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I think I have some more stress in my new job than in my old one... even though I really love this job more and feel more creative, challenged, and stimulated.
I have been eating when I'm not hungry. I can only think it's stress, because I'm certainly not bored. However, throughout the day it is manifesting itself much more as a vague need to put something in my mouth or a vague perceived need to eat than actual hunger.
I made some headway last week by asking myself "are you hungry?" when I felt this "I want to eat" feeling, which helps a bit... but I haven't been 100% successful with that method.
Any suggestions for help in trying to identify the stressor?
So my experience has been that it is more helpful to focus on the action plan than on the cause of the stress--too many confounding variables and at the end of the day, who the heck knows? So, instead do more of what you already did--plan ahead for when you get the want to eat feeling.
No coasting in running and no crying in baseball
find a replacement for eating. Like a 10 minute walk.
Asking yourself if you're actually hungry is a good start.
If it's a want for something in your mouth, chewing gum might be a good aid for now.
To figure out what the stress really is: journal. Just start writing... you will be surprised at what comes out.
maybe she's born with it, maybe it's chlorine
If you're injured and need some sympathy, PM me and I'm very happy to write back.
disclaimer: PhD not MD
Thanks for the input. I usually don't have time in my work day for a 10min walk or much of anything else if I've got patients stacked up...
I'm going to give the gum and writing a try though.
I wonder what might come out of the writing. I haven't even been able to figure out why I'm feeling stressed and want to stuff my face.
Another friend thought it was lack of daylight. I really don't see it any more.
I'll second the journal writing. As part of my therapy for anxiety my psychologist has me writing. Things come out that I never even knew were there.
I used to do that too. I changed jobs for one with less/different stress, but that is far more stimulating and challenging. I also stopped keeping food/snax at my desk/workspace. I was unconciously scarfing away way too much food while not actually being hungry. I had completely interrupted the normal hunger triggers. I spent a serious amount of time asking myself with every bite I took "am I hungry? why am I eating this?" and realized that I was eating because I was bored/stressed. I drink a lot more coffee now but I'm OK with that. If the food isn't readily available, I'll end up being busy enough that I'll forget about it, won't go looking for it.
When you are stressed, you trigger adrenaline, right? Adrenaline is basically the "fight or flight" driver - so prolonged adrenaline production will totally mess with your other hormone cycles (DHEA, Cortisol, etc.). How are you sleeping these days? Make sure you get some de-stress time. Stress can kill you. Seriously.
"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
I think you're right. My sleep has been at times bad/poor/insomnia.
The sleep affect has gone in spurts. I'll sleep really well for a while (like last night) and then go through a streak where it's not so great.
The good news is that I've kept up my regular exercise, and have felt like I 'got my mojo back' and am really looking forward to the workouts recently. When I first started the job last August my workouts were sucking too, and I think that was mostly a function of moving to a more 'active' job than a desk job.
I'm having the opposite problem. I have different reactions to different levels of stress. Normal, everyday I'm busy stress inspires eating. Chest pain, can't sleep, can't think stress and I can't eat. I've lost 12lbs this fall and I'm still dropping. Can't seem to find the motivation to eat. If I do, I'm eating Taco Time because it is drive thru and I figure I need to get in the calories at least once every couple days. I did OK at my parents' this past weekend because I was able to distance myself from the stress but now I'm back and it is back.
Any ideas on how to eat?
"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
Jen, you may actually have to set your watch to beep at you to eat. Seriously. People do it in races, why not in life? You have crazy tough stress right now. Don't trust yourself to know when to eat, heck even sleeping is going to be so messed up for you (maybe too much even).
Hang in there,
"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS