When I was eight years old (and then nine, ten, eleven, twelve and…keep going), I would quietly sneak into the kitchen in the middle of the night while my parents were sleeping. I would quietly take out a spoon from the kitchen drawer, the chocolate spread jar from the pantry, and eat half the jar. After I finished eating, I would wash and dry the spoon, put the spoon back in the drawer, put the jar back in the pantry, and go back to bed, leaving no evidence of my “crime”. Every few days my mom would surprisingly ask why we were always running low on the chocolate spread and I would play the role of the innocent and say that I had no idea.

I was in my 40’s when I discovered that I had a food addiction. Looking back, the writing was clearly on the wall. I just didn’t have the information to connect the dots. Unfortunately, addiction runs in my family; growing up, my mom and dad were addicted to nicotine (at least 2 packs of cigarettes per day for each of them) and food.

I was an unhappy child with an unhappy mother. I remember very clearly that expressing emotions was not encouraged in my house. In fact, my siblings and I would get punished for laughing or crying too hard. At night, I would cry under my pillow so no one would hear me. This along with eating secretly at night had become a habit and were the only things that helped me suppress the pain.

Using food to cope with life was not my invention. People have been doing it for years. There were many before me and there will be many after. Food is probably the most commonly abused substance because eating is a necessary part of life.

Numbing your emotions with food is just one of the many ways to cover up pain.

Here are some other vices people use as a cover up for emotional pain:

Drugs, alcohol, food, social media,

TV, texting, dieting, shopping,

sex, porn, exercise, gambling, gossiping, pills,

playing video games, surfing the internet, overworking, and more

The reality is that most people, including children, have learned unhealthy ways to cope with their emotions and suffer from one or more types of addictive behaviors.

It took me years of healing studies to realize that in addition to my addiction to food I am also an empath. I believe that many people who tend to escape to unhealthy habits are also empaths.

Once you identify if you are an empath, it will be easier for you to learn better ways to manage your emotions. Answer the questions I present in this article to identify if you are an empath. Once you realize that you are an empath, consider taking The Empath’s Empowerment Guide Online Course to help you preserve your energy and protect your gifts.

Are you an Empath?

Want to start using your empathy as your strength and superpower?

Get the pre-launch special for my brand new course for Empaths.

The Benefit of Numbing Your Emotions

Numbing your emotions is a temporary fix. Eventually the pain will resurface, and when it does, we tend to feel worse. We all have some emotions that we’re uncomfortable with. Life is hard and unpredictable. Numbing your emotions is sometimes easier than dealing with the reality of losing a loved one, managing a broken heart or simply just dealing with life’s daily challenges.

Escaping into unhealthy habits or simply disconnecting and shutting down gives you the illusion of being protected.

If you’re sad and you don’t want to cry, being numb to feelings will benefit you. If there is past trauma or past hurt stored in your body, numbing your feelings creates an armor so you don’t have to go back and reconnect with the pain.

The Cost of Numbing Your Emotions

What we don’t realize is that you cannot be selective and decide which emotions to numb and which ones to get in touch with.

We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions,” says Brené Brown in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection.

Numbing your emotions means not only avoiding sadness, anger and fear; it also means avoiding joy and happiness.

Another cost of numbing your emotions is risking your health. More than twenty years’ experience with different healing modalities, especially Reiki, proved to me that when an emotion is held for extended periods of time, it manifests as a physical symptom. So many people that have taken our Reiki classes throughout the years, and are giving Reiki to themselves regularly, report that they are able to manage their emotions better, even when they suffer from chronic pain or a chronic disease. In other words, numbing your emotions makes your physical symptoms worse and dealing with your emotions contributes to your physical healing process.

Emotions Are Messengers

Emotions tell us that something needs our attention.

Instead of disconnecting, numbing and escaping, we must learn ways to balance, manage and deal with our emotions so we can stay emotionally fit and healthy.

The Alternative to Numbing Your Emotions

When going through an emotional roller-coaster, we must recognize the feeling, feel it, own it, accept it and move on. The process of changing how we deal with pain needs to be learned in a supportive, professional environment, and one of my intentions when I coach and mentor women is to help them learn how to manage that process.

If escape or running away is your method to deal with emotional pain, and you know in your heart that you keep numbing instead of managing, this is a red flag. It is your sacred responsibility to take care of your health and well-being, so you can contribute to the world and be of service.

Challenge yourself with the “outside the box” idea that you might be an empath, a person who is highly sensitive to energy and tends to take on other people’s emotions. Start learning healthier ways to face the feelings safely and stay balanced.

Are you an Empath?

Want to start using your empathy as your strength and superpower?

Get the pre-launch special for my brand new course for Empaths.

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