6 Ways to Reduce Stress Without Food

December 17, 2012

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You’re knee-deep in work and can feel tension building in your shoulders. One word sums up how you feel: stressed! Next time your nerves are on edge and you feel like reaching for food to soothe your ruffled feathers, try calming down with one of these stress busters:

Yoga: The gentle stretches, deep breathing, and mind-cleansing powers of yoga are a great way to relax and refocus without turning to food. Sign up for a yoga class after work to take off the edge. When tension runs high midday, turn your work station into a yoga station to give your mind and body a 15-minute break. Try searching “yoga poses for stress” to create your own mini session. The whole office will want to join in!

Journal: Pull out pen and paper, and write your stress away. Putting your feelings into words can help you move forward. As you write, don’t censor yourself or worry about grammar. It’s important to just let it all out so you can turn the page and leave the stress behind.

Play a Game: Take your mind off your troubles by playing a hand of cards, a board game, or even an interactive video game. It’s a great way to burn some steam, and the more you focus on the game, the less you will focus on stressors that keep you up at night.

Visualize Whirled Peas: If a specific situation is causing angst, spend some time visualizing yourself achieving your goals. If your mind drifts to negative thoughts, say a mental goodbye, and refocus on the possible positive outcomes.

Turn on Some Tunes: Studies show listening to classical music when stress is high can reduce anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure. If you just want to turn that frown upside down, upbeat, pop music will do the trick.

Take a Break: Sometimes when your to-do list is too long, the best thing to do is to take a short break. Consider taking a brisk walk, calling a friend, spending some time doing a hobby you enjoy, or just taking a few deep breaths. You’ll return to your work with a clearer mind and feel ready to tackle the remainder of your day.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss

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