Bored? Don’t Eat, Think.

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I find myself at the fridge when I\'m bored.There have been so many warnings about boredom and eating. Ever since I was a child, I have been accused of eating when I was bored and it was true. I STILL catch myself walking to the fridge when I’m feeling a little bored.

This article from the New York Times got me thinking, though:

They say that boredom is the mind’s way of organizing our thoughts.

Yet boredom is more than a mere flagging of interest or a precursor to mischief. Some experts say that people tune things out for good reasons, and that over time boredom becomes a tool for sorting information — an increasingly sensitive spam filter. In various fields including neuroscience and education, research suggests that falling into a numbed trance allows the brain to recast the outside world in ways that can be productive and creative at least as often as they are disruptive.

So, how can I avoid overeating when I’m bored? When I find myself at the fridge looking to eat, even though I’m not really hungry, I need to remember to sit down and zone out. I need to give my mind the rest it is asking for. Filling that rest time with food keeps my mind numbed, but if I allow it to rest without the food, it will also get what it needs.

I think that’s why people recommend a hobby for people who are trying to lose weight. A repetitive hobby like crochet, knitting or woodworking can give your mind the rest it needs without filling yourself with food.


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