Excerpt from 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food
It's time to stop going to the refrigerator or cupboards whenever you feel the urge to eat and start dealing with the problems you're trying to mask. Start with these 10 self-soothing techniques from psychologist Dr. Susan Albers' book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.
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Be Your Own Masseuse
If physical discomfort is at the heart of your emotional eating, try some of these techniques. You may find that by addressing your physical discomfort, your desire to eat for emotional reasons has diminished.
- Hands. You will need some lotion for this technique. After you apply a dab of lotion to your hand, rub the palms of both hands together. Observe that some heat is created by the rubbing. Then clasp your hands together. Your fingers should be entwined. With your thumb, massage the area just below your other thumb in a circular motion. Continue massaging and move outward to the center of the palm. Rub each hand for two minutes.
Feet. This exercise can be done standing or sitting. To massage your feet, you will need a hard beach ball, golf ball, or tennis ball. If you are standing, be sure to hold the edge of a chair for support. Place one foot on the ball. Then roll your foot back and forth over the top of the ball. Next place the arch of your foot on top of the ball. Apply pressure gradually. Roll the ball around under your arch. Then roll the sole of your foot. Finally, roll under your toes and your heel. Follow the same procedure for your other foot.
- Shoulders. You can also use a tennis ball for massaging your shoulders. Place the ball against a wall behind your shoulders. Roll the ball back and forth over and between your shoulder blades until you feel your shoulders relax. Do this for approximately three to five minutes.
- Eyes. Do you feel tension in your eyes? Briskly rub your palms together. As you rub, your palms will become warm. Then quickly, and gently but firmly, cover your eyes with your palms. Keep your eyes covered for half a minute. The warmth of your hands will transfer to your eyes.
- Ears. Using your thumbs and index fingers, begin by gently rubbing your outer ear rims. Then rub your earlobes. Continue doing this until your ears feel warmer.
- Face. For massaging your face, use the knuckles on your thumbs. Gently rub both thumbs' knuckles up and down alongside your nose, massaging up and down. If you want gentler pressure, do this with your fingertips. Then rub circles around your eyes with your fingertips. Make the circles large enough to completely reach around your eyes and above your eyebrows.
- Head. Rest both elbows on a table. Place your fingertips on your scalp underneath your hair. Massage your head with your thumbs and fingertips.
- Stomach. It's a natural response to rub your stomach when you overeat. Using clockwise, circular motions, rub your hand or palm over your abdomen approximately twenty times. Clockwise is the same direction that food travels in your intestines. This type of massage aids your digestive processes.