4 Ways to Self Soothe Instead of Stress Eat

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Stress eating and soothing effect of music | Tips to reduce stress eating with musicWhen we are stressed, self soothing with food is often the  go-to strategy.  And it works and it is part of normal eating.  But when we move into stress eating, it can become a way to numb out rather than soothe.

Music can offer the magic of self soothing without stress eating. It is easily available, can be changed with little effort, and is something to do immediately when stress occurs.  It can also help us identify and process feelings.

Music has a unique link to our emotions, so can be an extremely effective stress management tool.

As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions.

This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering, says Dr. Bittman, a music researcher as reported on by Jane Collingwood .

4 Ways to Self Soothe instead of Stress Eat

Caveat:  No musical talent required for effective self soothing.

  • 4-ways-2-self-soothe instead of stress eatSing it out.  By singing or shouting you are taking a deep breath, getting more oxygen to your brain and disseminating the trapped energy that stress can create.
  • Learn to play or get the old clarinet out of the closet. Pick an instrument…any instrument (remember the ukulele only has 3 strings) and take a lesson.  As you learn to play an instrument you are creating new neural pathways in your brain and it requires focus which is a mindfulness tool.
  • Listen to classical music.  Even if you are a heavy rock fan, experiment with how listening to classical music can affect your mood.  Learn what kinds of music or specific songs are an energy maker for you.
  • Use music with meditation.  The soothing power of music is well known when it comes to relaxation, think the massage table or the yoga studio.  You can turn on relaxing music as the food calls out to you or the stress increases.

What kind of music can help you self soothe?


5 responses to “4 Ways to Self Soothe Instead of Stress Eat”

  1. I have a CD of music that is often played at my yoga studio. The moment I stick it into my car’s CD player, a cloud of serenity overwhelms me. Listening to that CD reminds me to breathe in calm, breathe out worry.

    It really helps me with my transition between leaving work and going home for the day.

  2. […] 4 Ways to Self-Soothe Instead of Stress Eat. […]

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  4. […] stress goes up, self care goes down. One way to implement self-care and self soothe (instead of stress eat) in stressful times is through healing touch. Touch can help you to calm, […]

  5. kirstie batcher says:

    this true

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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