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Food, Emotion and Integration

If I am trying to soothe my fear, anger and loneliness or any other negative emotion with food or any form of comfort it will not work. All I am doing is pacifying the situation. I believe, like Daniel Siegel writes, that I have a lack of integration in my brain. What does that mean? It means, in my simplistic understanding of his work, that the flow of energy and information that is producing the negative emotions needs to be move to another part of my brain. How can one do that? He talks about journaling as one of those ways. How does this work? Well if I am experiencing distressing emotions that is happening on predominantly the right side of my brain according to Goleman’s The Brain, Davidson’s Buddha Brains and Siegel’s Mindsight. I need to get some movement to the left side. I need to get the left side circuits giving those feelings words and meaning/perspective. I need to be gaining empathy for myself. In the process of journaling than what I get is what Siegel Calls integration. In that place compassion for self and others naturally occurs. Anecdotally, I have had my own experience with it. I have experienced watching people who have been struggling with fear and anger move to a place of love and self understanding. I think according to Carl Rogers and Daniel Siegel that we tend towards health if given the opportunity. We can get there through journaling, talking and role playing that can be found in the Mediate Your Life Work of Jon Kinyon and Ike Lasater or the work of Non-violent communication by Marshall Rosenberg. If my brain is integrated, I am less likely need food or anything else to soothe my brain.

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