Posted by: Aniek

Comfort eating.

Most people have experienced it. Sometimes as a response to stress, loneliness, boredom, anxiety, low mood. You might have had a really bad day and all you can think about is finding your stash of chocolate in the cupboard, or tucking in to a packet of biscuits.

Your internal dialogue might sound something like: “I’ve had such a terrible today, I deserve this [insert often-sugar-filled food here]”.

 

This is an emotional craving. In this situation we’re looking for acknowledgement of the rubbish day we’ve had. We want to be validated, soothed and supported. We want encouragement that it’s all going to be okay in the end and tomorrow will be better. Our brain associates the response you get from eating sugary foods as something similar and therefore we crave the pleasure associated with eating those foods in those instances.

 

But food doesn’t soothe for very long. Often, in fact, it creates feelings of regret and guilt; that’s a whole different topic for another day but the message is clear enough. Food won’t make you feel much better for very long.

 

What works in these scenarios is connecting with people. Reaching out to those people in our lives to talk to, rant with, laugh with, cuddle up with. Look to them to acknowledge your shitty day, give you a real/virtual big hug and tell you everything’s going to be okay. It could be face to face, on the phone, by email or text.

 

We crave connection, so find intimacy with people and not food. It will make you feel much better and last much longer. So, emotional cravings… It’s cookies vs. cuddles!