I was talking a couple of days ago to someone I know who had visited this blog. She asked why I have not talked about the role of medications in anxiety. The answer is that meds have not been part of my journey. I realize they are for many and help many.
What has been part of my journey is the realization of how much the chemicals I get from food and drink and how much the chemicals my body produces (hormones, enzymes, and neuro-chemicals) play a role in my anxiety. When I eat too much sugar I tend to be more anxious, perhaps because it over-fuels my brain. Wine has a somewhat calming and somewhat over-thinking/rambling thought effect on me. Not getting all my vitamins throws me off balance, and off-balance opens the door for negative thinking.
So am I saying there’s a super-diet for reducing anxiety? No. Diet is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Diet is what we eat. Each of us has an unique constitution and unique health challenges. The only universals are that fiber helps the bowels move, protein is long-burning energy, vitamins are so called because they are vital to body functions, and so on. The basic facts of nutrition science.
For me, a good diet is one that avoids my food allergens, gets as many vitamins as possible in food form, reduces sugar, and keeps fat below 45 g per day. Sugar is a big battle for me; I crave it when I am in a certain portion of my female cycle and when I am having an extended allergic reaction (the allergic cycle). When I give in to the craving, the next day my arthritis is worse (for me, it’s an inflammatory). Also as the sugar rush ends my anxiety, along with my temper, is worse. So I try to control my sugar intake. I try and sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail and try to take the role of sugar into account when I’m catching myself at negative thinking.
I don’t blame my anxiety on the sugar or lack of vitamin A or any other chemical. I simply acknowledge that the chemicals in me play a part and accept that I am a physical as well as mental and spiritual me.
What about you, gentle reader? How do the chemicals in you from food, drink, and perhaps medications, affect your mental state, your predilection to negative thoughts? Are you able to acknowledge and accept the effect? Do you attempt to avoid any foods or drinks to help with positive thinking?