Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are you empty inside?

How many times have you turned to food when you feel restless or bored?

BOREDOM is about wanting to do something. The way to alleviate boredom is to do an activity and be active and productive. However, over-reliance on busyness and productivity can be unhelpful if it keeps you from connecting with your thoughts and feelings.

LONELINESS is about wanting to be with someone. The solution to loneliness is to be with another person or people and feel connected.

EMPTINESS is about disconnecting from yourself, from what you are experiencing inside.

Sometimes people feel bored when they are really lonely or feeling cut off from themselves. This can register as emptiness or even manifest as physical hunger. When you are lonely, you might fill up on food as a way of filling the emptiness inside.

People struggling with bulimia then might purge the food as a way of getting rid of their need for others, or for connection.

Those struggling with anorexia might deny food as a way of denying their need for other people.

Shopping and buying a lot of things is also a strategy to deal with this loneliness and emptiness, as is keeping busy.

Some questions to keep in mind:
Do you turn to food instead of to people?

What experiences have made you afraid to seek out or trust people?

Does thinking about food give you something to “do” and distract you from your internal world?

What would be most fulfilling to you right now?

When you’re alone, what feelings are most uncomfortable?

How did you deal with these feelings as a child?

How did your family manage being busy or being alone or being reflective?

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