Posted on: 25.06.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

October 2, 2003


Emotional Eating

If you’re feeling lonely,

anxious, or angry, you may be tempted to use food as a way to comfort

yourself. This is called emotional eating, and it occurs when you

don’t allow yourself to feel, express, or resolve the problems in

your life that are causing these feelings.

When you suppress negative emotions, it often triggers intense food

cravings. It’s your body’s way of relieving your stress. Instead

of feeling sad, worthless, or resentful, you anesthetize yourself

by bingeing on foods like potato chips, pizza, ice cream, or doughnuts.

You eat to avoid feeling.

Many women crave foods they are addicted to like

sugar, caffeine, and fatty foods. Not only do these high stress

foods provide you with a false sense of emotional comfort, but,

over time, they can actually harm your body. In addition to causing

obesity, these foods can increase your risk of estrogen dominance,

hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—to name but

a few. Suppressing your feelings can also cause physical symptoms,

the most common of which are anxiety, agitation, and muscle tension.

Root of Emotional Eating

In my practice, I’ve found that a woman’s family

upbringing, deep pain, or negative life experiences can cause them

to hide from their feelings, avoiding them in hopes they will go

away. But these negative feelings don’t just disappear on their

own. If you shut them away instead of addressing them, they simply

become buried in your body.

Treat the Feeling, Not the Craving

My first piece of advice is to seek counseling

and/or participate in a support group. This will provide a safe

place for you to open up and express your emotions—an essential

first step. In the meantime, I’d like to share two effective, short-term

solutions to help you take charge of this habit, instead of letting

this unhealthy behavior take control of you.

When you begin to experience food cravings due

to emotional upset, relieve them with my two-step process below.

The goals of this process are to (1) lessen emotional upset and

restore feelings of peace and calm, and (2) stop or relieve food


During the first part of this process, sit quietly

and engage in a simple repetitive activity like meditation. I recommend

meditation because it allows you to create a state of deep relaxation—a

state that promotes healing in the body and mind. By emptying your

mind of your upset feelings, you create a state of deep relaxation,

which in turn helps you restore your equilibrium and regain a sense

of peace and calm. During meditation, your body benefits from physiological

changes: your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, and your

muscle tension decreases. Your brain wave patterns also shift from

the fast beta waves that occur during a normal active day to the

slower alpha waves that occur just before falling asleep, or in

times of deep relaxation.

In the second part of this process, you will work

a powerful acupressure point that can literally help to “turn

off” food cravings. I’ve also included a second acupressure

point if your food cravings are accompanied by hormone imbalances

such as PMS. Practice these exercises whenever emotional food cravings


Peaceful Meditation to Restore Emotional


  1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply, letting your breathing be slow

    and relaxed.

  3. Focus all of your attention on your breathing. Notice the movement

    of your chest and abdomen as you breathe in and out.

  4. Take yourself to a calm and peaceful place deep

    inside of you. As you inhale, say the word “peace” to

    yourself. As you exhale, say the word “love.” Draw out

    the pronunciation of these words, so that they last for the entire


  5. You can also visualize that you are breathing

    in prana, the Sanskrit word for the “breath of life.”

    If this option appeals to you, you can breath in the word “energy”

    and breath out the word “peace.”

Appetite-Controlling Acupressure

As you start to feel yourself calm down and your

body begins to relax, you should place your right hand below the

bottom edge of your right rib cage (about a half-inch to the left

of your nipple line). This acupressure point (spleen 16) will help

to relieve your food cravings. Apply firm but gentle pressure for

1 to 3 minutes.

Another point (spleen 4) can be used if you suffer

from hormone-related food cravings, like PMS. This point is located

on the arch of your foot, one thumb-width from the ball of your

foot, towards your heel. Apply firm but gentle pressure for 1 to

3 minutes.



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