Beware Of The Binge

I’m pretty sure at one point in our lives we have all woken up the day after crushing an entire quart of ice cream or adult beverage and thought…..what the heck just happened? Why did I feel the need to do that? Now I feel like complete crap. You have to beware of the binge. It’s an unhealthy human reaction towards negative emotions. People normally binge on food, alcohol, and shopping.

There’s a whole spectrum of severity to binging. It becomes really unhealthy when it starts taking over your life. It can cause feelings of powerlessness, shame, and isolation from others. There are three main reasons that people binge. Let’s go through all of them and figure out why this happens.


The most common reason behind binging is to numb the feeling of some unwanted emotion, like depression, stress, or anxiety. The scary part is that untreated mental illnesses like serious depression can spark a spiral effect that’s extremely hard to break.

It works like this: The depression causes low self-esteem, poor emotion control, unhappiness with self appearance, etc. Those emotions start a binge. In the aftermath of the binge a sense of regret and guilt usually takes over. Those negative emotions will likely start another binge. It’s like a spinning vortex of doom!….not fun.

Binge Eating

Brain Chemicals

The feeling of buying a bunch of new things, eating fat and sugar, or drowning in alcohol, all give off a temporary joyful feeling.

That happy feeling is caused by a release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It’s similar to getting high on a drug like cocaine. The chemicals rush into the synapses in your neurons causing a euphoric feeing. For that short time you can forget about the stress and depression.

The problem comes along when the dopamine gets flushed from the synapses in the neurons and you crash from that temporary escape from reality. Then the feeling of guilt and regret sets in again which sparks the urge for some more compulsive behavior.

Binge Drinking


When you turn on your television, step outside your house, or talk with “friends”, it can be dangerous. Your peers and the media will have you believe that you’re not worth anything unless you look a certain way or have the latest edition of some fancy gadget.

There’s a lot of pressure to act like a shopaholic (material binging) or go out and pound 18 beers just to try and fit in at the frat house.

The pressure to fit in with surrounding culture can be enough to cause anxiety, and in turn, the compulsive behavior can easily flourish.


Some Good News Please????

I know, so far this has all sounded terrible……but to be honest it’s real life. The good news is that there are a few great solutions. These outlets are all healthy ways to ignore negative emotion and allow positive vibes to thrive in your life:

  • Workout: I know it sounds cliche, but doing your favorite workout will actually balance the chemicals in your brain. It works!!! Remember, weights don’t have feelings. You can take as much frustration out on them as you want!
  • Music: Tunes are really powerful at dictating emotion. They can make your feelings go up or down, or amplify feelings that you’re already experiencing. If you’re feeling down, crank up your favorite song to keep your mind busy.
  • Prayer & Meditation: It might help to know that there is a God that is unfathomably large. Larger than all your problems. Just taking a moment to sit down and chat with Him might help more than you think.
    Meditation can also help you relax and clear your mind from negative emotion.
  • True Friends: It’s hard to find true friends that love you unconditionally. You’ll probably only run across a few in your lifetime. Those are the ones that you need to confide in. Not the people who make you feel like you don’t fit in unless you have the freshest gear.
    Councilors are a good option if you just want to talk to someone confidentially. Their job is to listen and be that friend to you.
  • Journal: Keeping a journal is a great way to release emotion on a consistent basis. Just the fact that you’re expressing emotion onto a page will give you an outlet. Keep in mind, it doesn’t always have to be negative stuff. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You don’t even have to go back and read it. Just do it consistently.

I hope you found this article informative. In today’s society it can be hard not to fall into these emotional traps. Beware of the binge! And protect yourself by surrounding yourself with good people, and practicing healthy emotional outlets. If you liked this article, then people share it with your buddies on facebook. I think you’ll also be interested in How You Can Reduce Stress With 7 Easy Lifestyle Changes.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.