Being a teenager is hard. Even Shakespeare knew it when he used the word “teen” and defined it as “struggle” in Romeo and Juliet. A truly difficult battle that tends to develop in the teenage years is eating disorders. Harboring difficult emotions manifests into turning to food in a way to soothe oneself. Then, the difficult emotions stay and you still don’t feel soothed. One of the only ways out of this pattern (of feeling bad and eating) is to talk to others. When you talk aloud the emotions lessen and can become more manageable. You can talk to someone you trust whether that is a counselor, parent, guardian, or therapist. If you still find yourself struggling to find support groups is a great way to talk it out. In these support groups, people with the same struggles meet to discuss the reasons why they eat and feel the way they do.
Okay so talking about your emotions. In an article by Psychology Today, they state that “talking it out” can reduce stress, strengthen our immune system, and reduce physical and emotional distress (par. 2). For some individuals verbally communicating our emotions can be difficult. In this case, writing out your feelings is another healthy alternative. When doing this you are still releasing the emotions or secrets that are leading you to eat. So picture this for me; you’re feeling really big emotions right now and you are about to head into the kitchen to grab something to eat. PAUSE. You just caught yourself about to engage in something you don’t want to do. Now, you turn away from the kitchen and grab a journal or piece of paper. On that sheet of paper, you are going to write about the emotions you are feeling at that moment. Now trust me on this when I say it is worth it. It isn’t easy but you’ll come out to the other side happier.
Another activity that will further lessen your risk of eating your emotions is making routine visits to support groups. In these groups, you work steps to serenity with other people in similar situations as you. Something so great about these groups is that you can talk to the members and not be judged. Support groups are also a great resource to find people to talk to if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a parent or counselor. They have all been where you are and I’m sure people all around you have stood where you are right now.
So what have we covered?? We decided that “talking it out” will help you through difficult emotions as well as “writing it out”. Also, visiting support groups if you can’t find anyone to talk to is a great way to be proactive in a difficult situation. Don’t worry if you are struggling to find emotional peace, in time you will achieve it.