Stop worrying by eating chocolate

Photo: Bartek Ambrozik, Stock.xchng

I have read sites that piously tell people with worry and anxiety to eat less chocolate because it pumps up the adrenal system.  But this advice comes from people who don’t worry who think they know best.  I’m an olympic worrier, and I don’t offer any advice here, but I can tell you that for me  chocolate – if enjoyed substantially – is actually a great healer from worry.   The secret for me is to really enjoy eating it! (which is quite different from guilty bingeing or over eating).

One of the things I have learned about worrying is that worriers like me have loads of rules to live their lives by.  A list of ‘oughts’, for example:

  • I ought not to eat chocolate because it will give me spots and make me fat
  • my house ought to be tidy, or else I can’t relax
  • I ought not to let my daughter watch TV, even if I really need a short break
  • I ought not to use the tumble dryer ever, because it’s bad for the environment

I could go on with my list of rules, but it is too dull.  I have been suffering from a serious ‘Hardening of the Oughteries’ and the only remedy is to ignore the rules and do what I like.  I can eat chocolate and really enjoy it. Let my daughter watch telly, use the tumble dryer sometimes and generally be a bit more relaxed. Not abandoning all principles, but whilst I’m getting better sometimes it really is good to ‘expletive’ the rules.

What a relief!  Any how must go for now, got a dark chocolate mint chip bar in the fridge, which really needs some attention… What’s your favourite chocolate? You might like to take the chocolate poll just for fun.

2 thoughts on “Stop worrying by eating chocolate

  1. Hey, do you think that the anxiety and the rule-based life are related? I am also a chronic worrier (not diagnosed but…) and I feel there are many things I ought do … but I can’t respect some of my own rules and then I get mad at me and worried that I’m a failure and so on. Anyway, do you think this rules thing is associated with GAD?

    • Hey, thanks for your post – sorry for slow response. I’m not an expert, but I do think that ‘rules-based’ lives and anxiety may well be linked. I think that in the past, (and sometimes now) I make up rules to live by as a way of navigating daily chaos. This was also because I didn’t have a very strong sense of myself and therefore used to ask for reassurance from others, and live by rules. What I have learned (and am still learning) to do since is to let go of the rules and trust my own judgements. This is because the rules I used to live by are not flexible enough to cope with daily living.
      I hope that you have made good progress and are finding ways that help you
      Very best
      Julie x

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