Stress and Food
Sometimes when people feel empty inside, they fill up on food to get rid of the empty feelings. In such cases, they eat sugar and starchy food when they are under stress. Do you find yourself turning to food instead of turning to people? When do you think someone would feel empty?
People eat for a lot of different reasons. First of all, our body needs food to survive. We need food for nourishment and growth. Second, we use food to celebrate. What would a birthday part be like without food? Pretty boring! Think about the way we celebrate Thanksgiving or other holidays around the dinner table. Food is everywhere!
Third, we use food to occupy time. We gather together to watch a football game and have finger foods right next to us. We sit down to read a good book or watch a TV show and we have a plate of cookies, bowl of chips and a drink. Fourth, food is comforting. It reinforces habits and traditions. It makes us feel good. We like to have certain foods at certain times of the year. Can you think of a favorite time of the year that you associate with food?
Lastly, food can be used to help us feel good and get rid of uncomfortable feelings. Instead of thinking about something painful, we can turn to food. In a sense, it can numb our feelings.
So how is food related to stress? Eating affects our brain chemistry. Being on a diet or under stress can cause a reaction in some brain chemicals. Later we are going to learn about five different chemicals in our brain and what they do! Stay tuned!