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

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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