Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

Stress can harm your appetite, making it difficult to find the motivation to eat—even when your stomach is empty and rumbling. Stress, whether caused by work pressure, relationship issues, or looming deadlines, can suppress your appetite or cause symptoms such as nausea, making dinner a frightening proposition. But don’t worry; there are techniques to help you nourish your body even when stress is at its highest.

Understanding how stress impacts appetite

Stress affects everyone differently, and its effect on appetite is no exception. Dr. Christina Gentile, a board-certified clinical health psychologist at the University of California, LA Health, says, “The impact of stress on appetite is very complex and varies by individual.” While some people search for food to relieve their worry, others may lose their appetite completely as a result of stress-induced substances such as adrenaline and corticotropin-releasing hormones.

3 tips for reclaiming your appetite
1. Breathe your way to tranquility

To counteract the physiological effects of stress on your digestive system, practice diaphragmatic breathing. Dr. Gentile advises this easy yet powerful strategy for activating your body’s relaxation response. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest, inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your tummy to expand, and exhale slowly through pursed lips. This approach can assist your body in transitioning from “fight or flight” mode to “rest and digest.”

2. Stock up on simple snacks

When you’re stressed out, the last thing you want to do is prepare complicated dinners. Dr. Gentile recommends stocking your pantry with easy-to-prepare, stomach-friendly options such as yogurt with fruit and granola, vegetables with hummus, and chicken with rice. Having these simple yet enjoyable snacks on hand will help you nourish yourself during stressful times.

3. Practice mindful eating

Resist the urge to multitask while eating and instead concentrate on savoring your meal. Dr. Gentile recommends turning off distractions like technological gadgets and taking the time to completely engage your senses during meals. Slowing down and paying attention to each bite helps improve digestion and increase relaxation, reducing stress-related stomach discomfort.

While these measures can help with occasional stress-induced appetite loss, persistent problems may necessitate a visit to your general practitioner. Chronic appetite changes may indicate an underlying psychological disorder or physical ailment that requires treatment. Additionally, seeing a therapist can provide useful strategies for dealing with stress and enhancing overall well-being.

Stress does not have to control your relationship with food. You may navigate stressful times while prioritizing your health and well-being by implementing these tips into your routine and getting appropriate support as needed.

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