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Stress and Anxiety & Depression

Family preparing dinnerThank you for joining us on our journey through Stress. Last time you saw how being stressed can lead to physical injury. The following example will show you how you can lessen your depression and anxiety by getting adequate GAS.

Let’s use another example. I recently heard a woman sharing about the sudden onset of anxiety during COVID. Anxiety and depression are up 300% according to research during the last year. It’s been a really tough year for a lot of people. It was really hard for Lynn and I.

We could say COVID is the stressor that sets us off but is that true? I don’t know, but it’s not the only thing. Remember, when we have adequate GAS inside, we can, in truth, grow through ANYTHING. We can find a way through ANY SITUATION.

We can get bitter, or we can get better. Really, it is a choice. A choice followed by really powerful and strategic action will build GAS for any of us. Back to “Suzie” with anxiety.

She had also on and off struggled with depression most of her life, as did her sister and mom. Likely there is a genetic tendency for imbalances that can lead to the experience of depression. However, many times, these gene tendencies are just that – a tendency, not a hard fact.

One of her coping strategies during COVID was doom scrolling Twitter and various media outlets. This activates the amygdala in the brain sending a constant flush of stress hormones through her body. This decreases GAS.

She’s trying to figure out how to deal with having her kids at home and being with her husband all the time. That’s tough, and I know that one well. She and her husband are fighting more and feeling separate. Home is no longer a peaceful safe haven, it has become a threat. More activation of the stress centers of her brain, whipping the tired horse of her GAS.

How Your Food Choices Effect You

To self-soothe, she’s eating foods rich in processed sugars, processed grains, and processed dairy. She feels down, bloated, heavier, and therefore exercises less.

Her food choices are depleting her stores of folic acid and Vitamin B6. The constant stress response is draining her reserves of magnesium and zinc – stress hormones need zinc and magnesium to be produced. Rather than being used for her immune system and neurotransmitters, she’s just trying to get through the day.

B6, Folic Acid, Zinc and Magnesium are needed to make Serotonin. She now has depleted serotonin reserves for two reasons: she’s lacking the nutrients and her gut is a mess from the food. We make 95% of our serotonin in our guts. High cortisol depletes serotonin further, which can be lowered with her exercise she used to do.

She’s now tired but wired. All the time. Was it COVID? Sort of. Really, it was the WAY in which she responded to the stress and threat that determined how much GAS she would have.

At Dr Matt Lyon we offer nutrition help to ensure you’re adding the correct fuel to your body to help prevent stress, not lead to it.

In episode four, I will cover the 3 virtues that will get you more GAS in your tank.

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