P s y chol ogie s. C
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P SYC H O L O G I E S M AG A Z I N E
Acting Beauty and
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Amerley learns to
balance her blood
sugar levels. For more
on Elaine Slater, visit
My parents often recall my birthday party the
first year I started school: when my mother asked me
who I wanted to invite, I said, ‘everyone!’ twenty-
five years later, and I have a core group of really good
people in my life, yet I often feel lonely. there can be
a sense of shame around admitting to loneliness, as
if there must be something wrong with you. as my
friends get married and have children and I’m busier
with work, it’s tricky co-ordinating schedules. When
I’ve been working all week, I just want to stay in bed
all weekend and relax until Monday. My body seems
to need the rest, but come saturday night I feel like a
single, lonely loser. Cue, raiding the cupboards.
according to psychologist elaine slater, ‘loneliness
creates feelings of sadness, frustration, depression,
anger, emptiness, helplessness, low self-esteem, and
a sense of being unwanted or not belonging.’ and it
can lead to unhealthy escapes, like emotional eating
– check. It was suggested to me that whenever I feel
lonely and want to reach for the biscuit tin, I should
try expressive writing instead. a groundbreaking
experiment by the social psychologist Dr James
pennebaker in 1986 indicated that writing down
our feelings can enhance immune response,
reduce recovery times, and promote
physical, psychological, and social
wellbeing. slater believes ‘journalling can
be restorative, comforting and empowering,
and allows us to realise our strength and
courage in order to overcome difficult
times and avoid negative and destructive
behaviours, like emotional eating.’
I resisted at first. as a young adult I ‘journalled’ often
until I found out a flatmate had read my diaries
while I was out, making me fearful of writing again.
also, the thing with using food as a ‘cure’ is that it
tends not to stop you from watching a film or finishing
your work, but when writing things down you have
to focus, and tune into your feelings come what may
– this was something I had, for so long, tried not to do.
reluctantly, I started writing in the notes section of
my phone, just words to describe how I was feeling.
Later, I became more expressive and bought a
beautiful notebook. I quickly learnt that being
physically alone wasn’t always the problem, it was
when I felt sad about being alone or ‘left out’. Usually
this would trigger emotional eating; now however, I
tried reaching for a pen instead of a slab of chocolate.
Writing has been freeing: it works like a bin for me.
When I give words to that whirling in my belly and the
pain in my chest, I feel like I’m healing myself.
sometimes I read back over it, letting myself wallow
in self-pity a little longer. But often I realise that the
negative thoughts I’m feeling and writing just aren’t
true. I’ll never meet someone is met with
of course you will. and yes, there have
been times when I have consciously
eaten a chocolate bar because I still find
food a comfort but ultimately I feel like
I’m in control, and soothing myself with
food isn’t my only option now. next
time you feel emotionally overwhelmed,
why not give writing a go?
Every month Amerley Ollennu challenges
you and herself to road-test research and
healthy strategies to help change the way
we think about food once and for all
Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling