If you are looking to stop emotional eating the process of learning to understand it can be challenging and frustrating. But by exploring rather than ignoring you can start to look at your emotional eating. Perhaps you can begin to be less mad at your eating and even start to appreciate this pattern as a way to get your attention. I call this process Befriending Your Emotional Eating.
What if your emotional eating is trying to help you? If you start with the premise that it might be protecting you, maybe you could not be so mean to it. The way we talk to ourselves about our eating and our body is often very hurtful. You wouldn’t talk to a friend that way.
3 questions you can ask your emotional eating:
- What emptiness are you wanting to fill?
- If I wasn’t hungry for food, what would I be hungry for?
- Take a guess: Is the eating protecting you from sad, mad or scared feelings?
If you can’t answer these questions for yourself, think about what you might say to a friend about their situation with emotional eating.
Rick Hanson author of The Buddha Brain uses the word benevolent instead of befriending. Here is what he has to say:
Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself.
This goodwill is present in warmth, friendliness, compassion, ordinary decency, fair play, kindness, altruism, generosity, and love. The benevolent heart leans toward others; it is not neutral or indifferent. Benevolence is the opposite of ill will, coldness, prejudice, cruelty, and aggression. We’ve all been benevolent, we all know what it’s like to wish someone well.
So whether you use the word befriend or benevolence, how could you befriend your emotional eating today?