The Toxic Triangle

How do you handle the negative events that occur in your life?  Do you brush them aside and move on, or do you replay them over and over, obsessing over the outcome?  Research has shown that ruminating on your problems is a trait that leads to alcohol abuse,  binge eating, and depression:

Obesity, Alcohol, Depression Interlinked

Over-thinking, drinking, and overeating often go hand-in-hand, and this combination of unhealthy habits has been referred to as the “toxic triangle”.  One study showed that women that who had alcohol abuse problems at age 24 were four times as likely to be obese by age 27, and being obese at 27 doubled the chances of them suffering from depression by age 30.

The solution?  Research points to a combination of physical exercise, mindfulness training, and stress management.  They suggest that instead of using food and alcohol as a reward, people need to seek out naturally rewarding experiences in their lives.  That makes perfect sense; unfortunately it’s a heck of a lot easier to tear into a bag of cookies.


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