Why We Use Food To Numb Our Emotions

Brené Brown has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, and shame, and what it means to be a “Wholehearted” person who lives from a deep sense of self-worth.


According to Brené, vulnerability is not a weakness (as so many of us believe) but rather one of the keys to living a truly authentic and fulfilling life.


I was absolutely blown away the first time I saw this powerful Ted Talk, and no matter where you are on your own health journey, you do not want to miss this. And if you’re an emotional eater who uses food to numb your emotions, this video will instantly shift your perspective!



Awesome, right? In her fantastic book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené says this…


“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left is undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”


Here are Brené’s 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living:


1. Cultivate Authenticity – Let go of what people think about you


2. Cultivate Self-Compassion – Let go of perfectionism


3. Cultivate a Resilient Spirit – Let go of numbing and powerlessness


4. Cultivate Gratitude and Joy – Let go of scarcity


5. Cultivate Intuition and Trusting Faith – Let go of the need for certainty


6. Cultivate Creativity – Let go of comparison


7. Cultivate Play and Rest – Let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth


8. Cultivate Calm and Stillness – Let go of anxiety as a lifestyle


9. Cultivate Meaningful Work – Let go of self-doubt and “supposed to”


10. Cultivate Laughter, Song, and Dance – Let go of being cool and “always in control”


Are you ready to live Wholeheartedly? In the comments tell me what you think. And remember, we are all a work in progress.


Tons of love,



8 Responses to “Why We Use Food To Numb Our Emotions”

  1. Giselle says:

    Hi Heather!

    This was just what I needed NOW!
    I’ve been struggling with food, with exercise, with my family, my beliefs, my existance, my life & pretty much everything.
    I’ve felt the world fall apart and left me standing watching everything go, feeling like if it was my fault.
    I spend lots of hours a week reading articles about life, being positive & keep myself strong, but it always turns out to the moment where I realize I may be kidding someone else, but I can’t kid myself that I’m not the calm-everything-is-fine kind of person that most of the people think I am.
    Last couple of days have had a kinda of crisis for not knowing what the hell am I gonna do with my life. Tried to look for help & stopped just because no one answered right away, so I let it go, tried to calm down & then just saw a vicious cycle coming my way to repeat the bad stuff. I’m pretty much done with it.
    Food is my calming. My family live to say “a cupcake doesn’t hurt anyone”, and I get it. There’s no use in living life with restrictions, but it’s no sense when all that you want seems to be full of restrictions, so everybody says that it’s not worth it, so somehow in my head I’ve been believing that if it takes too much to accomplish something & if there ain’t a quick fix for it, then it’s not worth it & neither am I (worth it) for thinking about it.
    I’m sorry if this is a too long comment, I really don’t mean to just talk about my problems, but truely want to thank you for all the incredible articles you write, they have helped me SO MUCH! in matters not just of food & body stuff, but to heal my life & the mess I consider it.
    Thanks Heather n.n

  2. Heather K. Jones says:

    Thanks Giselle – you are so welcome. I love sharing what has helped me. I am so sorry to hear about your struggles! I can tell from my own personal experiences, that when things totally fall apart, it’s usually because we need to shift or change something in our lives. It’s our wake up call. I love the idea that things happen FOR us – for our own personal growth – not TO us.

    It’s so easy to turn to food for comfort, I get it, but as you know, the comfort in a cupcake is temporary. Check out the 3Rs at the end of this post here and try this – http://www.heatherkjones.com/favorites/the-real-reason-diets-dont-work

    I don’t believe in restrictions or diets, either – no one should have live like that! And I can tell you this, YOU are worth it – we all are!

    My advice is to try not to think too far ahead right now – try to get out of your head (we over think things and make ourselves crazy!) and get into your heart… close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, take a deep cleansing breath, and then ask yourself “what is the next best step for me right now.” Your heart knows. If you follow your heart, one best step at a time, you will land in a good place, I promise.

    Also, after you get out of your head and into your heart, make a list of all the positive aspects in your life right now. And then read that list often. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be anything for anyone else – just be true to yourself.

    The book that helped me very much when everything was falling apart in own life was You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. And I’m currently reading The Answer is Simple – I love it. You could also go to the bookstore and see what book jumps out at you. If you seek answers/help you will find them 🙂

    I’m holding space for you! XX

  3. Lauren says:

    Love Brene Brown! I’m reading The Gifts of Imperfection right now. Her work has allowed me to focus on the “hard stuff” rather than only talking about how to focus on positivity.

  4. Jolene says:

    Girl! You always know what to post to get me so inspired!! I just bought Brene’s book and can’t wait to start reading it!! Thank you so much for sharing this information.

  5. Heather K. Jones says:

    You are so welcome, Jolene! You will love Brene’s book – she is amazing.

  6. Michele says:

    That was so powerful! I am the queen of numbing my feelings with food. It’s so easy to try and forget about everything by just eating…not even tasting, just getting the food down to try to ease the pain. I feel like the more I eat the better I will feel but it never works that way. Brene has such an amazing way of speaking, I could listen to her all day. I could literally write a book here but I will just say thank you for sharing this awesome, inspiring video.

  7. […] a escuchar a mi cuerpo y entender que ciertos alimentos me producían un estado de sedación. Es decir, utilizar alimentos para entumecer las […]

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