It is true that sugar can be harmful for us in many ways.
As a naturopathic doctor, I do often suggest to be mindful about the amount of unnecessarily sugar consumption. I also know from both professional and personal experience that a right amount of sugar CAN DO the wonderful things for our wholesomeness versus strict diet or over consumption of sugar does create uneasiness which may lead into negative spirals.
And that’s why many of us crave sweets when we are stressed. Innately we know that sugar CAN BE a good remedy for us to get through such time.
Don’t we all feel so nice and happy to eat colorful delicious sweets like those in the pictures once in a while? Yes, just one or two, not all.
So When we are experiencing stress, there are 3 components that are involved.
an event, physical or emotional interpreted as a threat that tends to disturb homeostasis or a state of harmony. “The father of the stress field”, Dr. Hans Selye wrote that for man the most important stressors are emotional. This is another reason that stress can trigger changes in appetite – Emotional eating.
How we FEEL has MORE impact on us than what happens to us.
2. Processing system
how we experience and interpret the meaning of stress, is heavily determined by our MIND; the personality and the current psychological state. This is often based on personal disposition and our personal history. If you think your stress is harmful, it can certainly harm you (increase the chance of premature death by 43%! – right, our stress WON’T kill anyone, but our MIND CAN). On the other hand, if you think your stress is benign or actually helpful, you can turn the stressful situation into an opportunity to seek and build a stronger support system for your wellbeing. We will be more hopeful and resilient 🙂
3. Stress response
various physiological and behavioral reactions to a perceived threat. The biology of stress mainly affects 3 types of systems;
1) Hormonal system such as adrenal
2) Immune system
3) Gastrointestinal system.
First, stress can help us to keep a “fight or flight” state so that we won’t need much sleep, won’t catch cold, and won’t get that hungry. Also we may feel numb so that we can get through, or we may feel something is not quite right so that we try to do something about it by reaching out and seeking for a solution.
BUT, if you are experiencing symptoms like chronic fatigue, frequent colds, heightened allergic reactions, or even stomachaches, your body may be experiencing the typical prolonged (and often suppressed) stress response. At such a stage, the psychology of stress often relates to anxiety, depression, irritability, forgetfulness, loss of sex drive, insomnia, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
Unfortunately, we cannot completely avoid stressors nor change the stress responses, but we CAN adapt our processing system to modify the impact of stress on us (thus alter the stress response as well) to be something helpful and useful for us to thrive!
Yes, our MIND can save us (^o^)/
Even though I wrote this far, please remember the MOST important fact –
we have managed various stresses, even the hardest and painful ones so far.
In some ways some how we have survived through! That is amazing, isn’t it? We all have beautiful self-healing power within and that is what help us thrive with stress and promote our flourishing health.
If you would like to explore further, I would love for you to join us for the next Flourishing Health workshop “Thrive with Stress!” from the Integrative Mental Health Centre of Toronto (IMHT) on TODAY, Tuesday Sept 17 2013 at 6pm at Granby Centre of Natural Therapy.
Let’s learn to truly thrive with our stress. Wouldn’t that be such a Delicious Moment?
With love, hope and gratitude from my heart,