When I am stressed out, I turn to food for comfort. I enjoy cooking and I enjoy eating. So it turns out that stress eating is something that I do plenty of. Its actually pretty easy to overeat when you like cooking. For me, I cook to relieve some stress. Here’s my problem, I taste the food as I prepare it. You kind of have to do that, but I do it more than I should. And then I eat the food.
So if you have the same problem as me, or if you are just straight up eating to relieve stress, you need to substitute that behavior with other behaviors so that you still fill the stress hole in your life, but so that you don’t continue eating as that can be counterproductive to your weight loss goals.
Here are a few things that you can try to eliminate stress eating from your life.
Take a walk or exercise
This is a great option if you are trying to lose weight. Not only are you eliminating a bad behavior, you are adding a behavior that is useful. This is a great way to add a little bit of pep to your weight loss program.
Also exercising releases endorphins and such which means that you are in a better position to deal with whatever is stressing you out. So go on, eliminate the stress eating in your life with exercise.
Sometimes you just need to get something out of your system. The problem is that we all carry a lot of things in our heads. I call it mental clutter. There are tons of ways of dealing with this. You can for instance, put together a number of systems in your life to deal with stuff. These systems help you deal with the open loops in your life so they don’t take up mental bandwidth and help to keep you relatively stress free.
Another way of dealing with mental clutter is to just throw it out to the curb. This is what journaling is all about. The idea is that you just need to brain dump everything that is going on into something that is not your brain. If it lives somewhere else, that is where it lives. It can’t take up mental bandwidth if it isn’t in your head, but in a journal.
Maybe when you feel the urge to stress eat, break out the ‘ole journal and the pen. Start writing away. It doesn’t matter much what you write, as long as you get whatever is bugging you out.
Take a Nap
Sometimes, you just need to take a nap. A lot of stress comes from not getting enough sleep. That seems to be the thing that gets me grumpy and stressed. Every time I miss some sleep, every thing bugs me and stresses me out.
Carve out some time to take a nap. You might even want to think about putting it on your schedule for the day.
You’d be amazed at how much a small cat nap will do to help you out reduce your stress levels. Napping might even cause you to dream and be more creative. It may just help you deal with your problems that are stressing you out the most, go ahead, give it a try.