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How to Satisfy Heart Hunger

Most unbalanced relationships with food are caused by being unaware of heart hunger. No food can ever satisfy that form of hunger. To satisfy it, we must learn how to nourish our hearts. - Jan Chozen Bays

what is heart hunger

Heart hunger can be sensed as an emptiness, a longing, or void that we can’t seem to fill. So often, we use food to attempt to satisfy this void or longing but what we truly desire is connection, love, affection, touch or a sense of fulfillment.


Unpleasant emotions are a part of life, it’s how we handle these emotions that matters most. When we choose food in an attempt to numb the pain of our emotions it is usually followed by guilt or shame.


Heart hunger may not be associated with a specific craving but may look like finding yourself standing in the pantry or in front of the fridge seeking something to fill the void.


If we can recognize that our hearts want connection, not food it changes our relationship to food. I know I've definitely been there "If I am busy eating, I can distract myself enough to not feel the isolation."


Creating the awareness of what is driving us to eat is the first step to changing the pattern. I do this by inviting in self-inquiry before, during and after eating.


Here are 10 prompts for self-inquiry:

  1. What are you aware of in our body?

  2. How are you feeling right now?

  3. What is food providing you at this moment?

  4. What foods do you eat when you are sad or lonely?

  5. When you feel the impulse to eat, what emotions arose just prior?

  6. Does having food change the emotion present?

  7. Are you eating to rid yourself of the uncomfortable feelings?

  8. How can you nourish your heart?

  9. How do you feel most connected?

  10. What fulfills your soul?

Here are 8 ways that you can satisfy heart hunger:

  1. Talking with someone you love

  2. Playing with your child or pet

  3. Gardening

  4. Giving a gift

  5. Meditating

  6. Journaling

  7. Creative expression: writing, drawing, music, or dancing

  8. Grounding yourself in n