Monday, April 8, 2013
Soothing the Hungry Heart
How many times have you reached for something; distractions, addictions, affairs...in an attempt to fill an inner void? How many times has that something been food? Why, if you aren't physically hungry do you eat?
There are many different reasons we eat. The healthy ones are to stay fit, to nourish our body and often times because it is one of life's pleasures. However, there are times when eating becomes a harmful way of coping with uncomfortable feelings, physical pain, trauma, societal pressure and the list goes on. Today's post focuses on emotional eating; why we do it and a healthy, healing approach towards connecting with emotions.
Emotional eating is an attempt to fill a void, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, fear, anger...when it becomes an addiction is when it becomes the way we cope with painful feelings...it becomes a habit a harmful pattern...and in actuality it transform the pure emotions into toxic shame...so there are added layers to what was first a signal of "ouch! Something hurts!"
What if you were to choose a different healing route so that instead of automatically reaching for food you were to pause when you notice the craving or even in the middle of the behavior...just pause...notice the sensations in your body...what feeling is in need of attention, understanding, acceptance and soothing...can you send healing to that hurt place? Can you place your hand over the place of most pain; connect to it, and with a loving and accepting presence send healing?
This is a gesture of love, of acceptance...it brings the feelings that are suppressed and stuffed down out into the light...this in turn creates safety and an opportunity to see and heal the wound/hurt.
Give it a try and be patient with yourself...it takes time to transform a reactive habit into a loving response.
Note: Geneen Roth's book on feeding the hungry heart is a great healing resource.