What healthier alternatives have people swapped into their lives that, to them, adequately (or mostly) fulfilled the deeper-level relaxation/decompression/whatever that food, drink, cigarettes, or drugs had formerly fulfilled?
Without meaning any disrespect to those who have to deal with serious alcohol or narcotic addictions or to the severity of those addictions, I've recently come to a realization that one of the reasons I have a fairly bad weight problem is because for well over a decade "comfort food" has served the purpose for me that I think
cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs have fulfilled for various other individuals: a way of comforting, relaxing, and de-stressing during periods of loneliness, hardship, stress, and intense negative emotions. It has calmed me down and taken me from fairly intense negative emotions (loneliness, high stress, etc.) down to a more relaxed state, much more quickly than mental relaxation techniques had, and to an extent that those techniques had not accomplished.
People give up alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and consequently need to find a substitute for the feelings those habits gave them. I have a feeling the substitutions that those people make might be of use to not only me but others who might read this thread.
If someone wished to answer the question anonymously, I imagine Jessamyn
(or perhaps Matt) might be willing to post such comments.
Also, to make it clear, I'm not just looking for generic relaxation techniques, but specifically for anything
that people have found useful enough to assist them in decompressing, relaxing, de-stressing, or in any way accomplishing any of the same effects that were once fulfilled or accomplished by a destructive or unhealthy habit.
On a small side note, I'm aware of Overeaters Anonymous, but don't know if, as someone who is not Christian and is not certain of a Supreme Being, any system that was based on trusting in a Higher Power would work for me.