Emotional Eating: Understanding Your Emotional Style

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Emotional eating can lead to yucky feelings or negative emotions which just seem to imbue our lives. But by training our brains through neuroplasticity, understanding our emotional style and getting support to break out of isolation, there is hope for deep, meaningful change and beginning to live life instead of just “weighting”.

Happily, I discovered a new book by Richard Davidson, The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How its unique patterns affect the way you think, feel and live—and how you can change them (Penguin Publishing Group, 2012).

Dr. Davidson writes:

Each of us is unique in our emotional make-up and this individuality determines why some people are resilient and others vulnerable, why some have high levels of well-being despite objective adversity while others decompensate rapidly in the response to the slightest setback.
He goes on to talk about recognizing that the mechanisms of neuroplasticity were an organizing framework for understanding how emotional styles could be transformed.  He identifies 6 emotional styles:

Resilience: How rapidly or slowly do you recover from adversity?
Outlook: How long does positive emotion persist following a joyful event?
Social Intuition: How accurate are you in detecting the non-verbal social cues of others?
Context: Do you regulate your emotion in a context-sensitive fashion?
Self-Awareness: How aware are you of your own bodily signals that constitute emotion?
Attention: How focused or scattered is your attention?
What is exciting about Dr. Richardson’s (and many others) work is that there is science which supports the possibility of changing our brains and emotions. The practice of meditation is the primary tool. Meditation is a powerful practice which can heal your body, mind and spirit.
How have you used meditation in your life?

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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