As I’m learning more about the emotional roots behind all of our health problems, it got me to thinking that there must be emotions at the root of our cravings. As I researched, I learned the validity of this idea. Here is what I found…..basically, there are three primary emotions behind our cravings for food. 1) anger: this is manifest in the cravings for salt. As we hold onto our anger we tend to subconsciously crave ways to release anger without having to yell at our spouse or our kids which also plays into our cravings for all things crunchy. Combine the salt and the crunch and you have potato chips, nuts and other crunchy snacks. So next time you have a hankering to down an entire bag of chips, stop yourself and think of the emotion behind it…..it’s likely anger.
2) If you are going through a difficult time and maybe you are missing someone significant in your life whom you lost to death or divorce, you will likely be reaching for a plate of home baked goodness, perhaps a plate of cookies, a cake or cupcakes. As you begin to consume these sugar filled caloric treats, consider the emotion behind it is a need to comfort yourself.
Finally, there is a craving we have to help us overcome loneliness. This is manifest in our desire for 3) all foods soft and gooey. This often comes in the form of foods packed with high carbs like pasta smothered in cheese sauce. Next time we have that craving for a plate of macaroni and cheese, consider the source and ask yourself, “am I lonely?” Also consider that often we can feel lonely even when we are surrounded by family and friends.
As you successfully identify the emotion behind the craving, next consider alternatives to satisfying the depleted emotions that may be in the form of other, more wholesome foods or a session of self care including meditation or exercise that will help to satisfy the unmet emotional need which will naturally dissipate the craving for unhealthy food. Of course, it’s not always easy to tie our cravings for food to our emotional deficiencies and then quickly finding a more healthy alternative; however, I believe that consciousness is half the battle and knowing where these cravings are coming from sure helps to move forward in healthy, more productive ways.
As we effectively identify the emotions behind our cravings, there is always an essential oil that can be used to support our emotional health and lend to an alternative way to temper our eating habits. For instance, some essential oils use to overcome feelings of loneliness include marjarom, Cedarwood, Frankincense and Myrrh. For anger, consider using Thyme, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, and Spikenard. Some great comfort oils include the Clary Sage, Juniper Berry, Cedarwood, Jasmine and Rose.