What is Emotional Eating?
Emotional hunger and emotional eating is the name given to the situation when the feeling of anxiety, which occurs when your needs are not met emotionally or you do not know how to cope with your emotions, turns into a feeling of hunger and the need to eat is felt. Although the basis of emotional hunger is mostly negative emotions, these emotions can sometimes be positive. For example, when you feel very enthusiastic and happy, or when you feel very sad or anxious, you may feel emotional hunger and exhibit emotional eating behavior.
Causes of Emotional Hunger
The causes of emotional hunger can be different, but many of these causes are related to the family and parent history of the person’s childhood. People whose emotional needs were not met in childhood may turn this story into emotional eating and emotional hunger in the future. In addition, the way of coping with these emotions can be a learned behavior. A child who sees emotional eating behavior at home may carry it as a habit in adulthood. At the same time, emotional eating may occur in some relationships when one feels as if he is ‘incomprehensible, marginalized and inadequate, and thus the lack of sense of security that cannot be met in the relationship can be tried to be completed with food.
What to do Instead of Emotional Eating
The answer to the question of what to do instead emotional eating is hidden in the psychological well-being of the person. Because the most basic reason for a person’s emotional hunger is to feel psychologically inadequate and have difficulty in coping with emotions. For this reason, the elimination of this hunger basically starts with strengthening the communication with oneself and increasing their investments in self-love. This journey is a long and laborious one, but there are also many crisis activities that can be done at the point where emotional hunger is felt.
– Try exercises like yoga and pilates to calm both body and mind.
– In order to better understand your eating habits, you can keep a nutrition diary when you feel ready.
– As soon as you feel emotional hunger and turn to eat, become aware of your emotions and the moment. Ask yourself questions. Why do I want to eat this dish? Is this a hunger signal or an emotional signal? What am I feeling right now? In which part of my body do I feel this emotion? What is the source of this feeling?
– When you feel emotional hunger, try to do breathing exercises and thus calm your mind.
– In order to control anxiety, count to 30 at the point where you feel emotional hunger and increase your awareness of the moment.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
Mindful Eating is a food approach that focuses on individuals’ sensory awareness and experiences with food. It involves observing how food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness. Mindful Eating requires you to simply acknowledge and accept the emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations you observe, rather than judging them. The benefits of mindful eating allow your body to catch up with your brain. You get a better understanding of your body’s true hunger signals. You move away from the habit of eating randomly and turn eating into an enjoyable activity for yourself. You discover the motivation behind the eating activity. For this reason, the mindful eating technique is a recommended alternative for people who have emotional hunger problems and who have emotional reasons behind their motivation to eat.
If you also feel that you have an emotional hunger problem and you have tried some alternatives to cope with it and have not found a solution, you can seek help from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.
For more detailed information about Mindful eating, you can download Innerjoy from Google Play and Apple Store and start a 7-day free trial!