Many people who struggle with binge eating and food addiction report loneliness as being the trigger for a binge.

What’s interesting about loneliness is that it doesn’t always have to do with being alone. You can be surrounded by people, be in a relationship, have a big family, and still feel lonely.

While there are many ways to cope with loneliness we often quickly turn to food. The problem is, while food may provide relief in the moment, it is not a sustainable solution. Have you ever done anything or spent time with someone that lifts you up or shifts your mood? The impact of these experiences lasts longer than a momentary relief that food could provide.

Practicing the skill of reaching out is a way of learning how to move through the emotions in a way that serves your long term goals. When we turn to food as the skill, we’re deepening our isolation, and adding shame.

We’re social creatures that long for connection. In moments of loneliness reaching out can be the hardest thing to do. At Beacon, we talk a lot about the importance of having a power circle. A power circle consists of people in your life who you trust, feel safe with, and can lean on for support. Even if your power circle is one other person that is an amazing start!

Wherever you are along this journey, here are some ways to build your circle, at your own pace.

  • Overeaters Anonymous (12 step recovery)
  • Online communities
  • Meetups (meetup.com)
  • Spiritual communities (churches, temples, mosques)
  • Support groups
  • Therapist/counselor or coach

Reconnecting with people you’ve lost touch with, and reaching out to people already in your life, can be a great start!

To be human is to experience the tapestry of emotions. Loneliness can be one of those emotions. Even the most social person can feel lonely. To cope with these feelings, it can be helpful to befriend loneliness. To cope with these feelings, consider some of these tools; journal, take a nice bath, drink your favorite tea, get out in nature, create art.

 

Shine Bright!

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash