Troubled eating patterns are linked with unresolved childhood issues. Stress that creates problems with self-nurture are also stresses that predispose to ill health. Eating patterns are directly connected with emotional issues, and both arise from childhood as well as from current stress. The patterns of eating and as well of how we eat, how much we eat, and when we don’t eat, are strongly related to the levels of stress we experience. These patterns are also related to the coping responses we have developed in the face of life challenges. All of this together intimately effects the functioning of our hormones and our hormones influence the female and male reproductive tracts.
Temporary elevation of cortisol that occurs is episodes of acute stress is healthy and necessary. Acute stress is a limited stress over a short duration of time. What is actually not healthy is when cortisol levels are chronically elevated in those that are chronically stressed. A consistently identified risk factor to developing illness is the inability to express emotion, in particular, the feelings associated with anger. Repression of anger is a major risk factor to illness because it increases physiological stress on the system.
This inability to express emotion does not act alone but in conjunction with other risk factors associated with illness such as the feelings of hopelessness and lack of social support. This is the type of person that feels isolated even if surrounded by friends. This person does not feel or express negative emotions. Both of these traits occur because this persons real self is not seen. This person has a chronic inability to be true to themselves on the deepest level, hopelessness then leads to helplessness because nothing that they do is perceived as making any difference. These are psychosomatic risk factors to the onset of illness.
Eating disorders affect hormonal balance. The other traits that go along with this is the insatiable need of satisfying others as well as not paying attention to your own boundaries, constantly giving in to the needs of others instead of paying attention to your own needs and need for self- care. As such, psychological factors such as uncertainty, conflict, lack of control, and lack of information are considered to be the most stressful that effect sense of control and eating. Lack of control, lack of information, and unsatisfied emotional needs such as lack of love leads to emotional eating in order to be able to fill the void.
There is a mind and body link in regards to illness as well as our understanding of health. Trying to identify stress will lead to health. In healing every bit of information in regards to your emotions and your physiology is crucial. Given the strong connection between hormone levels and emotions means that there are psychological influences of both personality and stress factors on the causation of weight problems.
A good question to consider is what personality patterns or life circumstances may interfere with the bodies defence mechanisms? A holistic approach, such as the Emotionally Intelligent Eating Program, places the person at the centre, takes into account an individual life history, which in turn encourages careful examination of each of the stresses you face chronically, both those in your environment as well as those generated internally.
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