This little guy started something new a year or so ago. When he gets really excited (when we are going for a walk or getting home from work), he runs to the food bowl to eat. We have found it quite humorous. He copes with his excitement by eating. 😄
It reminds me of what we in the human world refer to as “emotional eating.” Emotional eating is often demonized, but the truth is, it’s hard not to connect eating with our emotions. We use food for comfort, for celebrating, and as traditions with our loved ones.
Often times, food may be used to help us deal with strong emotions, just as Barkley uses it to cope with excitement. If you use food in this way, instead of feeling condemned, let it be an indicator to dig deeper. Let it be a source of curiosity instead of guilt.
Before you dig deep though, ask yourself first if you are taking care of yourself through nourishment, getting adequate rest/sleep, managing stress, and leaving time for reflection and play? Feeling lack in any of these areas may cause us to disconnect and eat without paying attention.
If you do take care of yourself in these areas, yet find yourself turning to food when strong emotions arise, let it be a guide for you. When do you most feel triggered? What is triggering these emotions? God cares for us and cares about our burdens. (1 Peter 5:7.) Perhaps it means sitting with your emotions, working through them with a friend, or seeking professional counseling.
Recognize the role food may have in dealing with your emotions. It may mean adding more tools to your toolbox—find more ways to cope with your emotions such as taking a walk outside, doing some deep breathing, listening to music, etc.
Barkley wants you to know—eating can be an emotional experience. Don’t condemn yourself for it. Recognize what role food plays in your life and work through finding constructive ways to deal with your strong feelings. Make a list of what helps you most in these moments. 💙Follow me on social media: