Sit down to eat, and make it a family gathering
Definitely sit down to eat, and eat at the table with family and friends, not in front of the TV. Keep the conversation positive and light. I love this idea offered by fellow nutritionist and good friend Robin Nielson: she suggests that just lighting a candle can be calming and put you in a digestive mode. In The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, Rebecca Wood offers this suggestion for feeling less alone when you eat by yourself: remove extra chairs from the table and put photos of loved ones nearby where you can see them.
Don’t eat when you’re highly stressed or anxious
Chronic stress, anxiety and depression reduce your production of hydrochloric acid and lower levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA), an antibody that plays a critical role in immunity in the gastrointestinal tract. This will impair your digestion. And because poor digestion leads to nutrient depletions that make it more difficult to handle stress, it creates a vicious cycle. If you need to eat and do feel stressed or anxious, take a few minutes to breathe deeply or practice other relaxation techniques before your meal. Also consider listening to relaxing music while you eat.
Excerpted and/or used with permission by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. The Anti-anxiety Food Solution, Trudy Scott.