Mental health - my story of bench eating

I’m writing my story about mental health, in particular, my experience with bench eating. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn’t either until recently.

I always thought I was simply known as the “quiet type” in public places, one who tended to keep to ourselves when out and about. Little did I know that I was unknowingly engaging in a type of coping mechanism called “bench eating.”

Unbeknownst to me, when I was feeling overwhelmed by my emotions, stress from work, or just feeling lost in life–I tended to go and sit on outdoor benches and eat for awhile. It wasn’t until recently that I realized this pattern of mine had become an unhealthy habit that needed some addressing.

The main reasons why my mental health suffered from the bench eating habit were: 1) not being present with the feelings or experiences I was going through; 2) avoiding using more effective coping skills; and 3) being unable to provide myself with proper nourishment during this period of time due to lack of planning ahead.

Looking back at it, bench eating seems silly but it really does speak volumes about how overwhelmed I felt not knowing how else to cope so at times turned to this behavior instead of genuinely taking care of myself.

Midway through this realization process is also when I started finding healthier ways of dealing with life - i.e., communicating better or finding ways to express compassion for myself through acknowledging and validating deep-rooted feelings without blocking them out anymore. Also, taking better care while eating as well as making sure to have healthier snacks/meals prepared for public outings or moments like these has helped address the root cause of this problem many-folded as well!

In summary, recognising the underlying issues behind an old coping mechanism is key for any successful recovery from it!