Ask A Coach

Why am I going to food under stress/anxiety?

My thoughts of why…

Going to food to not feel the anxiety. I feel it in my lower gut. I do well and then get triggered and it feels overwhelming and the situation is out of my control so I eat the food. To have control of something? To do something that will feel good for a moment? To ease the pain I feel? Because that it what I have always done? I am not even sure of the underlying reason. My head knows it is not the smart thing to do and that it is not helping me at all…completely the opposite…it is not a kind thing to do.

Something you said the other day made me wonder. I was in foster care as a baby prior to being adopted. I wonder if every time I had trauma/anxiety if they gave me a bottle to soothe me. There were several babies there and I know I did not get held much, but I wonder if I had a bottle/food connected to this feeling in my stomach? Just something I have been thinking about.


Most humans go to food to damper the pain. Food is a way to muffle the noise in my head.

One of the problems that come when you turn to food is that you do get a quick dopamine rush from food so then you are being reinforced to turn to food.

You are just in the process of learning how to change a bad habit. You used to eat food to try to feel better. Kind of like when you play a video game and you need to pass the next level. You keep trying to pass that next level. You fail often, but each time you fail you start over and you have more learning each time.

When we were babies we learned that crying meant that we got feed or had our diaper changed. We hadn’t learned how to communicate clearly yet. You are still working on communicating with yourself about what your need (sadness, confused, disappointment). Especially now that you have more tools to think about your thinking you are going to get more clarity as you keep going.