Bored? 15 Choices Instead of Eating

I saw this great article on MSN and thought I'd share.

http://health.msn.com/dietfitness/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100097045

Bored? 15 Choices Instead of Eating
by Susan Woodward for MSN Health & Fitness

Boredom. According to Webster?s, it?s hardly a complicated state of affairs. Boredom is just ?the condition of being bored or uninterested.?

But dealing with boredom is not always so simple. It is, after all, an emotion. And just like the way we handle other difficult emotions, the remedy many of us turn to is food.

?When you?re bored, you set out to do something more productive, like eating,? explains George Rapitis, a high-school nutritionist in Michigan. ?You?re trying to heal that emotion. But it?s only a temporary fix and it becomes a habit. You start reaching for food every time you?re bored.?

Of course, that action can lead to weight gain and other health problems. So here we offer some suggestions and alternatives to try next time you encounter the doldrums.

1. Stop making excuses. Once you know you engage in unhealthy eating habits to combat boredom, it?s time to look for other types of contentment.

2. Walk the dog. Don?t have a dog? See point 1. Anything physical (preferably in the fresh outdoors) works.

3. Listen to music. ?Something like Beethoven,? encourages Rapitis. ?It?s satisfying music with lots of notes and it?s very relaxing.?

4. Be creative. Paint, draw, shape clay, sew some beautiful beads?Art and crafts are very enjoyable, and unbeatable emotional outlets, too.

5. Take a bubble bath. ?When people are bored they stagnate, there?s really not a lot of joy in what they do,? says Julia Trick, N.D., nutrition director at The Green House spa in Texas. OK, it?s the second part of her comment that explains why you might take a bath! A bubble bath is fun, not to mention restorative and indulgent. Men, this one?s for you, too!

6. Practice deep breathing. You may need expert guidance on how to perfect the technique, but focused breathing could help dissipate your sense of boredom. Best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil is a big proponent of the power of breath work.

7. Meditate. The transformative effects of meditation are well documented. Again, you may need to research whether Vipassana, T.M., or another form of meditation is the right one for you.

8. Read. Biographies of inspirational people may help best, advises Trick.

9. Drink herbal tea. People often crave stimulants when they?re bored. Sure, caffeine and sugar give you a little lift, but there are better choices, according to Trick. ?Cinnamon tea, particularly, has a very good effect on blood sugar,? she says. ?You can make a big thermos of it and drink it all day.? She also suggests licorice tea for adrenal support ? but not the candy!

10. Balance your body. Speaking of blood sugar, keeping it steady throughout the day by eating smaller, more frequent meals may prevent the onset of boredom before it begins.

11. Repeat an affirmation. Or an inspiring quote. ?Write it out and stick it right there on the fridge,? says Trick.

12. Call a friend. Pick up the phone instead of a bag of nasty chips to encourage you out of your funk.

13. Prepare healthy food. For that matter, get excited about food again, Trick says, because maybe it?s food that?s the root of your boredom. ?About 75 percent of our calories come from the same old 10 foods. Challenge yourself when you shop for groceries to pick six foods you haven?t tried before, or that you have to learn how to cook,? she suggests.

14. Do housework. OK, it?s near the bottom of the list because really, not many of us enjoy it. Still, there is the satisfaction of having a clean home, and alternative fulfillments are what you?re seeking.

15. Develop a list. In preparation for the next time boredom strikes, write a list of these and/or your own ideas of things to do. ?Print it twice and put one list on your cupboard and one on the refrigerator,? recommends registered dietician Rick Hall. ?If you don?t have the list, you probably won?t think of something later when you?re bored!?
Posted on June 24, 2007 at 8:43 pm
kellyk
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03/07/2007
kellyk

kellyk

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(4) Comments

*Wil*
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03/25/2008
*Wil*

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*Wil*

Now I just need to figure out how to get the bubble bath at my desk...hmmmm
Posted on June 25, 2007 at 10:04 am
margaret
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09/22/2007
margaret

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What about when you work too much? =(
Posted on June 26, 2007 at 5:18 am
Kristen
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08/22/2009
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Interesting. I'm currently in the middle of moving and I came across a book my aunt gave me for christmas called 'the art of doing nothing.' Quite the opposite - have fun in your boredom! haha.

But on the flip side, if you're working too much, maybe do #5 or #6.
Posted on June 26, 2007 at 7:13 pm
srini
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03/17/2012
srini

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I've always had a great idea for a workout for people who work on computers.

Attach the monitor to an exercise bike or pedals under your chair. The monitor stays powered on only while you're pedaling! :)
Posted on June 26, 2007 at 7:20 pm

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