When you hear the word “hunger” you probably associate that with your body needing food. You identify hunger from pains in your stomach or when your stomach literally growls at you to feed it. In addition to physical hunger, your soul hungers too. Similarly, would you know what soul hunger feels like? Do you know how to feed the hunger in your soul like you feed the hunger in your body? Feeding your soul is as important as feeding your body.

Your soul. How to identify it and how to feed it.

First, let’s identify your soul. The soul’s defined in a variety of ways. The most detailed definition comes from the Merriam Webster dictionary. That definition starts with the soul’s spiritual connection. For example, the soul’s invisible connection to God. You’re not walking around detached but attached to something greater like the Universe or God. It can also be defined as a connection to the self.

Your soul is the deepest, truest part of your self.

I define the soul as the deepest, truest part of the self. This part connected to something outside the obvious. What I mean by that is it’s the soul’s connection to the unseen and often intangible. Therefore, it can be God, angels, energy, spirit, universe, nature, etc. It’s where the true self resides and yet you typically walk around either avoiding, numbing or stuffing so that the soul ends up deprived and neglected.

How do you know if your soul is hungry?

If your soul’s neglected and unfed, do you know what that feels like? Does your soul emit hunger pains like your stomach would if it needed food? Does your soul growl when it needs sustenance?

Here are 4 metaphorical “hunger pains” your soul will communicate to you if it needs to be fed. Pay attention, feeding your soul is as important as feeding your body.

 

  1. You will suffer from bitterness and resentment in your life. This usually is a product of poor boundaries.
  2. You will feel tired. Fatigue comes from not getting enough rest or overcommitting yourself (again, poor boundaries).
  3. You might experience burn out at work or home.
  4. You are using food to try and manage your emotions, fatigue and stress.

 

Feeding your soul takes practice.

Do you resonate with any of these soul hunger pains? If so, then you can explore ways to feed your soul. But a word of caution, this takes practice and baby steps. Don’t expect to go from hunger to fullness right away. Remember, go slow and explore the best options for yourself so that you can build a repertoire of potential soul feeding strategies.

10 Ways to feed your soul:

 

  1. Start off by asking yourself if any of the big 4 above resonate with you. Pick one to focus on. For example, if you’re exhausted, see if setting an earlier bedtime or having a wind down routine would benefit you in getting more rest. Rest is one of the greatest things your soul can consume.
  2. Set a time of day you can start to give yourself 30-60 minutes designated just for you. Gradually build up to that time but set aside time where you get to do anything you want. During this time, focus on self care. This is not the time to clean the toilets. This is your time to sit and stare at a wall if you want to.
  3. Give yourself space to feel the feels. For instance, you have feelings and experiences every day. Give yourself some time to check in and see what you’re feeling and if anything needs to get released, i.e. through a journal, through a walk/run or through calling a trusted friend. Name your feelings and know that it’s ok to feel what you need to feel.
  4. In addition, learn to say NO. Boundaries are essential to feeding your soul. Without those, you will end up bitter and resentful and exhausted. Remember, it’s not your job to make everyone happy. Let the people in your life be responsible for themselves and you focus on taking care of you.
  5. Stop worrying what other people think of you. I love Brene Brown’s tool for this. She recommends getting a sticky note and putting the names of 2-3 people that really matter what they think of you on that sticky note. These names should be of people that are safe and have your back. They are trusted and love you. Then, when you start to worry about what someone thinks, ask yourself if they are on your list. If not, let it go!
  6. Create a spa day for yourself, whether that is a scheduled massage or an at home facial. Put on the music, light the candles and relax.
  7. Think about your quiet time and see if meditation would benefit your soul. Give it a try and notice how it feels. I love the app called Insight Timer. It has about 65,000 free meditations you can try.
  8. Listening to music is truly food for the soul  Music has been known to have a powerful effect on the mind, body and spirit. Whether it’s dance music you get to boogie to or it’s soft and relaxing, music will nourish you and lift you up.
  9. Find something that makes you laugh. When was the last time you laughed? Laughter is also medicine to the soul. A comedy, a meme, or a joke. Anything that gets a good belly laugh going is incredible for your soul.
  10. Lastly, feeding your soul can be achieved through play. When was the last time you played? Whether that is frolicking in the snow or playing a card game with your spouse or kids? Get out the board games and have some fun. Play a little and notice how your soul responds.

What are some ways you nurture and feed your soul?

In short, there are so many ways to feed your soul. Many more than what I can list here. You can subtract or add to this list and I encourage you to keep exploring ways that nurture yourself.

In conclusion, the hunger of your soul is just as important as the hunger of your body. One of the greatest things about feeding your soul is that you won’t need to avoid, distract or use food to manage stress, emotions, and everyday life.

Feeding your soul is just as important as feeding your body. My hope is that you can be more aware, notice your soul’s hunger, and start feeding yourself in ways that really nurtures and uplifts yourself. Above all, you deserve it.

Lesley Goth, PsyD has created the Women’s Sustainable Weight Loss Intensive. She helps women leave the diet mentality, learn mindfulness, and get to the underlying emotions that create their ongoing weight loss struggles. To contact Lesley or find out more about her intensive, click here.