The Link Between Feeling Lonely And Overeating

Loneliness is an emotional state in response to a feeling or perception of a lack of social connection or living in a community with others. In big fast-moving cities, loneliness is prevalent in the city. It is not unusual to not know one’s neighbors.  Being in a relationship is not a protective factor against loneliness. Even persons who are co-habiting with a partner, have reported feeling lonely. Persons, who tend to overeat or drink excessively, have cited loneliness as one of the reasons. There are benefits to our emotional and physical health when we are able to enjoy our own company.

Individuals with developed life skills understand and celebrate time spent alone and see these moments as crucial space to reflect, introspect, and plan their future. The individual, who has good social skills and also enjoys his or her own company, exudes self-confidence, high self-esteem, and is comfortable with the company but equally self-assured and content to be by himself or herself.

When there is a feeling of lack, we tend to fill that void with something or behavior to compensate for that emptiness. Food or more accurately “comfort” food is used to alleviate boredom, loneliness, and disappointment. This behavior to binge on comfort food is addictive as more and more of the stimulant is needed to give that quasi “good feeling”. In other words, we automatically go for the tub of ice-cream with the intention of having just a few spoons and before one can control the situation, the entire tub has been consumed.

To overcome the tendency to overeat we must explore whether there is:

  • A focus on loneliness rather than exploring options to enjoy being alone.
  • A constant need to have others around.
  • A worry of losing the significant other.
  • A loss in self-esteem as a result of abusive relationships.

Tips for Enjoying One’s Company

  • Make a list of things you have been wanting for a long time to do.
  • Do something special to pamper yourself.
  • Treat yourself to a luxurious bath and massage.
  • Take charge of your day by planning how to spend your time. Decide at the start of the day which activities are priorities.
  • Learn something new every week. There are many free on-line courses.
  • Commit to an exercise program which you can do with the help of a DVD.
  • Explore nature, walk in a park, or stroll by the beach.
  • Treat yourself to fine dining.
  • Immerse yourself in a hobby and learn all you can about it.
  • Invest in a pet. Be aware of the exquisite care and maintenance for some breeds of cats and dogs.

There is a tendency to find comfort in food and booze which when consumed in excess puts our health at risk. Develop empowering life-skills to enjoy your space and own company. Social skills allow us to enjoy relationships at home, work, and in our social circles.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Do you want to add feedback to this story? Please add comments in the e-mail box below.

Like our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter