Do you ever find yourself eating because you're bored?
You turn on Netflix and start watching something that you think will entertain you, but after 20 minutes you find yourself incredibly bored but too invested to turn it off. So you grab some ice cream to make things a little more exciting.
Or maybe your day is going a little slow, and you look at the time and see that you haven’t eaten in a couple of hours. So you start eating even though you’re not really hungry.
This definitely happens to me... I may no longer be emotionally eating to avoid intense feelings I was afraid of expressing, managing my stress by shoving handfuls of popcorn down my throat, or living such a fast-paced life that stuffing myself silly was the only way I'd rest. However, I notice that sometimes I do use food as a way to fill the empty space. Can you relate?
So what’s really going on? Why do we eat when we’re bored, even though we know it will make us gain weight, feel sluggish, zap our energy, and not actuallysatisfy us the way we want to be satisfied?
I sometimes forget that I can fill myself up in other ways besides food. I forget that I am passionately in love with things—like creating art, listening to music, reading, writing, dancing, kissing, playing with friends. I forget that I am intricately connected to other people—to all life, really—even when I feel like some lonely, floating island dangling in the void.
I forget that I can fill my void.
There’s a tool that helps remind me that I CAN be satisfied with life when I want to boredom-eat. It’s a tool I also use when I’m waiting for a guy I like to text me back and I start slipping into obsession-mode. :)
Simply look out the window and bring to mind all the things that you love. It can be anything—your family, your passions, your connection to life itself, your dog… whatever! Anything besides food (and maybe your man, if you’re also waiting for a text).
This practice instantly redirects your thoughts to fullness as opposed to lack. And from there, you will feel more at ease and are far more likely to be inspired to fill yourself up in a way food (and men) cannot.
Try it once and see if it works. For me, the hardest part is deciding I want to do it. Once I start, there’s no going back.
Here’s to boredom! For the awesome opportunity it provides to remember what we love.