In this article, we’ll be taking a look at boredom and stress; two states that can catalyze some bigtime roadblocks to a healthy body and a healthy mind.

Most of us experience boredom and stress regularly, but few of us are aware or appreciative of the degree of our tendency to self-soothe or self stimulate with food. For most of us, boredom and stress create toxic food atmospheres that drive us to eat, even in the absence of true hunger!

Beat Boredom

For most people, the drive to eat arises out of boredom. Tedious office work, time spent brainlessly sitting at a desk, or time spent at home on the couch provides long, boring stretches of time where you look for something - anything! - to pass the time and give your brain a little added “ooh!”.

Food is inherently pleasurable, but non stop snacking (even just a bite here and there) is a strong catalyst for weight gain and stops weight loss. This week if you find yourself experiencing the urge to nibble outside of mealtime, replace your snack habit with one of the following activities. Pick the same activity each time, as consistency is key in forming a new habit.

Boredom Busters

  • - Browse instagram or pinterest
  • - Read a novel or magazine for 5-10 minutes to redirect your attention
  • - Stand up, stretch, and walk around the office or exterior of the house
  • - Stand up and do a few squats or burpees

Squash Stress

Stress is tricky. It sneaks in even when there’s nothing particular causing your stress at that particular moment. The general wear and tear of life can be fatiguing. If you don’t take time to mentally recharge, you may find yourself breaking down, mentally and physically. Whether you’re experiencing acute or chronic stress, use one of these strategies to prevent a binge or other poor eating behavior.

Soothe Stress

  • - Step away, find a quiet space, sit and breathe evenly and quietly for three minutes with your eyes closed (set a timer)
  • - Create a relaxing music playlist, listen for 5-10 minutes when stress arises
  • - Create a page or board of soothing or inspirational photos and phrases. Post the board on a wall, or keep it in your bag, journal, or online pinboard to reflect on when you feel stress beginning to bubble!