The One-Minute Fix: Mindless eating soothes raw nerves by numbing out emotions. Munching gives you a moment to zone out from all the holiday commotion. Instead, actively choose a healthy way to clear your mind. Try a quick breathing exercise. Mindful breathing deters you from eating because it is a natural way to bring down your cortisol levels, the stress hormone that makes you crave food. Cortisol levels are elevated when you are under a lot of stress. But you can help get your hormones back in balance by slowing down your breathing, which in turn relaxes your body. Close your eyes. Stare at the blackness of your eyelids. Slowly breathe in and out. Count each time you inhale and exhale. Continue until you get to 10.