Outlets for Emotions That Aren't Food

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

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How do people without eating disorders express their emotions?

1. Music. Turn your radio up and sing at the top of your lungs. When I am sad, I listen to Blessings by Laura Story on repeat, but when I'm happy, I play Hollyn or Demi Lovato. Music can help us express our deepest emotions, the ones we didn't know we had.

2. Cleaning/Cooking. Doing something productive can be a way to release your emotions. There are many studies about how work can create purpose and meaning. Having a task to complete can make us feel accomplished, needed, and whole.

3. Meditation/Prayer/Deep Breathing. Meditation can be a way to train your thought process and increase your connection with the world around you. It can be a way to explore your emotions and figure out why you are feeling them.

4. Journaling. Write out exactly what you are feeling. The words don't have to be spelled correctly, and the grammar doesn't have to be perfect. Letting it out can be a way to let it go. The sentences don't even have to make sense. Just write. Get it out.

5. Crying. Letting out emotions by crying is acceptable and should be encouraged. Tears are a perfect way to release emotions. After a good cry, you will feel better. Lots of situations in life, happy or sad, require tears. Don't be embarrassed, get some Kleenex and let it out.

6. Gratitude. Write down or tell someone everything you are grateful for, including the everyday aspects of your life, like having a bed and a toothbrush. Being thankful for your situation can put it into perspective and relieve some stress.

7. Exercise. More specifically, hitting, kicking, and screaming. Getting your blood moving can be a healthy outlet for stress, anger, and other passionate emotions. You will be amazed at how a hard workout will change your mood.

8. Talking. Discussing your emotions can be an excellent way to work through those feelings, whether it be through journaling, talking to a friend, or meeting with a professional. Sometimes we tell ourselves lies, and when we say them out loud, it sheds light on how dumb the lie is. Also, the person listening to us can dispute those lies with truths and help you see your faults.

9. Laughter/Entertainment. Let's expand "laughter is the best medicine" to entertainment can assist the soul. Going to a concert, attending a conference, or wandering around the mall can be great ways to release emotions.

10. Creative Outlet. Do you paint or draw? Doing creative activities can work other parts of your brain to relieve stress and increase mood. Creating can also boost self-esteem because you feel accomplished and challenged.

These activities aren't necessarily distractions or a way of self-medication. Emotions demand to be felt, then are required to be expressed. We need to express our feelings in a way that doesn't hurt other people or ourselves.

Further Reading:

Helpful VS Harmful Ways to Manage Emotions

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