Find Comfort Without Using Food: Learn To Self-Soothe

Find Comfort Without Using Food: Learn To Self-Soothe

People often turn to food to comfort themselves. Food eases anxiety, provides a feeling of warmth inside our bodies, fills us up and can distract us from our pain and the difficulties of every day life.

There are many reasons that people overeat, eat compulsively, and/or binge. In order to heal and change, you must address both your mind and body. If you identify with using food for comfort, the following tips may help you soothe yourself, mentally and physically, in other ways:

1. Take a hot shower or bath: Warm water fills the need we all have for touch. While in the shower or bath (I recommend bath if possible), pay attention to the warm water on your skin; pay attention to the steamy air surrounding you. What do you notice? What do you feel on your skin and in your body? Immerse yourself in the experience. This activity will help you be present and attends to the mind-body connection.

2. Drink tea (or other hot beverages): Drinking something warm feels nurturing to your body and mind. Notice what it feels like in your body as the warm liquid goes through you. Breathe in the aroma; savor it. Give yourself the time and space to enjoy the experience. Let it comfort you.

3. Get a pet: If at all possible, get yourself a pet. I prefer dogs, though I have a cat named Potato who I absolutely adore. When you start to feel the need for comfort, reach out to your pet; hug him or her; pet him or her; cry to him or her. The physical act of petting an animal is soothing.

4. Aromatherapy: Get aromatherapy oils (make sure they are organic and healthy as there are some oils that can be harmful, especially if you have heart problems. I am not a medical doctor so please do not mistake what is written in my blog as medical advice). These can get you out of the craving state of mind and bring you to the present moment, so that you can try to make the decision not to overeat or binge and so on. Some of these aromas can be very enjoyable! Imagine yourself being wherever the scent takes you in your mind. You may want to get perfume if you are a woman, or cologne if you are a man (or, vice versa if you prefer…no gender specificities here). I personally enjoy perfume and often drink in the aromas from my wrists. It brings me a lot of comfort and pleasure.

Try to find something that brings you mental and physical comfort and enjoyment. The trick is to bring your body into the experience by paying attention to the sensations you feel inside, during each activity.

The above tips are not a solution to weight problems, binge eating, emotional eating, feeling out of control and other food related concerns. However, they are helpful and may give you what you need to get through tough times as you work on healing your deeper wounds.

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