It appears that many of us use food as a way to relax ourselves - not an effective long term strategy! I checked for additional ideas and found this book by Susan Albers "50 ways to soothe yourself without food"
The author starts out with a short introduction to reasons why we find eating as a very soothing activity. Common reasons include bio-chemical changes in the body, boredom and habit. Donuts & chocolate - do I need to say more? Donuts are loaded with sugar and fat - they give you a boost of energy. Chocolate increases some mood enhancing chemicals in our brain.
Her five major categories of relaxation are:
(1) Meditation and mindfulness - using breathing and other self-focus techniques to relax without the need for food.
(2) Focus on your thoughts and change them - Writing your journal can help you examine your thoughts and focus on positive and self-affirming thoughts. Day-dreaming and focusing and focusing on your worries may also guide your mind and thoughts from food.
(3) Relax your body with exercise, yoga or a massage. While a massage from a professional can be expensive, consider bribing your spouse or significant other to give you a neck or shoulder rub.
(4) Use distractions - watching a funny movie, work on your favorite crafts or listening to relaxing music - all help you distract from eating.
(5) Connect with your family and friends - a great way to relax is to go for a walk with your spouse or best friend. A phone call or chat with someone by facebook or skype also can help you de-stress rapidly.
What are some of your favorite methods to destress?
a guided finger meditation
Engage your senses with soothing music, guided imagery and a labyrinth tracing activity which leverages the power of touch. Click the album cover to learn more.