A Look Inside Anxiety & Panic Disorder

Friday, February 10, 2006

Changing Eating Patterns is a Must

It goes without saying that if you have a problem with anxiety & panic disorder you are most likely going to have to change your eating habits. This includes reviewing what you eat, what you need to it, what you need to remove from your nutritional intake, as well as when you eat or drink it!... Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Perhaps you chose to read this article or my books because you know that you need to change your eating habits. This was a good first step.

Perhaps you already know that good nutrition lowers the risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. For example, for at least 10 million Americans at risk for type II diabetes, proper nutrition and physical activity can sharply lower their chances of getting the disease. Good nutrition that is designed to meet the specific needs of your body and exercise level also stops food cravings, bingeing, as well as cravings for other addictive substances.

Perhaps another reason is because you have noticed a resistance to change in some areas of your lifestyle behaviors. You are certainly not alone. Although Americans are slowly adopting healthier diets, a large gap remains between recommended dietary patterns and what Americans actually eat.

It is very interesting to observe people and their relationship to eating. Most people tend not to pay any or little attention to what they eat or drink. There is often a complete lack of discipline, as if food and beverage had nothing whatsoever to do with the internal functioning of the mind and body. Truth be known, there is a huge connection between nutritional intake, chronic disease development, management and symptoms. Many individuals live in continuous food stress, causing their body and mind to function at very low levels. The chronic disease is often blamed, while the true culprit is the food stress.

I wish you could be a fly on the wall of my office, and listen as I interview patients about their eating habits. It is rare to find a single soul who is not experiencing what I call food stress, or disorderly eating. One cannot help but feel sorry for the poor body parts sitting before me. These body systems and cell groups are locked up, unable to get what they need to survive. Imagine someone carrying a hungry baby in their arms, and refusing to feed it. When individuals refuse to feed their body correctly, it is very much the same. The person with the baby could be arrested for child abuse. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a law against self-abusing one’s body. Perhaps if there was such a law, people would begin to pay attention to what they are doing to themselves.

When the mind and body are under food stress, additional stress chemicals are produced as the body attempts to find balance. It is well known that chronic disease states are stress related. The medical literature suggests that 60-90% of disease states are related to stress in some way. This is actually good news. Translated correctly, this means that 60-90% is within one’s power to change.

There is much to be learned from observing chronic disease and the lifestyle behaviors of those with the problems. There is no lack of people to observe. Walk through the supermarket, the mall, the movie theater, the baseball park or just about anywhere else. Go into the school cafeteria or walk the halls, observing the junk machines. Count the fast food restaurants as you drive through your town. Try to locate a healthy place to eat. See how many non-food places sell junk food at their registers. Observe how many people are eating outside of regular meal times. How many of these people are doing something else while they are eating. This is called mindless, or blind eating. Walk through your office or workplace and see how much junk you can locate. Watch for ongoing cans of soda or the bottomless coffee mug. Also look for those items that people try to pass off as healthy “alternatives”. Then ask yourself, why do we need to eat all day long?

Observation or assessment is key to designing change, because if one can't see what needs to be changed, how can it be possible to do so? Sometimes these statements appear ridiculous, but once you begin paying attention to the problems that surround us, you might be stunned by what you uncover about yourself.

The reason for this is that most people live their lives on automatic pilot, not paying much attention to what they do "moment to moment." They don't see the big picture, nor the minute changes occurring in the mind and body triggered by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Little attention is paid to the reasons why heart disease, diabetes, circulatory disease, asthma, or the many others develop in some people, but not in others. Why do these diseases speed up during particular times of life and not in others? Little attention is paid to why the bowel is irritable, or why the body keeps breaking down in so many areas. Little attention is paid to why anxiety and/or panic disorder seem to be problematic in some, or why the anxiety comes in the afternoon and not the morning. If this sounds like detective work, you are right on the mark.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, President & Program Designer for Sarasota Medical & Sports Hypnosis Institute located in Sarasota, FL & online at http://www.hypnosis-audio.com & http://www.sugar-addiction.com She is the author of Sugar....the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It, Beyond Disorderly Eating...The Truth About Sugar, Bingeing & How to Stop, as well as The MindBody Fitness Boot Camp... Lifestyle Change Made Easy. She has also written & produced +350 audio CD's & mp3's. The websites include moderated discussion groups, ezines, library & a host of other educational tools for learning Interactive Self-Hypnosis. Visit the online Boot Camp & work directly with the author. Download a free mp3 each month.