We all know about finding comfort in food when we have the blues, a down day, or a need to protect ourselves from bigger hurts.

But when the struggle is with food or relationships or money, the real culprit may be that we haven’t addressed our emotional hunger, according to psychologist Dr. Robin Smith.

“Worrying is like cancer—it’s something that eats away at optimism,” Smith told “And it becomes this whole world of pessimism and clouds that are just hanging and looming.”

Many people find themselves in financial debt, for example, or struggling with overeating because they believe things or food will satisfy their hunger for approval.

Smith, a noted TV personality and author of “Lies At The Altar – The Truth About Great Marriages” and “Inspirational Vitamins, A Guide To Personal Empowerment,” has said in numerous interviews and articles and her books, that the key is to learn how to recognize the triggers that spark unhealthy behaviors.

She said it is important to learn how to control the emotions that lead to the bad habits; learn how to express your concerns and fears in a healthy way; consult with a professional, whether it’s a money manager or a health professional, to get advice on coping mechanisms, and don’t expect an immediate fix. It takes time to change a habit, just as it took time to develop the behavior in the first place.

In “Lies At The Altar,” for example, Smith said many couples have “unspoken needs, unasked questions, outrageous expectations, and hidden agendas that often linger beneath the surface of the wedding vows and later cause power struggles, suffering, feelings of hopelessness and failure in marriages.”

“Inspirational Vitamins” provides a list of tips to help awaken people to their full potential.

“…Awakening is about involving yourself fully in the game, in the ebb and flow of your life,” Smith wrote. “If you have been hibernating, right now may be a good time to emerge from your cave.”

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