Who among us hasn’t raided the fridge, stuffing anything in sight down the hatch after a bad day at work, when you break up with your boyfriend or your mom calls wondering when she’s getting grandkids? Whatever the situation, stress eating is pretty common. After all, who doesn’t feel better after a giant chocolate bar for dinner? The problem is that too much stress eating can lead to weight gain, which translates to tons of health problems, including heart disease, cancer and joint pain. Instead of pigging out, try some of these easy steps for controlling stress without hogging out.
1. Gripe to Your Best Friend
That’s what she’s there for, right? No one else is going to sit down and really listen to you gripe and complain about what’s going wrong in your life. And unlike food, she can calm you down and remind you why your life is so fabulous, even when it doesn’t feel like it. So instead of eating a whole bag of Doritos, grab your iPhone and dial up your bestie.
2. Window Shop
Window shopping serves two purposes when your mega stressed. It gives you a physical outlet that lets you burn off some of the adrenaline that being worked up causes and it distracts you from the stress that’s ruining your day. Is your cubicle mate smacking her bum and humming under her breath? Take your lunch early and cruise the mall for an hour dreaming of what you’ll buy with your next bonus check. Feel better?
3. Play Tug of War
With your dog, that is. Again, this is a physical way to work through stress that keeps you from grabbing the closest king size Snickers bar. Many studies have also been done proving the anti-stress benefits of interacting with an animal. If you’re not up for tug of war, walk your dog around the block or simply snuggle up and watch television together. The closeness is great for stress too.
4. Watch Dumb and Dumber
Who doesn’t laugh the whole time this movie plays? It’s full of hilarity, which is just what the doctor ordered when you’re stressed out. Seriously. Medical experts worldwide tout the benefits of laughing when you’re under stress. Cue up Jim Carrey and get ready to feel better in no time! Any comedy will work in this case.
5. Fill the Tub with Lavender Scented Bubbles
Why? Because lavender is a scent backed by research as a way to relax your body and calm your mind. Sound good? Use lavender scented bubble bath and you get a double stress reducing whammy. Soaking in a tub of warm water soothes your soul and lets you work through stressful situations. End the day like this and getting to sleep tonight will be so much easier.
6. Have a Drink
But not a cocktail. Alcohol might numb the pain right now, but won’t help in the long run. Despite the way you can relax with a glass of wine, experts encourage you to try hot tea instead. Preparing hot tea is a ritual in itself and is one that can calm your body and refocus your mind. Try chamomile, which is proven to be relaxing.
7. Snuggle down in Your Bed
Sometimes, the only answer to a stressful day is just to finish it as soon as possible. Who cares if it’s 6:30? When you can’t take any more, don’t! Just go to bed. Put on some cozy pajamas, turn on the white noise machine and burrow down in your warm bed. In no time you are going to be snoozing and tomorrow will look so much better when you get up.
Does feeling stressed drive you to the fridge? You aren’t alone! It definitely takes some practice to work through the issue and make a habit of turning to alternative ways of dealing with stress. Which of these methods are you planning to try today?