Have you ever wondered how your body talks to your brain? Essentially it uses emotion in a process known as interoception to alert various parts of your brain to what’s going on inside. The article linked below gives a good overview of how this works.
You probably weren’t taught much about emotion in school, and yet emotion is now thought of as one of our senses in the same way as sight or touch. And it’s the only sense that gives us information from the inside. When we are eating for emotional reasons, that is for any reason other than physical hunger, the underlying reason is often discomfort with an emotional experience. In this way we are using food to calm, soothe, numb, or distract. By understanding more about our emotional processes we can lessen our discomfort and thus lessen our need to use food in these ways.