Pamela Levin, R.N.,
Are emotional hungers – ones
you may not even be aware of – driving you to make choices based on emotional need instead of
what’s actually best for you? If so, what kind of consequences might you expect, and what
constructive steps can you take?
No doubt you already do some things to take
care of yourself. You look before crossing the street, you eat, you sleep, and you wear more
clothing when it’s colder and less when it’s warmer. That’s great – as far as it goes. But taking
care of yourself in the face of emotional hungers requires a different kind of strategy because
these needs arise, not from a physical, bodily base, but from an emotional one.
Emotional hungers that go unattended can cause a wide variety of
symptoms and lead to all kinds of negative outcomes. You know how this works with your eating
patterns: go without food long enough and you feel weak, tired, cloudy-headed, negative, depressed,
confused, irritable and so on.
In the same way, unmet emotional hungers have similar negative
consequences. Feeling fearful, anxious, ashamed, unmotivated, insecure, aggressive or depressed are
just some of them. It’s a simple truth we too often overlook: just as we all need nutritious,
healthy food every day, so we need good emotional nutrition™ every day.
Too many of us are emotionally hungry – even emotionally starved. Our
strategies for plodding on anyway may be creative, but ultimately they are doomed. We over eat, or
starve. We sleep too much or not at all. We’re highly reactive emotionally or absolutely dead to
any feeling at all. Eventually we’re overstressed, overworking, under producing, over consuming,
leading boring lives or taking senseless risks and depending on wide variety of substances – legal
and otherwise- to manage. Failing to deal with emotional needs can even lead to physical
How can this be? How can emotional hungers that we may not even be
aware of – but that are going without nourishment - lead to so many negative consequences,
including some that are physical?
How Emotional States
Become Physical Ones
First, not being aware of such hungers
lessens their impact not in the least! It’s a commonly accepted that some 95% of our emotional
lives are unconscious and that these unconscious goings-on drive us both to do things we don’t want
to do or prevent us from doing things we want to do!
That biological pathways of our emotional selves not only exist, but
how they affect every part of us was scientifically demonstrated by Dr. Candace Pert, PhD., former
professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University. She established that our
subjective self constantly creates information molecules that control our health and physiology. In
other words, our emotional selves ceaselessly produce physical and emotional changes! What that
means, is that everything from headaches to gall stones to autoimmune disorders, motivation or
relationship problems, self-sabotage – all of these negative outcomes can result from our emotional
As Dr. Pert proved, “the molecules of emotion color our perception
and hence our creation of reality… they are the biochemical links between our awareness, our
thoughts and emotions and our physical well-being.”
That said, we can’t just will ourselves to change it. We can’t just
force ourselves to shift from an emotionally hungry state into a well-nourished one. We may have
the desire to be secure, relaxed, stable, confident and energetic - to base our life choices on
what’s likely to produce the best outcome. But our physiology will not be convinced. When was the
last time you just decided to make new biochemical links so you would no longer run your life from
the unconscious needs that produce self- sabotage?
How can we do this, then? How can we go from being emotionally
undernourished, malnourished or even starving to abundantly well-nourished? How can we change
something that sounds as immutable as our biochemical links?
The answer to this question was revealed
to me in over 40 years of working with people in private practice, workshops and seminars around
the world. My background as an R.N. a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst, and a
clinical nutritionist enabled me to assist people to create this physiological shift. They were
able to do this by altering their emotional diet. They accomplished this by taking in and
‘digesting’ certain key emotional diet components that provided what they needed to be
well-nourished emotionally. It’s the same basic process as taking in certain basic nutritional
components (protein, vitamins, enzymes, etc.).
These were delivered in two ways. One was through teaching people how
to give these essential messages to themselves. The other involved educating them in how to give
them to another via their social relationships.
How, we may ask, is it possible that a message we may give ourselves
or take in from another can nourish us emotionally to the extent that it can change our emotional
state, our physiology and biochemistry? The short answer is that every single one of the 50 to 70
trillion cells in our bodies is always busy adapting to our environment.
“Well”, you may think, “I can’t command my cells.” And yet the truth
is our brains are doing exactly that all of the time, as cellular biologist Bruce Lipton, PhD.,
demonstrated. In fact he discovered the exact ways such messages control our biology and that they
can even run our genes.
It turns out we’re giving ourselves and each other such messages all
the time. In other words we’re already instructing our bodies with various emotional messages – and
some of these communications are commanding our bodies to create discomfort, dysfunction and
That’s why it’s so important that we keep ourselves emotionally well
nourished – that we keep ourselves in a state of positive emotional sustenance. Part of the benefit
certainly is about feeling good, feeling our core selves developing, our individuality blooming in
a positive way. And changing the environmental signals that elicit the behavior of our cells
results in better physical health too.
But there’s a social benefit too. Our relationships improve since
we’re no longer relating from an emotionally needy place, plus we’re full enough emotionally to
offer emotional nourishment to others.
Scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated that when we receive
emotional support, we are less ill less often and our illnesses when they do occur are less severe.
Further, studies have confirmed that those who are already ill survive longer. (For example, women
with breast cancer and people with malignant melanoma who received weekly emotional support lived
longer, people undergoing surgery who had positive emotional preparation had more successful
Indeed, as we give emotional nutrients™ time to work, small and large
changes begin to take hold in a process that is no more magical than taking in a essential
nutrients in your food diet. And the results are no less profound!
Do we have to go to some group, seminar or workshop to access these
core emotional nutrients™? Or be part of a scientific study? No. Because I’ve had the opportunity
to see and experience how powerful these nutrients are, and because I know the world is a far
better place when people are emotionally well-nourished, I’ve made them available 24/7
To sample them - to "taste" an emotional nutrient meal, go to
http://www.youremotionalnutrients.com and click on the sample. You’ll
find a key emotional nutrient message to nourish your core self, another that feeds your
independent self and supports your making healthy boundaries, and a third to nurture your
Does this article spark any topics you'd
like to see covered?
If so, suggest them
to Better Health
Bytes NEWSLETTER so you'll know when
your topic is addressed.
We HATE SPAM and respect your email privacy.
By letting us know what you're
intererested in, you help shape health improvement
content that can empower a large number of people,
so we encourage you to
let us know what you'd like covered.
Note: We do
not make recommendations based on any individual's specific health
situation.We offer general information beneficial to
anyone with health concerns. We cannot guarantee an answer to every question or