It's been one of those days! You've peeked into the refrigerator three times since lunch. You want something to eat but you can't figure out what you want. How about some ice cream? Maybe the leftover birthday cake. Perhaps you should go downtown for a pastry and coffee at the cute French bakery.
You have this sense of yearning and food sounds like an easy answer. But in reality, the hunger isn't from your stomach -- it's inside your heart. Instead of eating to fix this hollow feeling, you need ways to nurture and comfort yourself and renew your spirit.
Recognizing heart hunger
Eventually, heart hunger sends you toward foods that are soft, smooth or creamy textured, such as ice cream, doughnuts or pasta. It can also make you want comfort foods or ones related to fond memories or happy times.
Heart hunger usually stems from empty emotions, such as feeling depressed, discouraged or lonely. It can show up when you're bored or restless, as well as times when you're feeling hurt, disappointed or let down. You can also experience heart hunger when you're longing for things you can't get such as attention or appreciation.
Heart hunger foods can even sneak into your life without you realizing it. For example, do you eat a bowl of ice cream most nights before going to bed? For many people, ice cream connects back to childhood memories or to nostalgia for family connections. Soft foods such as doughnuts, cinnamon rolls or brownies may be filling the empty spots left by a broken relationship or disappointments in life.
Will eating change it?
Before you reach for the first bite of comfort food, think about what's empty or missing in your life, then ask yourself, "Will eating change this?" Of course, sometimes eating does make things better, at least for a while. But in reality, food won't fix a hungry heart. Your real life is still there, filled with the same emptiness as before.
Filling your heart
Build a nurturing break into your day. Grab your favorite book of poetry or pull out your needlework, then slip on your headset and disappear into the music. Within a few minutes, you'll have renewed your spirit instead of harming your waistline.
Create an "instead" list for heart hunger
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