Do You Binge on Junk Emotions?

Junk emotions are no good.

Everyone knows that binging on junk food isn’t healthy. But apparently, binging on self-indulgent emotions is no better for a person’s well-being.

The Danger of Junk Emotions

Junk emotions are negative feelings that run and can even ruin a person’s life. And while no one can totally give up feeling negative at times—we are only human—negative emotions shouldn’t be part of your daily emotional “diet.”

This whole concept was thought up by clinical psychologists who began to wonder what would happen if people thought about negative emotions like they think about nutrients. And thus, the concept of psychological nutrition was born.

“[W]e don’t think to monitor our consumption of emotions as we might food, we unthinkingly consume a diet so high in negative emotions (high fat), that there’s no room left for positive emotions (low fat),” Psychology Today reports.

So, how can you improve your emotional intake? It’s as simple as embarking on an emotional diet.

The Junk Emotions Diet

Just like you probably shouldn’t eat doughnuts every day, you shouldn’t indulge in your high-fat emotions every day. Psychology Today reports the following are considered high-fat emotions:


If you feel these types of emotions every day, your creativity can easily become depleted and you’ll feel pessimistic and exhausted.

While you try to decrease the amount of negative emotions you feel from day to day, also increase the amount of low-fat emotions you indulge in. Try to get a daily dose of joy, optimism, love, and patience.

And don’t forget to start tracking your emotional diet in an emotion journal. “Keep a count of your junk emotional calories. Just as with junk food, a diet of junk emotions (like anger, resentment, worry) leads to psychological malnourishment,” Psychology Today reports. “How many junk emotions are you consuming in a day?”

In addition to tracking your emotions, also take account of the relationships in your life. If they are negative, limit or cease to be part of that relationship. Spend more time with people who make you feel good.

And if you really want to commit to changing the way you think, make psychological nutrition labels. “Just like food products have labels that describe their nutritional content, there should be psychological nutritional labels for reactions, relationships, and situations,” Psychology Today reports.

“In this way, you will know (or at least have a good idea) whether a situation has a ‘high fat’ or ‘low fat’ content before you enter it. Are there people or situations that should have warning labels?”

And we know. All of this sounds a little silly. But sometimes it’s the silly stuff that can help us make it through life less stressed.

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Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.