Monday, 1 June 2015

Stress, Anxiety and Healthy Eating

Stress is one way to lessen your hunger - Not sure if that's a good thing, though..

Apparently stress and nutrition are strongly linked - Someone with a healthy, balanced diet is allegedly supposed to be far less stressed than someone who shoves all manner of junk into their gob.

Unfortunately, despite eating healthily for a month, that doesn’t seem to stop me being incredibly stressed when it comes to work and no amount of healthy eating seems to change that, which is not good from either a mental perspective, nor a physical one.

Mondays are doubly painful for me at the moment. Not only are they the start of the week, but they’re also the day that my Boss and I have a scheduled ‘catch up’ meeting which is in our diaries for just after lunch. After glancing at his calendar, there are a number of private appointments in it (which is unusual) and a number of meetings booked with the person who I believe, he is lining up to take over my role. This sent my paranoia into complete overdrive and at once I was imagining being homeless, being out of work for months, my meeting with my Boss being one of terror – him telling me I’m awful and giving me lots of grief.

I think I react to stress in a ‘normal’ way, although I do believe I’ve got massively high anxiety levels in general. When stressed, my stomach constricts, I feel sick and if it’s really bad, I tend to visit the toilet on more than one occasion – When stressed, I’m not hungry at all and apparently that could be because my stomach produces excess stomach acid, which tricks my body into believing it’s fuller than it actually is and the chemicals that tell my brain I’m hungry, aren’t able to reach it.

Additionally, Serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates mood) apparently plays a role in both anxiety and the feeling of hunger. Since people with anxiety can sometimes have a serotonin balance issue, it's possible that this is one of the reasons that I don't get hungry when experiencing high anxiety.

Dreading my meeting with my Boss, I walked into town at 12:00 and bought some lunch. I was going to go for a low fat sandwich, however remembered my June goals, one of which is ‘Try and eat less processed food’ so I opted for my default lunch of tomatoes, pepper, pitta bread and hoummous (I’m going to think of something else to eat next week, as I’ll get bored of it pretty quickly). It was lovely going into town – I think you forget that the place you work is not ‘the world’, that it’s actually such a small part of the world, but to you, it’s massive. It’s like that for me, at any rate – After being at the company for over 5 years, it’s really sad to think that I’m not going to be there any longer, that I won’t see the nice people I work with every day and that the Manager I trusted and worked alongside, is making decisions that affect me, without consulting me.

I usually eat lunch as soon as I get back to the office – after all, I had 30 minutes until my meeting. However, I just didn’t feel hungry at all. Despite only eating porridge with Blueberries for Breakfast at 8:00am, I couldn’t feel even the smallest pangs of hunger, so I decided to wait until after my meeting.

I went in…. and 45 minutes later, I came out. Massively relieved that the worry I had was not realised this week – My Boss didn’t have a go at me, he didn’t moan or admonish me, there was even praise and a Thank-you for something I had picked up. Like so many things in life, what was in my head was 100 times worse than what had happened in the meeting. Do I think my paranoia is unfounded? Sadly not, however maybe the time I have left in the company won’t be as dire as I’m believing it to be.

It was as if someone had flicked a switch, my anxiety and stress lessened and
my stomach started rumbling really loudly, so I finally settled down to lunch at 14:00. It hit the spot and I now feel a lot more energised and happy that I’ll be able to get through this week without being asked to leave. It’s hardly a state I can remain in for long, however I’m hoping I can find a fantastic new opportunity before too long.

Tonight, I’m going spinning – My other June goal is to ‘go to the gym once a week’ will be achieved if I go every Monday, which works for me in regards to my busy social life. After not going for over 3 months, I’m a little apprehensive about going, but there’s no substance to that – I mean, what am I apprehensive about? Just a change in my routine I guess, and the sooner I get back into the gym, the better I’ll feel and the better I’ll be able to cope with stress. NO EXCUSES!

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