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Depressed is a commonly used term to describe how someone is feeling. In casual use, people often use the term “depressed” to describe how they feel about various difficult or disappointing events such as a favorite sports teams losing, the start of a new workweek or rainy weather on the...

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War. Rape. Fear. Violence. Molestation. Sexual assault. According to Bessel van der Kolk, MD, incidents involving emotional trauma and toxic stress are far more common than people generally understand. Since 2001, he says, far more Americans died due to family violence than in the wars in Iraq and...
Take a walk with a child. Notice how he stops to examine each bug on the sidewalk. Maybe a ray of sunlight flashes on the mica of an otherwise nondescript rock, capturing his attention and fascination. Now, what is occupying your own mind? Most likely, you don’t notice the bug or the rock. Your mind instead is wandering over a list of chores you need to tackle at home, unfinished work on your desk, financial worries and health concerns.
For many, eating is a go-to activity which fills in the gaps when we’re bored, in need of comfort, or transitioning from one part of our day to the next. As children, much-awaited afterschool snacking preceded, and stalled, the need to tackle stressful homework and as adults, midnight (or all night) munching is practically an unconscious activity. Food, for many, is a much-relied upon companion, always there to calm us when we’re stressed and used to relieve depression. Of course, the effects of eating wear off quickly, leaving us even more anxious and many pounds heavier. Stress is a part of life whether we like it or not but trying to use food as an anxiety reducer tends to make us feel worse and even more out of control. Before you reach for that next cookie, ask yourself, is there a better way?