Psychology of Love: Anxiety Feeds Emotional Hunger

Psychology of Love: Anxiety Feeds Emotional Hunger

Emotional hunger is a primitive condition of pain and longing which people often act out in a desperate attempt to fill a void or emptiness. 


Image au pinterest


According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Dalai Lama said that an emotional hunger is feeding our anxiety.


Image result for dalai lama pic               Dalai Lama: “The more we are one with the rest of humanity, the better we feel.”


We have more creature comforts than ever, are better educated and fewer people are starving or dying prematurely.

In fact, many argue that now is the best time to be alive. If that’s the case, why does “everyone, kids included”, as my colleague put it, seem to suffer anxiety these days?

Here's Why You Are Enough--Even When You Don't Think So

Image au pinterest

More of us, myself included, experience it in varying debilitating degrees. It doesn’t distinguish between the haves and the have-nots.

An Australian senator Scott Ludlam took a leave of absence to deal with his anxiety and depression. Actors Emma Stone and Sarah Silverman have spoken about panic attacks while many other celebrities have discussed their struggles with anxiety.

“I’ve always been anxious, but I haven’t been the kind of anxious that makes you run 10 miles a day and make a lot of calls on your Blackberry,” Lena Dunham said this year. “I’m the kind of anxious that makes you be like, ‘I’m not going to be able to come out tonight, tomorrow night or maybe for the next 67 nights’.”

Image result for Lena dunham pic anxiety
Image pinterest

In a recently published article, the Dalai Lama attempts to address “why pain and indignation are sweeping through prosperous countries”.

He pins it largely on our disconnect with each other as well as, for many, a lack of meaning and feeling “needed”.

“Selflessness and joy are intertwined. The more we are one with the rest of humanity, the better we feel,” the Dalai Lama writes in the piece for the New York Times.


“This helps explain why pain and indignation are sweeping through prosperous countries. The problem is not a lack of material riches. It is the growing number of people who feel they are no longer useful, no longer needed, no longer one with their societies.”

He adds: “Feeling superfluous is a blow to the human spirit. It leads to social isolation and emotional pain, and creates the conditions for negative emotions to take root.”

It is an emotional hunger that is driving epidemic proportions of anxiety, the Dalai Lama insists. Thankfully, this is a hunger that we, as individuals connecting with one another and appreciating one another, together can satiate.

“What can we do to help? The first answer is not systematic. It is personal,” he writes.

“Everyone has something valuable to share. We should start each day by consciously asking ourselves, ‘What can I do today to appreciate the gifts that others offer me?’ We need to make sure that global brotherhood and oneness with others are not just abstract ideas that we profess, but personal commitments that we mindfully put into practice.”

I spoke with founder of the Happiness Institute, author and psychologist Dr Tim Sharp, on the anxious state of Australia.

Is anxiety on the rise – in children and adults – and who is suffering from it the most and why? 

If one looks at the statistics one will definitely see an increase in the diagnosis of psychological disorders, generally, and more specifically the anxiety disorders. At least some of this “increase” can be attributed to better recognition and identification, which in a strange kind of way is a good thing. By picking it up more often we can treat it in more people. So on the one hand “yes”, anxiety is on the rise; but on the other hand, more people are presenting for and accessing effective treatment.

Are we more prone to labelling/diagnosing everything these days and is this creating a problem?

Following on from the previous response, yes, I think we are more prone to diagnosing and labelling anxiety (and other psychological phenomenon). This is partly a good thing, because as previously noted it means more people seek and get help. But it can also be problematic when we “over pathologise” normal human emotions. Anxiety and stress are normal human emotions and we need to be careful that we don’t label “normal” as problematic.


Image au pinterest

What is normal/abnormal anxiety?

Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at times. At the risk of repeating myself, this is normal. It’s appropriate to experience anxiety when we’re facing a stressor, or uncertain situation – it can be helpful because anxiety protects us from engaging in risky or unsafe behaviours. But anxiety can become “abnormal” or problematic when it impacts on daily functioning. If we’re experiencing too much of it, too intensively, too often and if it impedes our ability to live and work and socialise then that’s dysfunctional.

Edgar Allen Poe - the scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls. Quote.

Image au pinterest


What are the factors contributing to it and what can we do about it?

As always, there are almost certainly numerous complex interacting factors. Some include greater awareness of mental ill-health issues and a greater willingness to talk about them. As already noted, this has pros and cons. In addition, many people are increasingly neglecting their general health, and so inadequate sleep and a lack of exercise are almost certainly playing a role. Further, a tendency for the media to propagate fear, for parents to “overprotect” their children, and a modern life in which most people focus excessively on keeping busy and spend little or no time just being, relaxing, reflecting and especially spending time in nature – all these variables are contributing to poor mental health.

Quote on anxiety: The worst feeling in the world is trying to hold back a panic attack in public.

Image Taste of Life


So what can we do? As individuals we can all take responsibility for our physical and mental health. Creating meaning in our lives, living healthy lives, meditating and practising mindfulness regularly, connecting with and spending quality time with others, focusing on what we can do in our worlds to have a positive impact and being grateful… all of these will indubitably help our health and happiness and well-being.



As parents, we can role model these behaviours and attitudes to and for our children. We can also encourage our children to engage in similar behaviours and to make, as often as possible, healthy lifestyle choices. There is no doubt that school and study is important and there is also no doubt that screen time is an unavoidable part of the world today for most young people; but we can also make sure that our younger people get involved in team sports and exercise; that they spend time outside and in nature; that they connect with friends not just online but in the “real world”; that they are allowed to make and learn from mistakes; that they eat well and enjoy adequate sleep. All of these are crucial building blocks for a healthy and successful future life.



A healthy lifestyle changes everything!

Image Alo Yoga




Image result for dalai lama pic

 Image Religion News


Also here is the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger:

8 Traits of Emotional Hunger

Image A Filipino Foodie




Anxiety help source:

Soul Food: 21 Ways to Nourish Your Body and Elevate Your Mind  [by SelfHealGo -- via #tipsographic]. More at

Image au pinterest


The Effects Of Negative Emotions On Our Health

The Effects Of Negative Emotions On Our Health Source The Mind Unleashed. Org








What are your thoughts?