The expression "emotional eating" has just been justified by TikTok users who claim eating sour candies help avoid anxiety and panic attacks. When your negative emotions are out of control, munching on a Starburst, Sour Patch or other tart candy could be the perfect solution. Intriguingly, mental health experts stand by this claim.
@katie_thetherapist We love sour candy in this house. #mentalhealthmatters #copingmechanism #foryou #anxiety ♬ original sound - kardashianshulu
Food has long been known to have comforting properties. When you are stressed, indulging in something delicious is the ultimate dopamine trigger. The benefits of keeping sour candies on hand for situations where negative emotions may heighten are emphasized in numerous TikTok videos. On the platform, searches for “sour candy for anxiety” have currently reached over 22 million views.
in the middle of pure panic and chaos i figured out what to use my second little jar for - warheads aka sour candy to help you during an anxiety attack pic.twitter.com/sLmBJmYueK
— shea.🌛🌞 (@shelaleanne) April 20, 2023
The theory behind the viral TikTok trend is that sour candies can be utilized as a distraction technique. When a panic attack or episode of anxiety strikes, eating tart candies redirects the brain’s attention from negative emotions and onto the tingly sour sensation in the mouth. As a result, the thinking half of our brain sends a message to the emotional half that we are not in danger.
“Panic ensues when our amygdala triggers the flight or fight response. One way to dampen our amygdala’s response and mitigate panic is by turning our attention to the present moment through our senses: taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing,” Toya Roberson-Moore, MD, Associate Medical Director and Psychiatrist at Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center, told Health.
Experts agree that eating sour candy is a short-term technique for taming negative emotions. All the while, long-term coping strategies are highly encouraged.