Visualization is a technique of mentally rehearsing in advance new behaviors and reactions to emotional triggers. In this way, you can power up your ability to respond to emotions without reaching for food. Starting today, visualize and imagine making healthy behavior choices for the next time your trigger emotions flare. For instance, mentally see yourself taking some deep breaths and heading out the door for a walk or to the gym when you feel stressed. Or enjoying a hobby or the company of a pet or friend when you’re feeling bored or lonely. To make this even more effective, include feelings of pride, happiness and success with your mental rehearsal. In this way, when your trigger emotions flare, your mind is already programmed to react in healthy non-eating ways.

Keep practicing this technique until your new, healthy reactions to emotions are firmly in place. What you visualize is what you become. Taking control of the images in your mind will allow you to take control of your habits.