Finding comfort in food is natural and understandable.
We humans use food to symbolize our love and care for one another.
We offer food in times of trouble, especially when we struggle with finding any other way to help and show we care.
We use food to symbolize happiness and celebration, too!
Food offers a sense of sharing, connection and belonging.
Food is meant to be enjoyed! Great pride, joy and love can go into the creation of so many meals we share.
No wonder we see it as a comfort!
Over the course of our life, we have learned to associate food with comfort.
We store all the comforting memories of food being used to celebrate or soothe.
When it comes to a certain part of our brain, the most primitive part, that association gets taken too far, and those memories become misused and overused.
When you find yourself reaching for those symbolic foods when there isn't friends or family gathering around you (that rich, creamy, heavy dinner dish or a particular type of cake, ice cream or chocolate)......you are more than likely stressed, anxious, or bored.
As far as your innate, ancient biology is concerned, those three things (stressed/anxious/bored) scream: UNSAFE.