TIP #3 – Identify Healthy Outlets For Your Emotions
In our society where chips and candy are accessible on every corner, food can easily turn into a coping skill for negative emotions. “Numbing out” emotions, such as anxiety, with food is a temporary fix, with physical ramifications. Food may temporarily remove feelings of anxiety, but after the food is gone the stressful stimulus still remains along with feelings of guilt and shame associated with mindless eating. Finding ways to experience negative emotions with a response other than eating will help you cope with the emotion in a positive way and experience lasting relieve.
Make a list of positive activities that you can do when you feel negative emotions. Examples include, deep breathing/meditation, calling a friend, going on a walk, playing with stress ball or silly putty, knitting, playing Sudoku or crossword puzzles, or reading a book.
The more you practice using positive behaviors, the less food will become your “go to” response.