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Letting it go -- how to stop mindless eating.

The skill of "letting go" is a step toward preventing stress and mindless eating.  

It’s hard to let things go—think about how difficult it is to throw away your favorite, old, comfy sweater even though it has a hole in it.  Or, clinging to a relationship or a friendship that isn’t working anymore (including your current relationship with food!). 

Emotionally holding on with all of your might or trying to make it the way you think it “should be” rather than way it is creates a lot of suffering that evolves into stress eating. 

Ways to Let Go:

Feel it

We often squash down feelings with foods before it really comes to the surface—not wanting to feel the stress.  Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel.  Allow yourself to sit (or wallow!) in it for as long as you need.

Place it: 

If something stressful has a hold on you, imagine a box that says “expectations” or “should.” When your mind gets caught up in stressing about it, visualize putting it in the box and placing it at the top of the closet.

Aim it:

Our relationship with food gives us lots of opportunities to practice letting go—particularly letting go of the need to be in perfect control.  Aim to be in charge rather than in control.  If you feel like stress eating is hard to stop, focus on something you do feel that you have control over (doing laundry, a task at work).  Parents may know the familiar feeling of being unable to control their kids but they can take charge of the situation, putting down limits. 

Channel it:  

Replace the emotional chatter in your head (I’m such a failure who can’t stop stress eating) with facts (I make healthy food choices best in the morning etc).

Distract it:  

If you find yourself unable to let go of the feeling, distract yourself.  Mindfully point your attention onto something else.  Choose to “let go” of whatever is stressing you out (even if it is for a few moments).

Your challenge today is to mindfully let go of something

You can do this literally with food (throwing away a food you mindlessly munch on) or mentally (letting go of the urge to eat/not eat, allowing it to pass by without acting on it).  

Or, it might not be about food. 

Maybe it is choosing to let go of a frustration, hurt or a relationship that is causing you stress...and leads to stress eating.

Time to Let Go is NOW!

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