Stress Management

Article submission, Saturday 26th April 2008

Its easier to maintain your health than regain it.

I am taking you with me into the journey of stress management or emotion management and how to handle it with ease if you know which foods can help you along. The relation between emotional stress and eating habits is as old as the emotions in our lives, inseparable like two lovers but the irony here is, when in love you feel less hungry and when off you feel more! And down the lane, we feed just our selves forgetting to feed our souls our emotions, and craving never ends. Many of us have a wonderful way of trying to switch off our emotions with food. We have a bad day, we eat chocolate.
We feel a bit lonely, we find a friend in ice-cream.
  • We are stressed out and overwhelmed, we soothe ourselves with cookies.
  • We are unlucky in love, we start a relationship with the kitchen. And everything it has to offer.

  • Does it help?

    Maybe it did - temporarily - but the damage we do by comfort eating remains for all to see - the fat on our stomach, hips and thighs. If you want to be happy, you won't find that in a bag of popcorn or chips, no not even in chocolate as well, there are many practical ways to increase your happiness without resorting to raiding the fridge or pantry (and you know the ice-cream never loved you back anyway!) The thing about happiness is that it's personal so you have to think about what YOU need...


    People you can talk to who cheer you up.

  • Places you can visit.
  • Activities you can do (hobbies, sports, pastimes).
  • Ways you can pamper yourself.
  • Identify the conflict leading to problem eating.
  • Address challenges and explore choices to overcome self defeating behaviour.
  • Develop control behaviour by making conscious changes.
  • Remember external events cant always be controlled.
  • Explore commitments by rehearsing new behaviours till they become a habit.
  • Take charge instead of waiting until you need cheering up, why not arrange to pack your life full of as many of these as you can so that you reduce the negative in your life and are better able to cope with one or two more stressful moments that happen in everyone's life.

  • Just as relaxation techniques help you manage stressful situation, they can also help get us through the times when you we tempted to eat in response to anger, frustration, boredom, loneliness, depression and other negative emotions. Try to eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and relax between bites. Breathing from your stomach area will not only relax you but also help you to become aware of signals that you are full. Try to maintain a diet of mostly whole (unprocessed) foods. Stay away from caffeine which causes nervousness and inhibits sleep if too much is ingested.

    Caffeine causes a fight-or-flight response in your body and uses up your reserves of the B vitamins, which are important in coping with stress. Alcohol also depletes your body's B vitamins, and can disrupt sleep and impair your judgment or clarity of thought. Avoid excessive sugar intake as it provides no essential nutrients and can cause an immediate "high" followed by a prolonged "low."

    Studies have shown that the body depletes its stores of nutrients when under stress, mainly protein and the B vitamins as well as vitamins C and A. A deficiency of magnesium, which helps muscles relax, has been linked to "Type A" or high-stress personalities. If you are under prolonged stress or are at risk for hypertension, consume foods high in potassium, such as orange juice, squash, potatoes, apricots, limes, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, and peaches. You also should increase your intake of calcium, which is found in yogurt, cheese, tofu, and chick-peas.

    If you find that you have difficulty managing stress and often feel fatigued or stressed out, you will need to alter your diet or take supplements. Since every person is unique, nutritional needs vary to some degree. It will probably take several months to change your diet and establish healthy eating habits. Experimenting and taking the time to reform your eating will have very positive immediate and long- term effects.

    Choose foods that you enjoy and try to make meals pleasurable times. Eat a relaxed meal. Continue your healthy diet and supplements even after the period of stress has passed so that your body will be best prepared to cope with the next stressful situation you encounter. The goal is to maintain maximum health with good nutrition Healthy living and laughter.

    The biggest sellers in any bookshops around the world are the cookbooks and the diet books, One teaches you to prepare food and other tells you how to not eat the one you prepared!

    Above information is given in good faith however for any diseased condition please consult physician or dietitian before starting it. Your questions and suggestions are welcome at:

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