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Eat Mindfully to Cope with Stress

Dec 9, 2011 1:03:28 PM / by staff

When faced with stressful or challenging situations, you may find yourself reaching for favorite comfort foods. Loaded with calories and fat, junk foods attempt to fulfill the emotional cravings that many of us feel during times of stress. After indulging in these foods, however, your stress level remains high and your physical body feels lethargic and bloated. Junk food cannot meet your desire for emotional relief, psychological satisfaction or physical pleasure. Programs that feature stress management in Rochester can provide you with a variety of mindful approaches for coping with stress.

Rather than consuming calories for emotional satisfaction, consider eating with culinary mindfulness. As an alternative to shoveling tasteless food into your mouth, mindfully analyze every bite. Choose local, whole foods that offer richer, more delicious flavors. With each morsel, you appreciate the food’s flavor, texture, color and nutritional benefits.

Before eating, pause and discern if you are truly hungry. Eating to meet an emotional need always results in consuming unhealthy choices and overeating. With mindful eating, you slowly savor each bite and actually taste the food. Upon satisfaction, you will likely feel good about your choices and your body.

When faced with stressful situations, seek psychologically fulfilling relationships rather than food. Using fresh ingredients, prepare a delicious meal with a friend. Turn off the television and talk with your family. Purchase food from local produce stands or farmers’ markets, and interact with the growers and butchers who produce your food.

Mindful eating creates a habit where food serves as fuel rather than an emotional therapist. Begin with fresh, local foods for the most flavorful bites. Listen to your body, and stop eating when you feel full. Saturate your meals with conversation, laughter and friends who offer support and understanding. If you are unable to reduce emotional eating, you may consider consulting with a mental health professional that can focus on the emotional and behavioral urges that lead to stress eating. Alternative therapies that have been proven effective in reducing emotional eating include EFT, EMDR, and use of the EmWave Stress Reliever. These therapies can help you reduce negative eating patterns, and further your efforts to cope with stress by exercising culinary mindfulness, and feel healthier physically and emotionally.

Tags: Behavioral Health, Healthy Living, Lifestyle and Behavior

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