Weight Loss and Successful Stress Avoidance

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stress avoidance

Many people eat when they’re stressed. They struggle to find a way to stop the tension and control binge-eating. One may need to avoid the pressure, since controlling it may not be possible. Others are successful at talking themselves around stressful situations by reframing their frustrations.

Stressors That Can Be Controlled

There are some stressors that can be controlled. A person who hates details may get sick at their stomach from eating a full box of cookies while doing their taxes. That is short-term stress. They will take off the added cookie-pounds when their usual, more relaxed living returns.

Even serious stress from insufficient income, can be controlled if a second, temporary job is found. By targeting specific bills and eliminating them with the added income, they will be able to quit the second job when their goals are met.

Stressor That Cannot Be Controlled

Some stressors cannot be controlled. A dead-end job in a weak economy may be better than no job at all. However, the futility of working hard and long with no rewards or appreciation may produce a great deal of stress.

Other people can cause stress. A cantankerous boss exhausts an employee. The individual is placed in the fight or flight, acute stress response, with no ability to leave. Consult a physician for medication to relieve stressful symptoms.

A difficult relationship with a family member, can produce stress that may prompt someone to "stuff their feelings" by eating. As stated in Lesson Three, the binge-eater cannot control their eating. Unable to control their own binge response may make dealing with an uncontrollable teen cause someone to overeat. Binge-eating, and the fight or flight response to that stress, can cause more tension and then more eating.

Reactions and Binge-Eating

It may be that other’s don’t actually cause one to binge but their reaction to the difficult person may produce it. That may be a good thing.

Lesson Five discussed that a struggle for power is not necessary since power already belongs to the Positive Loser. Therefore, one way to manage the stress that causes binge-eating is to take control and leave the situation, even when flight isn’t possible.

A mini flight may be helpful, like a vacation. Anticipating a relaxing evening with a spouse or friend can take the mind off negative interactions with co-workers. A break-room visit to listen to a relaxation tape or talk with others around the table can be refreshing. Scheduling time away from the office or job can be the way to successfully stay.

Choose a Different Reaction

If reaction to the difficult person’s behavior prompts someone to binge-eat, then something can be done. Choose to respond differently than a flight or flight response.

Practice relaxed breathing to slow the heart rate and the physiological reaction to stress. Another suggestion is to reframe negative self-statements and perceptions about the difficult individual.

"Oh no, here comes Maud again," automatically places one in a protective stance.

"Why do they do that all the time?" Applying logic to analyze illogical behavior is a waste of time.

A better statement may be, "There she goes being Maud again." Fill in the name with one that applies. Uncle Fred will always act like Uncle Fred and Aunt Maud like Aunt Maud. Why the surprised or stressed reaction? Rehearse, "Their behavior isn’t about me. It’s about them." Learn to observe the other’s behavior not absorb it. Stress-binging can be talked down.

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