Have you ever been half way through your meal and realized that you are full, but continued to clean your plate anyway?
Then that “stuffed” feeling kicks in followed by the regret and self-flagellating thoughts around eating too much – once again.
For many, meals can feel like a constant tug of war between “I shouldn’t” versus “I want”.
“I shouldn’t eat more because I know I’m full, but I want to keep eating because….”
This is where it gets hazy.
2 Main Reasons Why We Overeat
4 Ways to Self Soothe Instead of Stress Eat
Every Monday at Green Mountain I teach a class to arriving participants about the physical, emotional and spiritual hungers that may trigger the desire to eat when not hungry.
1 Physical Overeating
Physically we may overeat due to stress hormone imbalances, health conditions, or simply not eating well-balanced meals throughout the day, which may lead to malnourishment (hello cravings).
2 Emotional Overeating
Emotional overeating may be caused by the desire to self soothe or to numb out one’s feelings – typically the uncomfortable ones such as sadness, loneliness, anger, guilt, frustration, etc…you get the drift.
But it’s the spiritual hunger that sparks the most dialogue in class.
What Is Spiritual Hunger?
Spiritual Hunger: What Are You Truly Hungry For?
Spiritual hunger is about feeling disconnected from a sense of purpose, fulfillment, joy, and/or passion for one’s life. This type of hunger may show up as depression – the experience of enduring rather than thriving in life. A feeling of survival mode or a “flat-line”, as I call it. Food can serve to anesthetize a person from this suffering – from feeling that that void.
Even though spiritual hunger is not a food or willpower issue, diets are often the go-to solution in an attempt to gain control over what feels uncontrollable.
Using food and/or diets to deal with spiritual hunger is like putting a bandage on a hemorrhaging wound that won’t stop bleeding.
It’s bound to fail unless the source of the wound is addressed.
How Do You Know If You Are Grappling With Spiritual Hunger?
What are my sources of joy in life?
Who and what do I feel connected to?
What am I passionate about?
What gives my life meaning?
If these questions leave your mind blank, then consider using them as a springboard from which to explore.
Many of the women who come to Green Mountain seem to be on a similar quest to discover the answers to these very questions. On some level they know it is time to pay attention to that deeper hunger and to learn how to better feed their spirit for optimal well-being.
Learn More About Our Behavior and Emotional Health Program