This is totally me! And it's gotten worse now that I have an injury and am not exercising as much. - L
Boredom eaters can't stand the feeling of being bored so they eat. Eating becomes a way to bring some excitement into their lives without rocking the boat or doing something too out-of-their-comfort-zone.
Boredom eating can come in many forms - eating when there's nothing to do is the obvious one.
But there are others. For example, you may be watching a TV show that you're only half into - and reaching for some munchies to turn up the excitement level.
You may be stuck in traffic - so you grab your stash of chips in the glove compartment - just to get through the monotony of stop-and-go traffic.
Maybe you're out with a group of work colleagues and the conversation turns very dull. Instead of trying to liven up the conversation, you reach for the bread basket instead.
Boredom eating is a type of emotional eating - and it can lead to extra weight. Instead of eating when bored you can learn other ways to handle dull situations.
Here are 4 things you can do when bored instead of eating:
1) Try Something Out of Your Comfort Zone
There's nothing like trying a new activity or project that you've never tackled before. However it may feel uncomfortable at first - that's how you grow.
Maybe you've always wanted to take a class on home repair. Perhaps you want to learn a new language.
Whatever it is, make sure it's something you've always wanted to do, but never had the nerve to try.
Stepping out of your comfort zone not only kills the boredom - it also builds your confidence to try other things as well.
2) Improve Your Mind
If you're stuck in situations that breed boredom (like a half hour of stop-and-go traffic every day), focus on doing something to improve your mind.
Buy audiobooks or download inspirational speeches to your Mp3 player. Listen to a funny speech or learn about how to be an effective leader. There are so many audio and video educational resources these days, there's no excuse not to learn.
And it's a much healthier alternative to snacking.
3) Turn Off The TV
Ok, this one is hard, I know. But try turning off the TV - even if only for a week. While watching TV isn't necessarily bad, it does breed boredom - and boredom eating.
We find ourselves watching a lot of TV, not because we're really into the show, but just out of habit. And then we have to use food to improve the experience.
If you find you have the urge to reach for a snack when watching a show, ask yourself why. Is it because you're actually bored? If so, turn off the tube and do something more interesting like taking a walk or calling a friend.
4) Rediscover Your Dreams
Many times we become bored because we've settled in life. We're no longer following our dreams - we're content to 'just get by'. Eating becomes a poor substitution for following our dreams.
Try asking yourself what you'd really love - what are the dreams that may have followed by the wayside?
Then ask yourself what steps - even small ones - you can take to get back on track to following your dreams and creating the life you really want!
Boredom eating is one of the more subtle forms of emotional eating. Many times we don't even realize we're doing it.
There are ways to avoid eating out of boredom - but you have to be willing to try something new. Get out of your comfort zone. Change your perspective.
Only then will you really take steps to stop the habit of boredom overeating.