Do you find yourself snacking to deal with stress or boredom? Friend, you are not alone! Our modern society creates the perfect storm for people to be overfed and undernourished. We are chronically stressed, deprived of nature, creatively suppressed, and have constant access to highly addictive foods. When you think about it that way, is it any surprise that we end up over eating? 😳
Eating a nutritious diet is a great help in curbing cravings, but are we starving in other ways? I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic since we studied it in my Health Coaching school:
“Nourishment isn’t just about food. Relationships, spirituality, creativity, and nature all feed our souls and affect our health.”
As Captain Obvious as this may sound, it is often overlooked. We can obsess about the tangible nutrition part of nourishment, and still be left searching for something to fill a nagging emptiness. You see, it’s never JUST about the food.
Personally, I’m trying to shift my nourishment focus to things besides avocados and smoothies. And let’s face it, besides Late July tortilla chips. 🤦♀️
TIP: When experiencing a craving, take a moment to ask yourself what you really need right now.
For instance, I may really want a bag of Mild Green Mojo chips. And now that I’m thinking about them I really do! 🤣 Could it be that I am just stressed out? Maybe getting outside or doing some art with my kids would be just what the doctor ordered.
If you’re not sure what you need but you’re pretty sure it’s not really a pint of Haagen Daaz 😉, here are some other things you can try:
Getting thoughts out on paper (or computer screen) is so therapeutic. Sometimes it’s just what we need to calm all the swirling thoughts that lead to stress eating. Not sure what to write about? Start with listing all the things you are grateful for right now. It is impossible to be anxious about the future when you are focused on gratitude. It’s a much healthier way to curb anxiety than comfort food, alcohol, or other numbing practices.
#2 Listening to music:
Scientists have found that listening to “peak emotional moments” in music activates parts of the brain involved in reward, motivation, arousal and emotion. Subsequently they have found these moments of musical joy actually release the neurotransmitter dopamine. And we all love a healthy dopamine fix, don’t we? So by all means, bypass the snack cupboard and turn on some music! 😉
#3 Physical Activity:
We all know that getting our blood pumping makes us feel good. It’s not just our imagination, exercise actually may help our bodies deal with the stress response. You could even kill two birds with one stone and dance to that music you’re playing. 🕺 Or if possible, go outside for a walk and breathe in some fresh air. Nature is a vital nutrient that many of us are severely deprived of.
#4 Connecting with Another Person.
Social support and interaction are so important for our overall health. Even more so with the phenomenon of social media, we are constantly bombarded with information while often severing ourselves from true, meaningful human connection. Sometimes that is really the thing we are starving for. Why not hit tip #3 and #4 by getting a buddy to go for a walk with you? A long walk goes so quickly when you’re deep in a great conversation.👌 Or #callyourmom
#5 Creating Something:
Have you ever gotten so lost in a project you were enjoying that you were annoyed when it was time to make dinner? Give yourself permission to delve into your own creativity. Once you’re in the zone, you won’t even think of eating out of boredom! Just be sure to quit in time to prepare something healthy for dinner, okay? ☺
Whatever you choose, truly connect with your inner voice. Only you know what you need to feel full.
Of course sometimes we know what we need and just can’t get it at the moment. We can’t always drop everything and say “I’m going to go paint now!” It would be nice though, wouldn’t it? 😜 Here’s a bonus tip for those times when you’re craving something but need to power through: our sense of smell also feeds the soul. 💖 I love using essential oils to put myself in a fun, creative mood when I am feeling stuck. I am obsessed with Neroli right now for flipping that happy switch! (You can find more about where I get my Neroli here.)
Of course, these tips work for getting your mind off of other cravings too. So, tell me what calorie free indulgences feed YOUR soul?
Until next time,