Let’s first look at what the word ‘anxiety’ actually means. It’s a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
So what can cause us to be anxious?
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Well, in fact it could be all sorts of things. Worry about work, family, health, money. The list could go on…
Being anxious is not a good state to be in. All it actually does is cause you to ‘freeze’ and prevent you from taking appropriate action. The steps are usually anxiety, which will inevitably turn into worry, then fear and finally our old friend, procrastination. It is in fact a horrible and awful downward spiral.
The problem with being anxious about anything is you are giving away your control, you are giving away your power and then you become a victim of circumstance. And you might say “Well, that’s easier said than done!”. As a wise woman once said, it’s only a thought and a thought can be changed.
You choose your thoughts, you have the power, not your mind. When you give away your power to the anxiety, you then take ‘comfort’ in old habits and that can be eating unhealthily or over eating, drinking too much or smoking.
The relationship between anxiety and food is very obvious
When you’re anxious you are uncomfortable, out of your comfort zone and, let’s face it, we like things around us that make us comfortable and we like to do things that make us feel good.
So it goes without saying that if you’re in an uncomfortable situation and you’re anxious, then you will resort to actions that make you feel comfortable. You will over-eat or eat junk food. It’s only the actual act of the eating that temporarily makes you feel ‘better’.
However this can often make the situation worse, because you know what will happen, don’t you? You end up feeling guilty about the over-eating and not only that; your body will feel stuffed, uncomfortable and all it has achieved is increased anxiety the next day, so you eat some more to comfort yourself. And that is definitely not good…
Say you are anxious about your job, you’ve just put in for a promotion and you feel pretty confident in your abilities. What you’re not confident about is how you look or if you are ‘good enough’ for this new job. And your old patterns are that you eat junk or over eat.
So what do you do? You make yourself feel worse because you go back to your old eating patterns and then you get more anxious!
It’s far better for you to realise that (say in the job situation or any situation for that matter) you’re doing your best and, if you truly believe that, you have to let go of the outcome.
And I know that can be difficult, but the more you follow these simple steps the easier it will get.
Firstly, you have to look at the real situation, not your version of it, but the actual situation. See how it could work out for you. Let’s take this scenario like going for a drive with a SatNav (bear with me here).
If your anxiety is about this promotion you want or, in the case of driving, you are driving to a meeting in an area you’ve never been to before.
With the promotion you’ve submitted your letter to the powers that be, extolling your virtues and why you are so suitable for this particular position. Once the letter has gone, or the email has been sent, there is nothing you can do until they call you in for an interview.
If you were driving somewhere you’d never been before, you put the address into the SatNav (you send the letter or email) and off you go. Now, supposing you get to the bottom of the road and the SatNav says go left and you decide to turn right, you could end up getting very lost, stuck in traffic and being hours late for your meeting.
If however you’d trusted the SatNav and just driven the way it told you, you would have arrived in good time, parked up and had a very successful meeting. Because you trusted The SatNav. Which, let’s face it, is why you’ve got it in the first place!
We all have something like a SatNav that looks after us. Call it God, the Universe, a higher power, an angel, inate instinct. Its job is to look after you – for your highest good. Everything, and I do mean absolutely everything, happens for your highest good.
Sometimes stuff doesn’t happen because it wouldn’t be the right thing for you
Once you believe that, once you let the Universe take care of you, once you follow your internal SatNav, everything will work out for you.
But you do have to learn to trust. I said it was simple, I didn’t say it was necessarily easy!
Like I say, you can begin by telling yourself every day that ‘this or something better is coming to me’. By doing so you are taking back your power. You are the power, not your mind. You are the one in charge. Don’t let unwanted thoughts become unwanted actions, which in turn will lead to being anxious.
Learn to trust and let go.Take appropriate action and allow the Universe (your internal SatNav) to know what’s best for you. Put it ‘out there’ and let go of the outcome.
Anxiety is a useless emotion; it has no redeeming qualities at all. All it does is give you sleepless nights and puts you into situations that do not serve you.
To be the best you can be, every single day you need to be aware of what is good for you and how best to treat yourself. You should treat yourself the way you would treat a loving friend, because after all you are the best friend you’ll ever have, so you need to take care of yourself each and every day and only do what is good for you.
So, you see how anxiety and food are related and you can take appropriate action to stop (or at least lessen) the anxiety, which will in turn ensure you are living a healthy, happy, fulfilled life.
To read more about Adrienne Marks, visit her Expert Profile.