Relationship Of Grief And Food

Relationship Between Food, Grief, And Distress

We all agree that food is nourishing to the body and soothing to the soul.  It is said to make us feel better, especially when we are quite struggling mentally and emotionally. However, we do not know if it can really help with grief? Let’s find out more about it here in this article.

the connection of food and grief. Delicious comfort foods

“When something is ego-dystonic, this means that a person is experiencing thoughts, emotions, behaviors, or desires that are uncomfortable, unacceptable, distressing, and more precisely inconsistent with their self-concept,” says Elyssa Barbash Ph.D. Grief due to a broken heart is applicable to this.

Know the relationship between eating food, grief, and distress.

Comfort Food

Usually, once the news of your breakup reaches your friends’ ears, they will hurriedly come to visit your home to try to comfort you.  And of course, they will bring in meals with them in case you cannot afford yet to prepare one.  Yes, it is common for people who are grieving to stay still, thinking, not wanting to move around, and so making a meal is a bit of a struggle.

I used to love cooking for my boyfriend, but when we broke up it was not just the preparing of meals that I find hard to do. Even my system is unable to accept any kind of food due to grief.  It is as if my brain is telling my taste buds that all foods do not taste good. I can’t seem to find the appetite to eat whatever my friends are giving me.

(But according to Deborah Serani PsyD, “A recent study in the journal of Psychological Science reports that turning to comfort foods can improve your mood. Data from this research showed that consuming edibles that are associated with good thoughts and warm feelings not only improves a sense of well-being, they also decrease loneliness.”)

Food Can Serve As The Following:



It Can Be An Act Of Love

I can’t find the strength to even look at the food due to despair.  I cannot feel any craving for anything.  But because love comes with the warm meals served in front of me which my friends bring untiringly, I have to at least take a bite from the food.  The taste of love they have for me brings me back to the reality that I am single again and accepting it can be hard, but I have to do something to survive and not drown in my sadness.

The fresh, flavorful taste of soup, sweet cookies and chocolates, and cheesy pizza find their way again into my life, giving energy for my physicality and soul to be alive again.  Food has fixed my broken heart, the meal prepared by my friends and family who truly love and treasure me.


It Can Be A Girl’s Best Friend

While there are people like me who can’t seem to have the energy to eat, there are those who can’t think of anything but to eat as if food is the best friend they have during their days of grieving because of heartache.  For them, it is the only one who understands what they are feeling.  As a broken-hearted girl eats, she pours out her emotions and cries her pain out loud. Food is truly her comfort, consoling her soul.

It Can Be A Way For Diet Change

Try on a new diet.  Re-focusing your attention on planning new menus will somehow make you forget the pain.   Why not plan on trying a vegetarian diet?  A veggie diet is said to improve mood and lower stress levels according to new research.  After dinner, you can hit the gym not just to clear your head, but to look and feel better about yourself.

healthy vegetable salad

Sadness and Loneliness

Nighttime brings much sadness, and reminds you that you are hurting.  By inviting friends or family over and preparing a meal for them, you’re doing yourself a favor.  They can keep you company and you can talk about something else rather than thinking of your loss.  Being busy taking care of your guests will exhaust you and help you fall asleep easier.

Most people deal with their heartaches in an unhealthy way.  Food is a much better way to indulge yourself in.  It can also help you meet the creative stranger in you.  Discovering that new you who is good and happier in the kitchen can make you feel better and boosts your confidence.  You may not realize it, but you already making it through the heartache, and ready to reveal a better version of yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you find it hard to get over the despair caused by a relationship breakup, try starting grief counseling. “If you think your self-esteem is shattered, work with a therapist to build it back up. It’s never too late to feel good about yourself,” Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. stated.

Get over the pain and be more confident with yourself, because everybody deserves better than the pain you went through.