Brookhaven Retreat Teaches Emotional Eaters Healthy Coping Skills

Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, observes emotional overeating awareness month in April.

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Emotional Overeating Awareness Month

Emotional Overeating Awareness Month

Knoxville, TN (PRWEB) April 17, 2014

April is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month. Emotional eating occurs when one uses food to satisfy emotional needs rather than to satisfy hunger pains. Leaning on food to soothe overwhelming feelings is not just an issue concerning physical health, but displays an inability to cope with the underlying emotional distress.

When women are overstressed, cortisol levels rise, inducing cravings specifically for pleasurable and quick-energy foods such as fatty, salty, and simple carbohydrates. These poor nutrition choices can exacerbate existing mental illnesses including anxiety and depressive disorders.

Without the proper tools necessary to healthfully cope with emotions, women turn to survival skills that provide temporary relief such as emotional eating. However, these survival skills usually bring forth an unhealthy cycle; after impulsively indulging, guilt sets in, worsening any emotional issue. The first step each individual must take in altering her behavior is to first be able to identify which emotion is triggering compulsive eating.

At Brookhaven Retreat women learn to cope effectively and healthfully instead of turning to food for comfort. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy help emotional overeaters explore their feelings and how it affects subsequent actions. By redirecting negative thoughts into positive ones and establishing alternative responses, women can transform unhealthy habits into better behaviors.

Because the cycle of emotional overeating can take a toll on a woman’s body image, it is important to also address any nutritional concerns. At Brookhaven Retreat women meet with a registered dietitian to address their relationship with food. They attend classes centering on healthy habits and body image, offering the emotional coping tools needed to avoid emotional eating.

Brookhaven Retreat works with women to recognize and address the reason behind emotional eating. Women learn to manage their mental health issues through knowledge, understanding and self-assurance. By focusing on their emotional, physical and nutritional needs, women are able to successfully alter unhealthy coping strategies.

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.