Living from the Truth is not about applying scripture to cover up a wound it’s about allowing God to heal the wound. Therefore, healing from stress eating is not about finding all the right scriptures that go with stress. Healing happens when our hearts become aligned with His word, and we begin to live from our relationship with Him.
Here’s what I don’t want you to do when healing from stress eating:
I don’t want you to think all stress is bad. Managing stress is key.
Try to convince yourself you are okay because you are afraid to be honest with God.
Eating food when stressed is not “bad” unless it controls you. You must understand different levels and acknowledge where you are in the process of healing.
Matthew 6:25-28 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
A couple of verses before Matthew 6:25, we read how we can not serve two masters. One being money and one is God. Specifically, in verses 22 and 23, Jesus says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Therefore means “because of that,” which connects the two sections together. Jesus was speaking of spiritual vision. The strength of Christians lies in how single our vision is upon Jesus, the Author, and Finisher of our faith.
Therefore, our beliefs form our stress. Stress is the perception of the situations before us and where our focus is. However, we view stress will cause our stress eating.
There are also some physical reasons why stress and strong emotions can cause you to overeat:
High cortisol levels: Stress causes the appetite to decrease so that the body can deal with the situation. If the stress does not let up, another hormone called cortisol is released. Cortisol increases appetite and can cause someone to overeat.
Cravings: High cortisol levels from stress can increase food cravings for sugary or fatty foods. Stress is also associated with increased hunger hormones, which may also contribute to cravings for unhealthy foods.
Practice mindful eating.
Know that your craving may be a result of a stressful event, and then ask yourself, are you truly hungry? Wait a few minutes before eating. Being mindful is being aware and focused on the Holy Spirit. Mindfulness gives us the opportunity for renewing our mind because we are conscious of the thoughts running through our minds. It’s only when we are conscious of our thoughts that allows us to choose intentionally versus our bodies and minds choosing for us. As if we were running on autopilot. Stress eating can be born from living on autopilot.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
I believe the heart is the combination of the soul and spirit. Originally, God created the physical body of Adam, but he wasn’t alive until God breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). That is when God imparted His Spirit into man and he became a living soul. That is to say that Adam received a life-giving spirit from God, and the soul came into existence as a buffer between the spirit and body. The soul and spirit together comprise the innermost part of man and is what is being referred to here.
Colossians 3:15 says in the Amplified Bible, “Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].”
Know your stressors with stress eating.
Identify the circumstances and emotions that lead you to stress-eat. These are your emotional eating triggers, and once you recognize them, you can take steps to avoid them or at least be prepared for them. We all have triggers that cause a reaction in us.
James 1:19 says, “Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving].”
I have learned over the years certain people trigger me, and certain situations cause me to want to react. Deep down the root is my old insecurities trying to resurface, the feeling of not being good enough, and feelings like I don’t have a voice. People could say certain words to me like, “well you just wait and see,” which causes me to want to stand and fight because it’s something I have heard most of my life.
However, now that I am aware of what words, topics, or situations trigger me, I can better plan for them and be prepared mentally when they happen.
It’s never a good idea to follow a highly restrictive diet or deprive yourself of food, especially during stressful times. This can lead to stress eating.
In times of high stress, lots of deadlines, or seasons of transition, you do not want to follow a restrictive diet. Stress eating can come from a restrictive diet because it can all feel like too much at times. Between all the feelings you may have and then worrying about what you can or can’t have will lead to overwhelm and wanting to give up. Restrictive dieting can lead to stress eating.
1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.”
Paul was saying that he was free to do many things that he wouldn’t do. Rather than seeing just how far we can go and still retain our salvation, we should be seeing just how close we can stay in our love and devotion to the Lord. We are free to do things, but are they beneficial to us in our life with Christ?
Scriptures for Stress
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
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Rooting and praying for you,