author Joyce Meyer.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Immediately Stop Anxiety From Sucking The Life Out Of You

You know that it's just like every year, if we look ahead on the calendar, we can see that the big holiday season is approaching. Many of us want to avoid it because it brings up old emotions that haven't been addressed, as well as the intense stress that many feel during the rush of the holiday season.

Avoiding it and refusing to look at what's coming up on the calendar doesn't actually make it go away, does it? And that's where it's easy to get into trouble. It's avoiding it that gives it fuel and takes your power away.

What if you were to look at your anxiety in the same way? What if instead of avoiding your anxiety and chalking it up to "coming out of nowhere", you were to stop and take a look at yourself and your inner world.

There's massive power to be found in self-awareness.

What if you were to examine your patterns of thought, as well as your negative, limiting beliefs, and what if you might even find clues that show you where your anxiety is coming from?

If you do this, you will probably find that your anxiety is coming from patterns of negative thinking and from what most call worry.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. once said, "I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen." 

If you take a moment and examine your patterns of thought, and your negative beliefs you will likely find where your worries are coming from, and then you'll be able to follow the trail to what is causing your anxiety.

Big hint: Your beliefs rule your life and your body.

For example, if you believe it's too hard to lose weight, then you are right. You must prove your beliefs to be right.

If you believe you can't get a handle on your anxiety, and you cannot avoid emotional eating because of it, if these are your beliefs then you must prove them to be true. 

So then... what if the only reason it's felt like your anxiety was unexpected, and it felt like it snuck up on you, was because you haven't been totally aware of the path you walked to get there?

Keep following me here because this could really help you begin stepping into your own power and if you struggle with emotional eating because of your anxiety, then this could even help you start losing weight. Cool!

Ok then... if you take a look at the path you've been walking, you just might find clues that will take the "scary and weird" out of your anxiety, which means it will no longer be unexpected, and it won't feel like it sneaks up on you.

While this won't make all of your anxiety go away, it's a great start to getting your power back.

Here's why: because if you can at least see that it's your thoughts and your beliefs that are feeding your worry, and that is where your anxiety is flowing from.  

When you begin changing your thoughts and beliefs you will then begin changing your anxiety. The best place to start healing your anxiety will be found in your own mind, which is where you can learn to be in control of thinking your healthiest thoughts.

RELATED: How To Explain Anxiety To People Who Always Ask What You Could Possibly Have To Worry About

JoLynn Braley is a weight loss mindset mentor who has been coaching clients to struggle-free weight loss since 2009. Struggle-free weight loss begins by making the right changes in the mind. Grab JoLynn's free tips and start learning more now!