People do eat emotionally due to boredom but it’s not because they have nothing to do.
What Happens Internally when you’re Bored
When this boy becomes a man and is able to tap into his feelings and let them speak, here’s what they’d say:
“There’s nothing to do. I know I have several options and my friends are giving me several more but I don’t really want to do any of them.
“I’m not being picky it’s just that none of them interest me at the moment. For real. I just don’t feel like doing anything. There are no good movies playing, nothing fun to do at home, nor are my family or friends offering to do anything exciting.
“I’m reminded of what my parents used to say to me when I was younger. That if I was bored that I should go out and ‘do something.’ I usually balked at that idea and was resentful they even brought it up.
“Probably just trying to get rid of me. After all, I was pushing my boredom onto them so it’s no wonder. At the time I wanted opportunities to present themselves to me instead of me having to make something happen.
“Yeah that’s a bit of laziness happening there but now as an adult I’m not expecting anyone to do anything for me. Am I? Maybe sometimes and I’ll check in with myself to see if that’s true in the future.
” But most times that’s not it. It’s just that I don’t feel like it. Just saying that out loud makes it sound more visceral. I don’t feel like it because I am already in a kind of a bad mood.
“I’m annoyed, or maybe irritable or frustrated. All different ways of saying that something’s bothering me and I don’t know what it is. All I know is that I’m not happy for some reason. When I’m like this I sometimes feel snappy and take it out on those closest to me.
“I burden them with the heaviness of my boredom, hoping to unload what I can’t handle onto them. Of course I can’t handle it, how can I do that if I don’t even know what I’m angry about?
“That’s why I eat? I go to the fridge, stand in front of the open door as the minutes tick by and see if there’s anything good in there. I find food that tastes good and will make me feel better.
“Or at least make me forget about feeling bored. Which is not really feeling better, just distracting from it. Oh if only there was something to do. Oh yeah, I don’t really want to do anything.
“Maybe instead of eating something I should figure this out. I could close the fridge door and sit down, grab a pen and paper and start writing. That way I could talk to whatever that is that I’m feeling and see what it has to say.
“Okay, I’ll probably still eat something in all honesty but I can do both. So I’m sitting alone at the kitchen table and this sucks. I don’t know what to write, it’s so hard and I already didn’t feel like doing anything and now this feels like work!
“I remember long ago in a writing course the instructor telling us to just get something down on paper. That it doesn’t matter if it’s correct or not but to simply get started. Once you do that and keep at it, the tap opens up and begins to flow.
“So I’ll ask myself questions, ‘What am I mad at? Who am I angry with? Why?’ questions like that and see what happens. I start to notice that I have lots and lots of resentments. At people, at missed opportunities, at myself and at life in general.
“Holy cow. I could write pages and pages and still have more to say. There’s so much here and it’s not fun to look at.
“No wonder I didn’t want to do anything. All of this is quite heavy and literally bogging me down. It’s not that there’s nothing to do, it’s that there’s nothing to do that’s intense or stimulating enough to get me out of this cumbersome mood.
“Food usually does the trick for me. The pleasure I get from eating it and the changes in the chemicals in my brain from eating lots of carbs does the trick. I guess that’s what drinkers and some pot users count on when they indulge in their vice.
“The only problem with food is that it’s a temporary fix that isn’t very good for me long term. Jeez, this is bigger than I thought, I didn’t want to wander over here into this territory but the alternative, to keep doing the same thing is worse.
“The first thing I have to do is to stay aware. To notice my boredom and to see that it’s really anger. To try to notice that each and every time I reach for food to distract from it, or to look for pleasure.
“I have to do that consistently and then try to figure out what’s behind it. I did a bit of that already with my writing and I suppose I can do that once a week, to keep a journal and use that method as a tool.
“The other things I can do are to be aware of myself more in general, see a therapist and most importantly reach out to others and be open about this.
“From what I understand these things take time to resolve and I’ll need to start thinking about what I can do now to manage my weight in the meantime, without completely giving up on food as my source of comfort or of stimulation.
“I’ll go slow and make sure it doesn’t hurt or take too much will, or be too much of a grind. Then, I’ll look back after a few years being lighter in more ways than one, wondering why I didn’t embark on this process sooner.
THE EATING LOVE GUIDE (FREE)
The Eating Love Guide has helped many people regain control of their eating patterns, resulting not only in weight loss but also better health and improved self-esteem. To read it online, click here.