How Unhappiness Can Create A Negative Cycle of Eating

One of the things I’ve developed understanding of as an addiction therapist, is the power of  unhappiness to create a negative cycle of eating. People wonder why they’ve started eating more fattening foods and increasing portion sizes, when their life suggests they need smaller ones, when dealing with a period of inactivity, emotional disconnection or difficulty. Or they’ve began to control the amount they eat and could be purging or binging. Our issues and relationships we have with food, is not necessarily straight forward. Nor is it, depending on circumstance or context-anything to actually do with what we eat, besides the fact that it can be the object we use to self soothe.

Spanish Cooking

If you think about the difficulty of turning a giant, concrete wheel in the opposite direction, this is what it can feel like to move from a negative to a positive position in this cycle.

It doesn’t matter if it started with thought, behaviour, emotion or inaction. What matters most is the next step you take to begin to sort out the challenges and a little win can sometimes carry a person a long way, to the next moment – when again they make a right choice for themselves. One step at a time only. When dealing with a difficult time, do not attempt to look to far ahead as this can bring or breed anxiety and anger.

studies which show that a lack of certain dietary nutrients contribute to the development of mental disorders. Notably, essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids are often deficient in the general population in America and other developed countries; and are exceptionally deficient in patients suffering from mental disorders. Studies have shown that daily supplements of vital nutrients often effectively reduce patients’ symptoms. Supplements that contain amino acids also reduce symptoms, because they are converted to neurotransmitters that alleviate depression and other mental disorders. Based on emerging scientific evidence, this form of nutritional supplement treatment may be appropriate for controlling major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), addiction, and autism.

Willpower is helpful, yet not the only element in creating changes in our diets and food choices. As is exercise – getting out of our comfort zone (our mental state)  – exploring our emotional and mental health and developing a little understanding about the power of change and laying new neural pathways in the brain.

A little education goes a long way yet there is a saying which is used within drug and alcohol rehabilitation but can be adapted to other difficult situations and that is ‘You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.’ 

Taking some time to think about your situation and if you need or want to utilise professional services, is a way in which you can tap into the knowledge and information that working within the fields mentioned above, can offer you. If you haven’t got the money to see a professional then you need to find the resources on hand, that you can use to deal with the issues.


  • Weight Management. Check out the website of The Association of UK Dietitians for advice on weight loss management and topics like food and mood.
  • If you’re feeling isolated in life and struggling to deal with a lack of people who care about you, close and to hand – then the Samaritans (UK only) can offer a level of support. It’s amazing the difference it can make to someone, having a person on the end of the telephone line to listen to them, when everything gets too much.
  • Find a gym, exercise class or yoga studio. I know in my local area, there is a fitness centre offering a multitude of classes, swimming pool and sauna. You can experience all three for under a tenner a week. It also has a fully furnished gym and squash court. If you’re short of cash but have a pair of trainers – find a free couch to 5k app and run. Great for cardio, stamina and confidence. Just good to get outdoors. I’m learning the combining golf, treadmill, yoga and an exercise class works for me. Mix it up and hit it up – its amazing the change you can find when you begin to explore something different.
  • Take a visit to your local GP if you are experiencing life difficulties to see how the services within your area can cope or speak to a Counsellor privately. Find what works for you and it may be skype, face to face, online or phone.
  • Try out a retreat – there are many different kinds ranging from yoga to surf retreats to help deal with trauma and ptsd.  Think about your needs, then explore the web, get on the phone or check out community boards to see what you can find. Sometimes getting away from it all, gives you the opportunity to think only about yourself and find a way to wellbeing which suits you!

Dealing with the source of unhappiness as it creates its negative cycle, can also be done through traditional therapy or wellbeing consultancy. The framework I believe in,  starts with an assessment of what is happening in your life at the moment and what you want your focus to be. As a professional, I discuss the recommendations I would make, through what you tell me. Always working in collaboration with you to engage, challenge, motivate and create change from a healthy framework.

So if you realise that you’ve began a negative eating cycle or just think their maybe something going with you due to what or how you’re eating, then give me a call.

As a Wellbeing Practitioner I can help you create the change and get you working with the people in the know to bring optimal wellness into your life!


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