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Nutrition Tip #5: Stress-Triggered Eating & What to Do About It

Posted Oct 18 2008 4:08pm

As I mentioned before, I'd recently gained a minor amount of weight, 2.8 pounds total (a recent gain of 2.4 pounds on 11/22, and a previous gain of 0.4 pounds on 11/15).

Frankly, this worries me some, as the eating was done out of stress (& not from holiday noshing), and, one of the primary reasons I gained the weight in the first place was from a series of stressful jobs. Even though I'm exercising, I worry that if my stress increases, I'm going to revert back to old habits.

So, to counteract this, I'm going to formulate a realistic plan to stomp out my worst fears. Maybe if you're facing similar problems, it'll help you as well. So here goes:

(1) If the stress starts getting overwhelming, escape momentarily & go for a run. Sometimes it's easier to think more clearly when running, since it's akin to a meditative state.
(2) If the stress is still bad after the run, talk to someone & try to work it out.
(3) If that doesn't work, try to focus on other ways to reduce the stress.

OK, that seems a bit oversimplistic. Maybe I can do better than that.

(1) Instead of doing self-destructive stuff like nail-biting & over-eating, try doing activities like meditation, t'ai chi, chi gong, or martial arts. These activities calm & focus the mind.
(2) If I'm feeling overwhelmed, I need to just let those feelings pass, and let go of the nervous emotional energy associated with these feelings, which will do nothing to solve the problem. Meditation would again help me to control these feelings.
(3) I still need to break down large goals into smaller steps. Even more important is writing down the steps to achieving the tasks ahead, which will hopefully also make them seem more manageable.

I'm going to be honest, I'm facing a lot of stress right now. Frankly, I feel off-kilter, like my world is spinning too fast & I can't keep up with it.

Ironically, only a small part of the stress is due to the holidays. I won't elaborate on the other reasons, since they are private & beyond the scope of this post, but suffice to say that I need to mitigate these feelings, or I might be facing a heap of grey hair, weight gain, & decreased health. And I know, I know: my recent worrying isn't helping the situation either.

For some reason, (which is probably due to the mounting stress I'm facing!), I can't seem to come up with more detailed, salient stress-busting steps. I just remembered that I've got a book called "Stress Busters" in the bookshelves right across from me, which I'm looking at right now as I type this. So after I go for my run, if I'm still in need of de-stressing, I'm going to look over that book for some more tips. If I find anything useful, I'll post an addenum at a later point in time.

In the meanwhile, if you've got any stress-busting tips you'd like to share, that you've personally found to be effective in reducing the stress in your life, feel free to share those tips here, by posting them in the comments section of this post.

I'm sure that many people reading this, in addition to myself, would be grateful for these types of useful tips. Everyone could probably benefit!

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