What are YOUR coping mechanisms?

  1. 0
    I need help. Food is my primary coping mechanism. It seems that every free moment I have I am diving into something delicious. As I become more and more stressed with work, school and everything....I am getting fatter and fatter. I obviously need to find a new coping mechanism if I want to stay alive. I have survived for 42 years, but I'm sure at this rate I won't make it to my 50th birthday.

    What do NORMAL people do to cope with constant, everyday stress?

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  2. 10 Comments...

  3. 0
    I don't think you will find many of those NORMAL people here.
  4. 0
    Food is also my coping mechanism of choice, but I too am trying to change that. I have been told that exercise is a good substitute, but not for me! Exercise is and always will be a chore for me. It does not help me cope one bit.

    My substitute coping mechanisms: coming here to AN to vent when work makes me want to scream. I also have horses, two of them are babies and working with them is my real time to detox. When I can see the improvements they are making in things like leading, learning "whoa", and standing still while tied, I feel a real sense of accomplishment. Not that everyone has access to this of course, but any hobby that you love where you can see improvement in yourself or your work can do the same.

    I am also starting to volunteer at my local animal shelter. There is nothing better than cuddling up with a fluffy puppy to take the stress away! Plus you are doing something really great to help them get adopted by socializing them. My own dogs and cats are a great de-stress too. Sometimes just being a couch potato is what I need. I pop a DVD in and cuddle up with some low-fat popcorn and within a few minutes I am surrounded by fuzz as each of my animals curl up next to me, behind me, or nearby.

    Although, if you are not an animal lover I'm sorry I can't help! :redpinkhe
  5. 0
    One of the most appealing aspects of using food as a coping mechanism is that it provides immediate gratification, especially at times when everything else (school, work, parenting, etc.) provides delayed gratification. I find, though, that if I eat because I'm stressed, I tend to scarf my food. I'm not satisfied with a Hershey's Kiss---I need half the bag before I feel okay. And that , of course, adds to excess weight and it's a waste of hundreds of calories, all for a very short-lived "good" feeling.

    Have you heard of Mindful Eating? It's a part of the mindfulness concept, that is, living in the moment rather than focusing solely on the future (or dwelling on the past.) This is not to say we should simply "live for now" and pay no heed to our future goals and plans but rather, we should look at the moments in our lives, cherish them and experience them. If you're going to eat chocolate, then ENJOY the chocolate, savor it, smell it, TASTE it----don't scarf it. Don't read, don't study, don't look at the Internet while you eat---just focus solely on the experience of eating. Chances are, if you fully experience that chocolate, you may not need to scarf the entire bag or box---you may be satisfied with far less than you would have had you mindlessly eaten the whole thing.

    I am trying to live mindfully, not only in my approach to eating but with other activities and experiences as well, because I am sick of being stressed out all the time. The past few days haven't been so great as I've had a nasty cold---who wants to mindfully experience a hacking cough and stuffed sinuses? But otherwise, I do see that it makes a difference in my eating as well as my level of stress.

    BTW, I like the above post about the puppy and kitty therapy, too.
    Last edit by Moogie on May 15, '09 : Reason: Added statement.
  6. 0
    Food has been my best coping mechanism, but I've been fighting hard, and succeeding at changing that.

    I do spend too much time online with friends and in gaming, but some people choose to watch tv.

    One thing I really want to get back to is horseback riding. I took lessons while I was in nursing school and it was better than any therapist. I just have to get the stamina in my legs built back up so I don't feel like I'm walking like John Wayne all the time.

    Yoga is good as well. I have a real beginner DvD that takes a total of 20 minutes. It's am and pm, and I can only do the am at this time because the pm is too hard for me. But it feels good.

    One other thing I've been doing for myself-and some will think it's overly indulgent, but I get a weekly manicure and monthly pedicure. I've also booked my very first facial. I know it's indulgent, but this is the first time in my life that I can honestly say I'm doing nice things for myself. And I don't feel a bit guilty.
  7. 0
    Yep, Katnip, riding is a great stress reliever, and maybe the only exercise I actually enjoy. I can't wait for my trainer to get my 3-year old started under saddle so I can get back into riding! I have one 22-year old who is retired and two that are only 4 months, so I have 4 horses and nothing to ride at the moment
  8. 0
    This site helps me unwind. I like to take my dogs for walks. Outdoor sports, watching a movie with my girls, walking with a friend, getting out in the garden are all good diversions.
  9. 0
    walking and stretching/yoga for me. i make sure to do both everyday - if it's only 10 minutes or if it's 45 minutes. it helps me de-stress and is very therapeutic... not to mention good for your body!
  10. 0
    My FAVORITE stress relief/coping mechanism is mountainbiking (will substitute road cycling when necessary) ...... I've always loved bicycles, since I was a wee one (we're talking almost 5 decades, here), and do to this day. Nothing like a good intense trail ride to center my soul. Strength training, yoga, and meditation, as well ........ not to mention food, but - I've always felt, "if you make the fire hot enough, anything will burn !!!!" I DO try to eat healthy..... usually ... most times..... :wink2:
  11. 0
    Food has also been my number one coping mechanisms. I have some alternatives, but don't always go to them....calling a friend, walking, swimming at the YMCA, reading, deep breathing. I am reading a book on mindfulness, and dabbling with meditation. For the most part it seems to help...for me sometimes food is a physical addiction...when I stay away from sugar and simple carbs for a few days, I have an easier time with the food.


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