We've all been here. Turning to food after a long day, a break up, feeling lonely...the list goes on. Sometimes it's just easier to shut out the world with a warm chocolate chip cookie and a blanket. This is heart hunger. And we are all entitled to a day of it once in awhile.
Unpleasant emotions are a part of life and the problem arises when we turn to food to numb the pain of these emotions. Why is this bad? Because heart hunger usually leads to mindless eating and guilt. With heart hunger, you don't usually get a specific food craving -- you just start thinking about eating. As you search your cupboards or the refrigerator, you're unsure of what sounds good at the moment. You just know you want "something."
Start to identify heart hunger when you are craving something sweet or whatever your comfort food may be. Ask yourself, "What's making me feel empty right now? What am I missing or needing in my life?" Maybe difficult situations have left you tired and discouraged or feeling depressed. Before you reach for the first bite of comfort food, think about what's empty or missing in your life, then ask yourself, "Will eating change this?" Of course, sometimes eating does make things better, at least for a while. But in reality, food won't fix a hungry heart. Your real life is still there, filled with the same emptiness as before.
After you identify heart hunger, distract your mind by doing something you enjoy. Here are some ideas to overcoming heart hunger:
Get outdoors. Plant flowers, dig in your vegetable garden, go for a hike or do other activities that involve nature
Light candles. Create a healing environment by using candles and relaxing music
Journal about your feelings
Call a family member or friend
Take a walk
Color a picture
Have something that works for you that isn't listed? Feel free to comment below!