We often hear someone say, “I’m a nervous eater.” Anxiety or apprehension may be a result of stress, but many times, anxiety is more closely related to recurrent, compulsive thoughts. Anxiety is an emotional state that produces a continuous low-grade stress response. This kind of tension or stress is like the static noise of a radio in the background. It may increase or decrease volume but seldom diminishes or fades away entirely.
So what are some common causes of anxiety? For many of us, it may result from wanting to please everyone but constantly worrying that we’ve forgotten something or haven’t done something correctly. Pervasive or constant worry is stressful for our brain, lowers our resilience, lowers our immune response, and for most, results in depletion of serotonin and dopamine activity. We know that in this state, eating momentarily reduces tension. The problem is we tend to eat foods high in carbs and consume far more calories than needed. As you complete the daily reflection, try to identify some situations that produce thoughts and feelings of apprehension, fear, or dread.