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Ho' oponopono for Emotional Eating

Healthy nutrition and exercise, while important to help you release weight, aren’t enough to control those forces within that cause emotional eating. This is because emotional eating isn’t only about making peace with food and your body.

It’s about making peace with your feelings.

All addictions stem from a difficulty experiencing and moving through painful feelings. While there are differing opinions about whether you can be physically addicted to certain foods, it’s generally accepted that emotional eating reflects a psychological addiction. Food becomes the means to avoid, deny or otherwise cope with painful emotions.

When you experience a trigger that causes you to turn to food, chances are that trigger brought to the surface deeper feelings that already were inside you. For example, after a tense phone call with a family member  you calm your anger with a heaping bowl of ice cream. While the phone call itself may have been difficult, it most likely brought to the surface other times you experienced similar anger. Otherwise, you would let it go more easily.

In this example, you will continue to be easily triggered, and perhaps keep turning to food for comfort, until the energy of anger is released from inside you.

When you release painful emotions at their deepest level, external triggers in your life no longer have power over you.

A Spiritual Approach

The Hawaiian problem solving and healing practice of Ho’ oponopono is a process of forgiveness and release. It helps you connect with your inner Divinity. By releasing the heaviness of toxic emotions you more easily hear Divine inspiration guiding you to your highest good. When used for emotional eating, it helps ground and calm you. It also helps release the deeper roots of your overwhelming feelings that trigger you to turn to food.

Your Inner Child

From a psychological perspective, subconscious memories of painful childhood experiences continue to be activated today unless they are resolved and released. Your inner child holds the memories of these past painful experiences. With emotional eating, the intense urge to eat reflects the pain of your inner child calling out for your love and attention. Ho’ oponopono helps neutralize and release those painful energies carried by your inner child.

Four Simple Phrases

The basic Ho’ oponopono process uses four beautiful phrases. These words have a high energetic vibration. They are spiritually uplifting and calming. Direct these words to your inner child to offer comfort for painful feelings held within. By speaking to your inner child, you’re also communicating to the Divine within you.

        “I’m sorry.
        “Please forgive me.
        “I love you.
        “Thank you.”

Ho’ oponopono and Emotional Eating

You can use the Ho’oponopono process as a stress management tool when you feel triggered to overeat.  It also serves to neutralize and release painful emotions at their deepest level.

Simply repeat the four phrases above or use the following exercise which adapts the process to emotional eating. Or, use them in combination.

  • Begin by focusing on your breathing.
  • Then, silently direct these words to your inner child who is carrying the weight of your painful emotions:

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were carrying so much pain.”
“Please forgive me for whatever is going on inside of me that is causing me to overeat.” (or, “to feel this way.”)
“I love you.”
“Thank you for being here for me.”

  • Repeat as often as necessary until you experience a sense of relief or inner peace.

You can use this process in several ways:

  • Repeat the four phrases as a calming mantra throughout the day.
  • Use either version to soothe and ground yourself when overwhelmed and about to use food to cope.
  • If you are upset with yourself for overeating, use this to help release any guilt and shame.

The Ho’ oponopono process offers a spiritually meaningful tool to release negative energies of painful emotions at a very deep level. Practice this regularly and you’ll discover an inner peace that not only helps you with emotional eating and releasing weight, but with all areas of your life as well.

How do you think Ho’ oponopono can help you in your weight release journey?
Please post your comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

12 Responses

    1. You’re welcome, Nancy!
      I’m so pleased this resonates with you. I encourage you to use it and learn more about this beautiful process. Thank you for your comment. My best, Diane

  1. Thank you, Diane. I always knew my inner child is within me but, I never talk to her. I cried the first time I did talk to her and I felt I really connected with her. I know the “Ho” oponopono is really going to help. I’ve written down the verses and will repeat them daily, especially when I feel weak and about to give in.
    Thank you so much!

    1. You’re very welcome, Andrea.
      Thank you for sharing your poignant experience. I’m so glad you connected with your inner child like this. So much joy enters our life when we give our inner child the love and attention she, (or he) deserves.
      Ho’oponopono is a wonderful gift. I encourage you to learn more about this elegant practice.
      Wishing you much peace and happiness.

  2. Norma

    Thank you Diane, can I use this process for my son (27)? I know he needs to release a lot of childhood painful emotions, even if he’s skeptical?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Norma,

      Thank you for your email.

      The Ho’oponopono process is based on a belief that we are responsible, on an energetic level, for whatever is going on inside of us that contribute to problems that come into our own awareness. By using the process to “clean” your own subconscious memories, you’re thereby cleaning them for others. But you must see this as your own process first. I have used this with other people in mind but recognize the problem is within me. When I clean myself, others benefit.

      I hope I’ve understood, and offered some clarification, to your question. To learn more about Ho’oponopono, I recommend the book, Zero Limits, by Joe Vitale, and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len.

      Sending you peace and love.


  3. Shiva

    It was helpful. Do you have any suggestions in using this meditation/ mantra in a mindful eating workshop?
    I am a dietitian and conduct mindful eating workshops to help with emotional eating.

    1. Hi Shiva,

      I apologize for taking so long to respond. I had been out of the country the month of February and missed your question.

      I think it’s fantastic that you’re considering using this process in an emotional eating workshop. Please feel free to email me at diane@dianepetrella.com so we can communicate more freely.


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