It is no secret that people have experienced it Effects of emotional health since the 2016 presidential election. Today’s news cycle highlights the negative influence of President Donald Trump “Zero tolerance policy On the migration is often distinguished by it Racist comments. Many people feel the current Political division Exacerbates discord Between family and friends Increased concern in the United States. And if left unchecked, it could wreak havoc with a person’s overall well-being.
Chronic stress can have real physical health consequences – and it’s something that happens seamlessly in real time. According to reports in New York times And the The Boston GlobeSome people say that the changes they see on the scale or in their diets are a direct response to negative news and a divisive political climate. Some even called the phenomenon of overweight “Trump 10”. Others also share social media accounts of how they have experienced the change in their physical health over the past two years.
The truth is that stress, whether it’s due to politics or other issues like finances, family problems, or workplace stress, can cause unhealthy changes in weight. And experts want people to be aware of their triggers – and solutions for how to deal with anxiety – so they can stay healthy.
The physical and emotional impact of anxiety
Jeremy Warden recalls experiencing different emotions in the months leading up to the 2016 election, ones that he said affected his general health habits. Warden, 26, from Minneapolis, said the political climate shown on TV inspired him to make a change in diet.
Before November 2016, he was “free of beef,” then after the election results, Warden completely eliminated all meat from his diet. Although he had followed a vegan diet before, he hoped that his change would help climate change and sustainability. (Research indicates consumption of meat and dairy Severely affect the environment.)
He said, “I felt kind of hopeless or stricken.” “It’s hard to feel that the planet has a chance against humans, and with that feeling kind of cut off inside me.”
Over time, Warden said his eating patterns seemed to change in ways that weren’t related to his meat-free diet. He said he was exposed to higher levels of stress when he saw the news, which in turn affected his appetite.
“I often feel sad or unmotivated to eat. It can be hard to justify getting out of bed when you’re headed everywhere, whether it’s social media, radio, or the news in general, things seem to be getting worse, or at least that’s what he’s focused on. People “.
“I often feel sad or unmotivated to eat,” he said. “It can be hard to justify getting out of bed when you turn everywhere, whether it’s social media, the radio or the news in general, things seem to get worse, or at least that’s what people focus on. Food preparation is often trivial.”
Warden believes he has lost at least 15 pounds since the election. The weight loss may be partly caused by an intentional diet change or a number of other factors, but experts say the stress surrounding current events, politics or news could also be part of the problem.
a 2017 Survey From the American Psychological Association found that more than 50 percent of American adults said that following the media was stressful for them. It’s also a trend that transcends political affiliations: The majority of adults from both political parties reported that the nation’s future has been a source of tension, according to the APA report.
In a statement he made at the time of the poll, APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr. said that it is virtually impossible to escape the news and that could be a cause for stress.
“Through news networks and round-the-clock conversations with friends, family and other contacts on social media, it is difficult to avoid the constant flow of pressure around issues of national concern,” He said. “These can range from light, thought-provoking discussions to frank and intense bickering, and a prolonged conflict like this may have an impact on health.”
Kristen Pitt, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that life-changing events – whether it’s a job change, a new relationship, or even media coverage – can lead to changes in eating habits.
“It’s a very common experience,” she said. “It varies from person to person, but people fall into one of two categories: either they lose their appetite completely, or they turn toward the delicacies.”
Shelley Kendra, Nutrition Coordinator at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, added that our bodies react differently to stressful situations. In some cases, this could mean reaching the closest snack every now and then or, as happened with Warden and others, extreme weight fluctuations.
Protect your mind and body
Before hitting a snack or skipping a meal, Kendra said, it’s important to think about whether outside pressures are playing a role in changing your diet.
“You need to go deeper and think about whether you are really hungry because of stress or because you are really hungry,” she said. “Taking the time to pay more attention to bodily cues will help you take a more mindful approach to your eating habits.”
“Taking the time to pay more attention to bodily cues will help you take a more mindful approach to your eating habits.”
– Shelley Kendra, nutrition coordinator at UPMC Maggie Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh
Pitt said that if you start noticing a change in your diet, you may want to consider finding alternative ways to deal with stress. She suggested getting up and going for a walk, calling a friend, practicing meditation or any other method of coping that keeps your mind busy. If keeping up with the news or checking out the social media feed also contributes to this sentiment, it’s okay to check out or not read every story.
Both Kendra and Peat acknowledge that there are times when a diet change is expected. It’s normal to have ice cream after a breakup or not feel like eating when you get bad news, but watch how often this behavior occurs.
“If you feel unable to manage stress on your own or if you look at things yourself and feel out of place, finding a professional to talk to will help you deal with it,” Pitt said.
Warden said he has actively chosen to combat the feelings of tension he feels over the elections, which the APA has said could be. A good way to actively deal with anxiety. He also used his family and friends as a support system.
He said, “Being with the people you love, creating things together, enjoying these things, and enjoying what other people create and present to you, it all brings me back to earth, really, and reminds me that life is a beautiful thing.” “We will always have hope if we are together.”