The last thing you will hear from me, an eating disorders specialist, is to grab some food when you are angry. This is exactly what I help people NOT do –eat when they are emotional. So many of us channel our emotions into our food and find ourselves medicating those negative emotions with something good to eat. After all, food is soothing and makes you feel good for a moment. This is why a number of people compulsively overeat.
So why am I telling you to eat when you are angry at your spouse?
A new study led by researcher Brad Bushman of Ohio State University concluded that marital hostility is highest when someone’s blood sugar is lowest. The application? Don’t fight or talk about something highly sensitive when your stomach is empty. Eat something, go to dinner and then discuss the problem and maybe things will go better.
Now, this doesn’t mean that people with diabetes will become hostile when their blood sugar is low. That would be taking the study’s conclusion too far, but it does speak to mood when blood sugar drops. Think about this idea as it relates to young children. How many times did you intuitively know that you just needed to get your child a snack and his/her mood would improve?
So, the take away here is that if you are about to fight or deal with a difficult conflict, make sure your blood sugar is stable. Eat a small snack and see if your mood improves and hostility decreases. It certainly can’t hurt unless you begin to associate food with emotions and calming yourself. The idea in this study is to prevent more problems by not reacting impulsively or in anger because your blood sugar is low.
This one time, I’ll say it–angry at your spouse–go eat!