It’s no surprise that people who are bored can overeat and snack more, and this is even worse when life is hard and emotions of suffering are involved.

So an obvious tip here is to not get bored. Keep yourself active and occupied – in mind and/or body.  And also expect at some time in your life you are going to have nothing to do. So prepare now with the options of actions you might take that are not eating.  There are so many things you can do to keep occupied for good reasons – reading, watching documentaries, watching TED talks, movement, cooking, gardening, working, meditation, creative projects like community projects or business startups, catching up with friends, writing, painting, sleeping whatever!

You may think I am joking with the sleeping part but the truth is many people now are chronically sleep deprived and this causes lower willpower, overeating and stress. So, if you have a spare 20 minutes – have a power nap. And enjoy it, guilt free!

Also be careful not to occupy your life with activities that don’t better you or others in some way. So things to not do too much of would include computer games, drinking alcohol, smoking and so on.

This is an important principle in life generally and it comes back to the point we covered on fulfilling your needs – have meaning and purpose in your life.  We only get one life, and every moment is precious, you will never get this moment again, once gone it is gone forever. So, spend your time wisely, spend it in a way that you won’t regret, that will better you or better those around you.

I come back to my initial principles – if you do eat when bored, don’t beat yourself up about it, don’t create guilt.  But be aware that you did it, that you got bored and one of your first reactions was to go to food. The more you are aware of that internal process in your mind and behaviour then the next time it happens you will realise it is happening and the more opportunity you have to intervene in your own behaviour. For example, you may at first snack and eat when bored on autopilot, then you start to become aware you are doing this, now the next time you are bored and your mind goes “o I might eat some food”, you can now challenge this and say “no, I am going to go outside or read my book, or have a sleep, or call my friends” instead.  And overtime that brain association changes and eventually when you are bored you won’t think of food – you will think of a different more positive behaviour.