Stress and Nutrition
Increasing numbers of us are now getting serious about reducing our stress levels. Paradoxically, however, it can get quite stressful just figuring out where to start. Yoga, meditation, exercise and dance classes, seminars, self-help books and countless different therapies all clamour for our attention.
There’s so much that we could be doing, we sometimes overlook the most basic stress-reduction strategy of all; taking a good look at what we’re eating.
It is well documented and scientifically proven that mood and food are deeply intertwined, yet many people continue to eat badly (or at least not as well as they could) and still wonder why they’re feeling tired, irritable and perpetually stressed.
No matter what your circumstances, you can take responsibility for what you eat and drink. It’s not necessarily easy, but with a little effort you can begin to make gradual changes that over time will amount to a real difference.
In fact, giving your body the nutrition it needs could be the biggest step you ever take towards a calmer, more stress-free life.
Craving and Consumption
Our bodies and our brains require certain nutrients to function at optimal levels. So it follows that if we don’t supply the right kinds of nutrients at the right time, things are going to start going a bit wrong. It also follows that if we put the wrong kinds of substances into our bodies, we’re going to start finding the going a bit tough.
So far so simple, but there’s a catch. When we get stressed and tired, our bodies begin to crave substances that make us feel better in the short-term, such as coffee, pastries, crisps and pies. Continued consumption of these, however, will end up making us feel much, much worse.
Because we feel bad, we’ll feel more stressed, which means we’ll be even more likely to reach for even more of the food that we shouldn’t we be eating. And on it goes. Busy modern lifestyles don’t help much either, leaving people little time to prepare healthy nutritious food.
You might skip breakfast, eat a sandwich and packet of crisps at your desk at lunch-time and pick up a takeaway on your way home at night. It’s easy and it’s fast, but ultimately you’ll pay a heavy price.