I have always been a crier. It doesn’t really matter what the emotion is, I well up. What I realised though, is that when I feel negative emotions I’m more likely to cry. Especially when I feel angry or frustrated, when I feel that I am not listened to or when I am on the receiving end of criticism, warranted or not.
I remember a particularly embarrassing moment at work when I was trying to explain to a senior manager what it was like to work for the toxic lunatic who was my manager. I have talked about this before, friends especially know the story, but it was the kick I needed to quit my corporate job. She was a nightmare manager who wouldn’t let me do my job, wouldn’t allow me to manage my team and then ask me if I am incapable of managing my team alone when I ran decisions by her. It was a dark time.
“As I sat down to talk to her the floodgates opened”
The senior manager flew in from the USA to try to find out why 6 people resigned in a two week period. As I sat down to talk to her the floodgates opened and the months of harassment, bullying, verbal slights, pressure and stress just came pouring out. She sat open mouthed as I told her all of the things that this toxic woman had put me and my team through. Not just me by the way, the entire team of managers who looked after all of the teams in the department.
I’m sure for her it was like drinking from a firehose. I unloaded everything including the time that she stood in front of the entire support team (about 50 of us) and told us we had no bonus and that we were paid too much for our jobs as it was so be grateful we have employment. Yeah, that happened. I carried a lot of anger with me during that time but I hadn’t yet learned to deal with anger in a healthy way, rather than numbing it with carbs.
Anger is basically tied to unmet needs. I was frustrated, powerless and felt insignificant and my only outlet for these feelings was 1. Crying and 2. Eating carbs. I did manage to restrict myself to peanuts and dark chocolate to stay keto but still, overeating keto carbs is still not a healthy way to deal with the emotions.
Through my journey to stop self-sabotage I’ve learned a few ways to deal with the immediate feelings of anger that work so well that they stop me wanting to emotionally eat. Here are a few tools you can use too:
- Take a few deep breaths. May seem simple but slowing your heart rate and breathing by taking a few deep breaths will help you get the anger back under control.
- Identify the thoughts. What are you thinking, have you got a judgement about the other person?
- What is the unmet need that you have? Do you feel like you don’t have a voice, a choice or some other restriction?
- Voice the need to the other person or talk to someone else about the situation if your anger isn’t directed at a person.
Clearing and unblocking your negative emotions is the single most powerful thing you can do to stop emotional eating. I know it’s hard to imagine that something so simple can be so transformative but it is. It’s worked for me and for over 50 women who have gone through The Whole 360 program. This stuff works. Try my free Negative Emotionals exercise sheet