Emotions and Food

(Photo by Ryan McGuire)

(Photo by Ryan McGuire)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the connection between food and emotions. Not just the obvious connection, in that we eat when we feel emotions, or TO feel emotions (or to AVOID feeling emotions), and we connect food with the way we feel, in helpful and unhelpful ways. This is obviously true and important, but it isn’t exactly what I have been considering lately.

What I’ve been thinking about is how SIMILAR food is to emotions. Specifically, each has different flavours: sweet, bitter, sour, savory (or unsavory *wink*), salty, spicy – all of it.

One of my beliefs about food, I realized, has a corollary belief about emotions: that you will be more satisfied in a meal if you represent all of the flavours.

Both in food and in emotion, we tend to think in terms of hierarchy: emotions, as flavours, have “good” and “bad”. And while each may represent a personal preference, none are objectively good, bad, better or worse. We are meant to experience all of them.

So think about that this week – what flavour do you need more of in your life right now? What neglected emotion do you need to show some appreciation for? What flavours are you deeming “bad”, and which emotions are you favouring, to the exclusion of others?

Is there a way for you to more deeply appreciate the spectrum in both taste and emotions?

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