Appetite and Anxiety

Everyone deals with their stress and anxiety in their own way and can often have complete opposite reactions. This can include sleeping too much or sleeping too little, working harder or becoming unmotivated or wanting to be alone or be with others constantly.

One of the biggest problems that I notice when I become stressed or anxious, is the change in my eating habits. I will either eat constantly to occupy my thoughts or I have no appetite at all. I understand that these changes in my diet are not the most healthy and can be hard to deal with when I go through these difficult spells. After doing some research on the topic, I learned there is some science behind this reaction to stress and anxiety.

A surge of stress hormones can affect the digestive system and can cause appetite suppression or increased digestion and can cause these feelings of not wanting to eat or never feeling full. These stress hormones can also cause the feeling of nausea and dizziness when even thinking about eating. After understanding that this is something that I cannot physically control, I have been thinking of some techniques that I can use to help on my own:

1. Understand and identify your stress and anxiety

Try to understand what triggers the stress and anxiety and avoid it if possible, if the stress/anxiety is unavoidable, try to lessen the effects and recognize the elements that cause the stress.

2. Use other stress management techniques

Listen to music, go to the gym, light a candle and take a bath. These techniques may help you relax and get your body back to its best physically and mentally.

3. Try to eat healthy and regularly

Even though it can be hard in these times, it is best to try to keep a schedule and healthy regimen. Eat your fruits and vegetables and don’t forget to drink water!

Hopefully using these techniques can help us understand that stress and anxiety can take a physical and mental toll on our bodies. Doing our best to keep a regular and healthy schedule can help fight the overwhelming stress and anxiety that can take over our lives. And even though sometimes, I want to stress eat an entire carton of ice cream, I need to do my best to be better and healthier!

How does stress affect you? Does your appetite change whenever you’re stressed?

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