Stress, Anxiety, & Food

While perusing the news highlights this morning, I stumbled across this article & video clip about “AMERICAN ANXIETY” and how it’s increase 1200% since 1980.  Whether that’s because of better diagnosis or a more frantic pace of living is unsure, but I would venture to say more the latter.

As a licensed counselor & wellness consultant, I know the impact of stress on the mind, body, & spirit, and at a 1200% increase, we have a huge problem.

There are several approaches to the stress/anxiety debate:

  1. Medication: our country’s favorite “remedy” to everything (i.e. a pill); efficacy is fair but overall inefficient in truly solving the problem.  Basically, pills are bandaids.  When you are so anxious that you can’t sleep or eat (healthy) or function at home/work, then medication can soften the extremes so that a true lifestyle change can be implemented.
  2. Diet:  What we eat & where it comes from is killing us.  Watch Food, Inc. or similar documentaries and you’ll be horrified & illuminated at the same time.  Scott Jurek in his book Eat and Run cites that the top causes of death in America are heart disease, stroke, and cancer, which have been linked to the “Western Diet” that is high in animal products, refined carbs, and processed food.  While Jurek is vegan, I don’t claim that everyone should or could do it, BUT it’s worked for him and many like President Bill Clinton.
  3. Disconnect:  The constant chatter of technology, whether through smart phone, TV, internet, cars, music, media, etc., has our brains working overtime.  Studies have shown that the brain DOES NOT MULTI-TASK EFFECTIVELY.  All this non-stop, over-stimulation is literally killing us & creating this anxiety pandemic.  What helps?  Quiet morning meditation ritual, mindful eating (no technology or reading, just EATING),  create a bedtime ritual starting 1-2 hrs before you need to be unconscious, & no TV/technology in bedroom (sex, sleep & reading only).

So implement a lifestyle change & stop cutting yourself by eating crappy food, not exercising, & watching hours of TV/computer surfing and you won’t need the band-aids anymore.  Long-term, medications cause side effects that are still unknown and a lifestyle change is a permanent, inexpensive fix.

Some say that it cost too much to eat healthy.  How much are you paying for medications & doctor bills?  Try spending that on healthy yummy food choices & see what happens.  Even better, buy some seeds (very inexpensive) and plant a garden.  Even city dwellers are finding ways to become self-sufficient through planting in pots or raised beds.  They are prettier than landscaping and tastier too!

For recommendations on how to start your own garden or how to create a lifestyle change plan  that will work with your life & schedule:

  • Email me your questions, concerns, &/or goals
  • Invite me to your home & I’ll show you how to start it