Jun 152010

Far too often people cope with stress by reaching for a piece of candy or a cookie. Others can’t stop at one or two and end up eating the whole bag or box. Hardly ever are the foods people reach for to calm themselves healthy (when was the last time you reached for a carrot stick when your boss chewed you out?) Usually, people grab items loaded with salt, sugar and/or fat. Once the thrill of the binge ends, the net result is guilt and low self esteem. If this sounds all too familiar, below are some suggestions for how to reduce your stress level without expanding your waistline.

The first step is to put a halt to using food as a stress reliever. When you need to relax, try some of these other tools and stay clear of the refrigerator until you feel calm.

1 – Step outside for a long walk, preferably someplace quiet where you can feel in-tune with nature.

2 – Slip into a warm bath. Make it even better by pouring in some of your favorite bath oil, reading a favorite book or listening to music.

3 – Put on your gardening gloves. Touching the earth and plants can be very soothing.

4 -Write down your thoughts without worrying about grammar or punctuation or writing it so someone else would want to read it. Sometimes just unloading what’s on your mind without having to censor it can do wonders for your stress.

5 – Engage in a favorite hobby. Whether you like quilting, knitting, painting or working with clay, just indulge in some quality “me” time.

Adopting a different strategy to cope with stress may be difficult for awhile. The sacrifice will be well worth the effort, though. Once you get in the habit of using non-food methods to decompress at the end of the day, you will feel more relaxed than you ever did before. Not to mention that you will feel much more in control of your weight and your life.

2 Responses to “Stop Using Food as a Stress Reliever!”

  1. cheryl Palen says:

    A bike/swim or run (or yoga session)- does wonders also!

  2. Susan Dawson-Cook says:

    Cheryl,
    I totally agree. I find swimming especially relaxing. Having my head underwater and all sounds and distractions silenced helps me to reboot.

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