50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers

Book: 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers Read Free Book Online
Authors: Susan Albers
completely true. Words like “always” and “never” overstate the facts. Nonzebra thinking is less extreme and often more accurately describes the situation. For example, it’s probably true that you engage in stress eating sometimes, rather than always. The more polarized you become in your thinking, the more extreme your reaction may be.
    Emotional eaters tend to be very good at zebra thinking. They feel that they either must eat just right or else all of their eating is completely wrong. This way of thinking frequently happens automatically, and sometimes it isn’t in the emotional eater’s awareness. It’s important to be aware of your own zebra thinking. This mind-set can talk you into overeating or into giving up completely. Zebra thinking doesn’t see the difference between a little emotional eating and a lot. And there is a big difference!
    ~self-soothing technique~
    Letting Go of Zebra Thinking
    Your task is to break out of old ways of black-and-white thinking. Here are some tips for actively choosing more soothing and realistic thoughts.
Watch for trigger words. This includes absolute terms like “always,” “never,” “ever,” “perfect,” “disaster,” and “impossible.” If you hear yourself saying these words, try to counter them with a less extreme term, like “sometimes,” “occasionally,” “good enough” and so on. In the context of eating, typically these words form sentences like “I’m a complete failure,” “I’ve totally ruined everything,” and “I will never be able to stop stress eating.” Instead, focus on a more realistic statement, such as “I am often able to soothe myself with activities other than eating.”
Set up realistic expectations. Feeling overwhelmed is often partly due to unrealistic goals that you can’t possibly achieve. Emotional eaters are notorious for setting themselves up for failure. Statements like “I will eat only healthy foods tomorrow,” or “I will never eat another donut” are zebra statements. You have to give yourself some leeway that you might slip up here and there.
The two-minute rule. Emotional eaters often feel that they must do things perfectly or they give up. They think they’ll do half an hour of exercise or none at all. Instead, whatever it is, commit to trying it out for just two minutes. For example, try just two minutes of a self-soothing technique. See what happens.

5. soothing sensations to calm and relax the body
    Much of stress eating is really about finding a way to unwind and relax. Chewing a hamburger or licking an ice cream cone is relaxing and pleasurable to the body. The good news is that there are a number of healthy ways to soothe your nerves and body that have nothing to do with eating. In this chapter, your task will be to try out new ways to relax. An increased awareness of your body helps you to take better care of yourself. Fortunately, your body is one of the best natural tools you have to cope with the rush and stressfulness of everyday life. There are lots of healthy ways to calm your body. In this chapter, you will learn about relaxation techniques, exercise, yoga, and ways to pamper your senses. Soothing your body can train your mind to become less reactive to stress.
stress and your body
    Your body often takes the brunt of stress and stress eating. People who are chronically stressed often exhibit the evidence. They tend to catch more colds due to their lower immunity, and they get gray hair earlier in life. Feeling overwhelmed and overburdened causes people to either lose or gain a lot of weight. Moreover, when you are living with chronic stress, your body holds on to weight by storing it in your belly region. The impact of stress on your body makes a strong case for finding healthy ways to soothe yourself rather than potentially harming yourself with emotional eating.
    Let’s take a brief look at what stress does to your body. In general, when you experience a threat or danger, the HPA

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