Your Excuse: "I Don't Know How To Deal with Stress"

The Excuse Buster: When you're trying to change your lifestyle habits and make healthier choices, you may find yourself dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety that you're not sure how to handle. This is especially true if you have gotten into the habit of using food as a cover for negative emotions.

One healthy way to process your feelings is by engaging in creative pursuits. There's something so satisfying about channeling stress, anxiety and anger through activities that leave you feeling clear, refreshed and fully connected to your authentic self. If you've never tried this, you'll want to start by coming up with a list of creative activities that you enjoy so you can quickly turn to them when you find yourself feeling unsettled. If you currently have no hobbies, think back to your childhood and young adult years. What kind of activities did you enjoy most? What type of creative classes did you take in school? Write them down.

Also take some time to think about activities you haven't yet explored but want to. Have you always been fascinated by dance or theater? Do you love browsing through floral shops and gazing at the beautiful arrangements? Make a list of your interests, as well as ideas for activities you can do to pursue them. Begin buying the supplies you'll need for these activities gradually. If budget is a concern, perhaps you can trade supplies with a friend or start on a smaller scale with just one type of creative activity for now.

Finally, begin engaging in these activities as often as you can, and especially when you feel troublesome emotions beginning to creep in. Sing out your sorrow. Write dark poetry to express your anger. Paint beautiful scenes to express your love of life. Yes, you can do this for positive emotions too, not just negative. Over time, you will get used to naturally expressing your feelings without turning to food, and eating and living consciously will become a habit all its own.