About 8:00 pm many years ago, I suddenly had a craving for peanut butter. I wasn’t hungry but wanted the taste of peanut butter for some reason.
It felt uncomfortable, as if I couldn’t stand it.
In the middle of that discomfort, a question came to me. It was a simple question, but it gave me a new angle to comfort my cravings that surprised me.
This 1 question can help you comfort your cravings too.
Here was the question I asked myself:
What else can I do to make my body more comfortable at this moment?”
You see, many of us run to food whenever we feel uncomfortable in our bodies.
But the truth is that we are really just craving comfort. And there are many ways to obtain comfort besides eating.
Here is how I walked through managing my craving with the comfort strategy:
After I asked the question and checked where my body was uncomfortable, I realized that I had a sour taste in my mouth.
So I went to brush my teeth to get rid of the sour taste.
Then I asked myself a follow-up question: “Did that help?”
I answered myself, “Yes, it did.”
Next, I went back to the original question: “Is there anything else I can do to make myself more comfortable?”
After checking in with my body, I found that I was also hot.
So I got a washcloth and wet it with cool water. Then I wiped off my face, ears and the back of my neck to cool myself off.
I asked myself again, “Did that help?”
“Yes, it did.”
Finally, I asked myself the comfort question again: “What else would make me more comfortable at this moment?”
I realized that my bra was feeling restrictive.
So I took it off.
I asked myself, “Did that help?”
“Yes, it did.”
The funny thing was, after I made myself more physically comfortable through exploring the real sources of my discomfort, I did not crave the peanut butter anymore!
Remember that you have 5 senses, not just taste.
Whenever you have a craving but are not hungry, do not grab for food immediately. Instead, consider the other 4 senses you have.
Ensure that the problem is not discomfort arising from another sense, such as your smell, touch, vision, or hearing.
Here are various things that you can do to implement the comfort strategy, along with the discomfort they can resolve:
- Brush your teeth – taste discomfort
- Drink a glass of water – taste discomfort (dry mouth)
- Sniff essential oils – smell discomfort
- Wipe yourself off with a cool or warm washcloth – skin discomfort
- Take a shower or bath – skin discomfort
- Remove bra, shoes, or tight clothing – skin discomfort
- Clip your fingernails or toenails – skin discomfort
- Shave – skin discomfort
- Wash your hair – (itchy scalp) skin discomfort
- Lotion your skin – (itchy skin) skin discomfort
- Massage your feet or sore muscles – muscle discomfort
- Stretching – muscle discomfort
- Change your sitting or standing position – general body discomfort
- Get a hug or hug yourself – general body discomfort
- Go to a quiet place – hearing discomfort
- Listen to relaxing music – hearing discomfort
- Close your eyes – visual discomfort
- Watching video of relaxing scenes – visual discomfort
- Use eye drops – eye discomfort (dry eyes)
- Use nose spray – nose discomfort (sinus or allergy issues)
If you are unsure of the discomfort source, you can always ask the Lord in prayer. He promises:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).
Try the comfort cravings strategy the next time you have a craving without hunger. Be willing to keep asking the question and address the source rather than covering it up with food.
Your body will thank you!