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Five Ways to “Get Out of Your Head” With Out Using Food

I am a very curious person I am forever looking to learn and grow and if there is anything that I know for sure  it’s that I have way more questions than I do answers!

The problem is that along with my curious self comes thinking – A LOT of thinking – and often times a bit too much thinking.

I can think myself crazy if I’m not careful.

The old Dani used to try to escape the thoughts by eating and snacking her way around them but the problem was that when the snacks were gone the thoughts were still there.

So whenever I catch myself getting a little too in my head these days I try to find ways to get out my thoughts and back into my feelings without using food. Ultimately I try to find a way to get present.

These are the five tricks that work best for me:

1. Journaling. Often times I just need to do a brain dump! I need to get the thoughts out of my head and onto some paper in order to just get clear. Once my brain feels empty, I always feel better. *You could also do this over the phone with a really good, patient, loving friend. I am very grateful to have a solid handful of amazing women in my life.

2. Connect with nature. This works. Whether it’s going to a park, on a hike, or taking a stroll by the ocean, nature seems to have this magical power of re-grounding me. It’s as though Mother Nature pushes my reset button and all the crazy simply melts away.

3. Find some fun. Stress and fun simply cannot coexist (at least not in my experience) so I try to get out and do something that is fun for me. This could be as simple as listening to music, strolling through a farmers market, or meeting up with a friend. It gets me out of crazy and into enjoyment (a place I much prefer).

4. Workout hard. This would be something along the line of stairs or hills or intervals. Something that takes so much mental focus just to get through it that I couldn’t think of something else even if I wanted to! I always feel clear, clear, clear after a HARD workout!

5.  Have one of these:

Katie Poolside Pink.jpg

I know it may seem counter intuitive but there is nothing that makes crazy disappear faster then getting onto the floor and entering Katie’s world. She makes the bottom of the garbage can fun and exciting and man; the joy she can get from a bag of plastic spoons never fails to impress me. She has an uncanny ability to bring me into the present moment without even trying.  I know that all you Moms out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

Choosing any of these tricks over a box of cereal or container of peanut butter takes awareness.  This is what probably took me the longest to learn (and it’s something I still practice daily!).  I had to give myself permission to be in the process, which often meant simply being aware of me snacking to escape with out judgment all while I was in the act of doing it!

It is a learning process and I get better at it everyday:).

So tell me… Do you ever use food to escape a thought or a feeling?  What helps you say, “thanks but no thanks” to crazy?  Do you have any tricks that you use to get out of your head without using food?

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3 Responses to “Five Ways to “Get Out of Your Head” With Out Using Food”

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    Sogo — July 16, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    Great ideas, it helps to know I am not the only one that is a crazy thinker. I never realized that the thinking could cause eating crazies as well. Thanks for the insight…..

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    Brenda — July 19, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

    Just found your site and have been exploring. This is a great post. Using food for the wrong reasons is something I struggle with every day. I also love to cook and certainly appreciate the joy and fun that food can bring when used for the RIGHT reasons (entertaining, meals, hunger, etc.) Thanks for posting this. Sometimes it helps me to cook a meal for my husband if only for the focus of a task that snacking mindlessly might otherwise provide. I look forward to trying some of your recipes!

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    dani — July 23, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

    Sogo – I too was surprised when I first began to learn how much ou thoughts and belief systems affect our food choices! So interesting!

    Brenda – Thanks for stopping by! I think having the awareness around the behavior is often the biggest step:). Thanks for sharing:)

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