Eating for Wholeness and Emotional Well-Being
There are different entry points on the path toward emotional well-being. Since each individual is unique, what works for you may not work for someone else. One thing that is consistent, however, is the need to keep your body healthy to help you move through all life’s experiences with strength and beauty.
Humans are complex beings and you must honor that by going deeper and expanding your awareness of self to more than your physical body—you are comprised of mental and emotional “bodies” as well. When all are in harmony with each other, you live a much happier and fulfilling life. As Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, author of The Hot Belly Diet, says: “You are what, how, when, and why you eat.”
Eating for Emotions
When you are feeling down, the first thing you usually think of is eating “comfort” foods. These foods, most often associated with good memories, provide an immediate soothing effect, making us crave more. During final exams, students seek out pizza, chocolate, chips, etc. and receive the same soothing benefits. Positive emotions increase as bonding occurs among family and friends around food and its enjoyment.
There are many emotional experiences associated with food. While food kindles certain desirable emotions, a stronger relationship may be that of your emotions on digestion. Lack of appetite when depressed, heartburn during high stress, or diarrhea when anxious are just a few such examples. Try eating after a stressful argument and notice how your body resists with symptoms of gas, bloating, or nausea. On the other hand, there is nothing more satisfying than enjoying a meal after a happy event and noticing how light you feel after eating.
It’s obvious there is an intimate and ancient relationship at work between your brain and your gut. This relationship protected your ancestors during the hunter-gatherer days from eating poisonous foods. In today’s world, this relationship helps you to examine all aspects of your life that are no longer providing sustenance. If there is mental or emotional turbulence, the gut will reflect this. Mental or emotional disturbances are the reason why you can be eating only the most healthy and nutritious foods and still have digestive problems. If you want to heal one, you must also heal the other.
The Layer of Food
It’s easy to overlook food as a path toward emotional well-being and yet it’s probably one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. Humans have become distant from food sources—food is viewed as being separate from the body. In many traditional cultures, however, food (in its unprocessed form) has an energy of its own; by ingesting this energy into yourself you replenish your life force.
Dr. David Simon, co-founder of the Chopra Center, said, “Nature has packaged her biological energy and information in the form of food containing the basic substrates needed to create and replenish our cells; through the process of …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra