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Many people seek comfort when experiencing upsetting emotions such as worry, sadness, boredom, unhappiness, discontent, or loneliness. Are you replacing an emotional need with food? Like a lover, food can be used to silence one’s loneliness, pain, or suffering.
When Food Numbs Negative Emotion

Sometimes people are afraid to feel suffering, loneliness, or despair and attempt to silence it by consuming. Consuming takes the form of food, video games, shopping, alcohol, pornography, or other negative behaviors that create addictions.People become frustrated with the ongoing cycle of numbing their uncomfortable feelings with food. They wonder why they can’t stop it and why they can’t get control. Most of them have tried for years — decades of dieting and exercise — but return to a repetitive cycle of guilt and even lower self-esteem. Many lose interest in sex. Some feel self-loathing about their overweight body.This cycle of uncomfortable emotions — eating, guilt, remorse, and low self esteem — can lead to avoidance of many enjoyable activities such as intimacy, sex, and going out socially. This leaves people more alone, in more pain, and wanting more of what they are addicted to.When you allow yourself to open your heart and feel pain and suffering, which is part of life, compassion for  yourself and others will help you to heal your addictive eating. Jamie Marich, M.A. (ABD), LPCC-S, LICDC  says, “Many addiction counselors who are aware of this phenomenon have turned to alternative therapies, such as EMDR, to help us access an individual’s entire brain, and in doing so, we are accessing the holistic self: emotions, sensations, cognitions, and any other relevant material that may emerge.”EMDR therapy can help you to get out of this frustrating cycle by allowing you to feel the pain you are running from, develop compassion for yourself, and learn to accept and love yourself. This sounds simple but the process takes time and dedicated lifestyle changes. The rewards are a happier, less addictive lifestyle with more pleasure and less pain.EMDR therapy can be very helpful in recreating new networks toward changing your negative thoughts and feelings. In effect, you become less afraid of feeling sorrow and pain, because you trust that joy and contentment are on the other side.

Learn more at emdrcoach.com.

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