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Coping Skills for Stress Eating and Emotional Eating

Stress eating or emotional eating is a very understandable response to stress, anxiety, or other difficult emotions. When we feel yucky, we are just looking for something that will make us feel better. And food does that instantly. Unfortunately, the good feeling that eating provides does not last. Additionally, when stress eating becomes more regular, it can lead to health concerns. Here are some coping skills my own patients have in their toolbox of coping skills that they use in those moments of stress or anxiety to help with their own emotional and stress eating.


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Coping Skills Toolbox for Stress and Emotional Eating

  • listen to music

  • take a warm bath or shower

  • drink herbal tea

  • sit in the sun

  • take a stroll

  • cuddle with your dog or cat

  • read a book

  • call a friend

  • go to bed on time

  • watch a movie

  • spend time with a friend

  • go out into nature

  • watch water running in a stream

  • meditate

  • do yoga

  • work on a creative project


If you are a stress eater, there is no quick answer of how to stop. It takes a lot of mental work to transition to using other coping skills. It takes practice to remember to to use these skills in the moment. It takes distress tolerance to wait out your uncomfortable feelings while you give these skills a chance. It's hard work, but it's good work. Try these coping skills for stress eating and emotional eating, and start your own inner work.

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