Ways to React before Acting Out

 *Take a breath:

When faced with an emotional situation, before reaching for a candy bar or rich comfort food, stop and take a deep breath.  Close your eyes, take three slow, deep breaths, and take this moment to think about what you are really feeling.  Think about these feelings and use one of the strategies below to react appropriately without using food for comfort.

 Take a time out before acting out

*Get some fresh air:  Periods of high emotion can make us feel like we are closed in and this pressure may make us reach for a treat that will only temporarily relax us.  Instead, take a walk outside and get some fresh air.  Even if you just sit on a bench and close your eyes, breathe in the fresh air and look at nature around you, this can relax your mind and provide a refresher from what you may be feeling.  This refresher will help you to deal with your emotions more effectively.

 *Have a talk:    Sometimes the best way to deal with periods of high emotion is to talk with someone close to you.  Venting your emotions and talking through them can make them easier to deal with and will allow you to react before making any rash actions, such as indulging in high-fat, high-sugar foods.

 *Journal your thoughts:  If you prefer to deal with your emotions solo, try journaling your feelings so you can get them out onto paper and better deal with them instead of keeping them bottled up and using food as a comfort.

 *Walk off your stress:  Exercise is the best way to release your emotions.  Any type of exercise, even walking, can increase “feel good” serotonin levels in the body, just like sugary foods and drinks do, except without the unnecessary calories.