The Weighty Truth About Anxiety & Comfort
Updated: Sep 8
Identifying the best way to comfort yourself when experiencing anxiety through self-love
What happens when a baby cries?
We pick it up. We pay attention. We coddle. And…usually… we feed it.
What happens when a child falls down? Is brave? Needs comfort? Maybe they get a sucker.
How about on birthdays or special occasions? An extra-special yummy dessert!
Food is social. Food is fun. Food is soothing!!
Because eating is so often psychologically attached to comfort or love, the desire to put something in your mouth can be triggered when you’re feeling stressed, bored, lonely, helpless or depressed.
Additionally, researchers are now suggesting that when you’re under stress, your willpower flies out the window and you’re less able to resist temptation. When feeling under siege, the need to feel better trumps everything else! So, unless we find a better way, we fall into a cycle of discomfort = comfort food.
It’s fairly predictable, but not inevitable.
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How Do We Break The Comfort Food Habit?
Replace the old discomfort = comfort food cycle with new, tailored and effective comfort-supports to create healthier habits!
#1 - Step one of doing this can begin with taking the 5 Love Languages Quiz, available for free online.
Taking the test will help you identify your best approach to self-love. It’s all well and good to suggest candles, spa days or bubble baths, but if those ideas don’t do anything for you… they’re not going to work. That’s where the quiz comes in because the results help you understand your own language of love, comfort and support.
Once you see what you really crave, it’s easier to give it to yourself. And believe it or not, what you’re craving is NOT Doritos!
#2 - Adding in hypnotherapy sessions with a clinical professional or starting targeted self-hypnosis to break the comfort food habit is an excellent step two. Align your focus with your goals, and magic things begin to happen. Win-Win-Win!
The 5 Love Languages
The 5 Love Languages quiz was originally designed by Dr. Gary Chapman as a couple’s aide, to demonstrate how one partner might demonstrate love by working hard to provide money and gifts, but the other partner might yearn for quality time alone. Each partner believes they’re doing all they can, but they become increasingly confused and frustrated with one another because they’re literally speaking different love languages. Interesting idea, no?
Over time, the concept has been adapted for uses, like self-care models so today we also have the 5 Self-Love Languages. Brilliant!
The Benefit of Knowing Your Self-Love Language
No one else knows quite how you want or need to be loved the way that you do! And expecting someone else to provide for all of your needs is not only unrealistic, but going that route is a sure fire road to disappointment! Knowing your love language, and then using individualized self-care models allows you to self-soothe in meaningful, helpful ways so you’re not necessarily reaching for a Twinkie after a hard day (which rarely works in the long run and can lead to self-loathing and maybe a little nausea).
The result of actually giving yourself what you need?
More in control.
And… liking yourself!
5 Love Languages: Self Love Edition
If your Love Language is: Words of Affirmation
Your thoughts create your security!
Practice daily affirmations. Our thoughts precede our emotions and behaviours
Recite mantras that encourage self-compassion. Bring your attention to being good to yourself
Journal your strengths and everything about you for which you are grateful
Document everything you accomplish, feel good about, do right, like about yourself, etc.
Keep your self-talk positive. Turn down the volume of your inner critic and choose to be your best coach or cheerleader
Write a love letter to yourself
List out your positive qualities
List your favourite physical qualities (challenge yourself)
Write a gratitude list
Listen to a positive podcast
Avoid toxic people and people who make you feel bad about yourself, even relations
Write a goal list
Keep a compliment list (or file folder), and look through it when you’re feeling down
Read some inspirational quotes
Forgive someone (it’s not about them at all. It’s a weight released from you)
If you Love Language is: Acts of Service
Be kind to yourself!
Prepare healthy meals for yourself. Put thought and effort into grocery shopping and meal preparation
Create an organized, clean and aesthetically pleasing home environment. Love where you live, even if on a budget
Detox from social media. Unfriend, unfollow, block, or mute any old friends or acquaintances that cause stress. You don’t need any unnecessary (exhausting) drama!
Schedule regular physical, dental and mental health check-ups. Address any health concerns in a timely manner as they arise. Without your health, you have nothing
Take care of yourself with love and attention. Shower, dress, manicure, walk like the beautiful person that you are
Make a budget to reduce or alleviate financial stress
Book a therapy appointment, a hair appointment, a chiropractor appointment, a gym appointment… and GO!
Garden or bake or craft or anything else that gives you pleasure or feels rewarding
Change your scenery or redecorate / rearrange furniture. YouTube has a bazillion videos on how to do different things or ideas for inspiration
Take care of yourself as well as you’d take care of a cherished loved one!
If your Love Language is: Receiving Gifts
Bestow Self-Love on Yourself!
Allow things in your home and closet that bring you joy (then purge the rest)
Gift yourself with an experience from your bucket list
Try white water rafting
Hike The Great Trail
Budget for it, plan it, enlist help where necessary… and GO!
Invest in yourself
Get that degree!
Take a cooking class!
Learn how to be a yoga instructor! How to paint! How to do voice acting!
There are so many courses available for free online, including some from Harvard
Do the research, apply for grants and scholarships, or volunteer to learn new skills
Invest in knowledge
Treat yourself to the wisdom and perspective gained from travel
If your Love Language is: Quality Time
Be Present with Yourself!
Set aside time for meditation, deep breathing or self-hypnosis to relax. Doing so will help you reconnect and center yourself when you begin feeling frazzled
Make time for you! What do you enjoy doing?
Make a commitment to yourself and the things that give you joy. Set aside time for them and make sure they happen. Play is a gift, and you deserve it!
Exercise. Dance. Swim. Ride. Watch the stars. Be one with yourself and your body!
Under-schedule and under-commit. You’re not a gerbil on a wheel… and you won’t win if you do more
Allow yourself a mental health/rest day
Take a nap (with or without an alarm clock)
Schedule a lunch date with a friend
Disengage from social media
Commit random acts of kindness
Give yourself permission to just be for a weekend. Rest. Play. Order in. Revitalize
Go to bed early
If your Love Language is: Physical Touch
Stretch your muscles and give yourself a foot massage with a wooden roller.
Release toxins and relax your muscles by soaking in a warm bath with epsom salts. Not only is the magnesium good for your body, but it releases stress. To create a lovely ambience, add candles.
And for an added bonus, make them beeswax candles, which are natural air purifiers
Moisturize. Create a skincare routine. Think: pampering!
Give yourself a spa treatment: manicure, pedicure, facial, deep conditioning, etc. Accept that you are worthy of care
Get a professional massage
PJs all day!
Cuddle with a pet
Cut out sugar or junk food
Enjoy candles or aromatherapy at dinnertime
Take a walk outside. Check out your local hiking trails
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
Note: some of the links above are referral links, which means we may get a small commission if you click on one of the self-love items and decide to make a purchase. However, there’s no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
If an unhealthy relationship with food is something you struggle with, you may be interested in our instant access guided hypnosis download for weight loss:
Janet Nahirniak, B.Ed, M.Sc., has been helping clients as a Master Hypnotist and certified clinical Hypnotherapist since 2006. Her focus on neuroscience and psychology during her Master's degree gives her keen insight into how things like trauma, mental health issues, & chronic pain can physically change the brain. She brings that scientific background, along with her natural compassion, to her hypnosis and hypnotherapy practice to ensure her clients get the safest, most informed, and most effective care possible.