Whether it's stressing over a test or something happening in your personal life, we've all felt anxiety one way or another. Sometimes, it makes us so nervous that we feel too overwhelmed to eat or even think of food. From my personal experience, I've learned that this can be conquered by the power of snacking. Here's why.

When I'm anxious about something, I typically like to rip something (usually paper or some other weak material) so I feel like I'm gaining control. I've realized that foods that are easy to rip, like bananas, soft tortillas, and certain granola bars, give me a sense of balance when I'm stressed. It's the power to control how much I eat at a certain time that puts me at ease when I feel out of control.

notes, textbook, study snack, snacks, studying, clif bar, tangerine, cutie
Jocelyn Hsu

Spreads and Dips

Spreads and dips also make me feel like I can manage eating despite the stress. For example, mornings on days of presentations or exams, I usually leave the house with a spoonful of peanut butter that I can eat on my walk to class. The benefits of this for me come from the lack of effort it takes to eat peanut butter or any spread. It eventually just melts in your mouth, so why try to force anything? 

I also love the convenience of the snack packs that come with hummus or other spreads and some sort of veggie or cracker. They have been perfectly portioned out already so I don't worry about overdoing it calorie wise. Snack packs are also so easy to just grab and go, especially if you stock up on them in your room beforehand. 

Drinkable Snacks

If I'm not feeling foods that require chewing, I'll also opt for a smoothie or even a latte some days. I'm still treating my body to a snack, but just in a way that doesn't take much effort from me and that also calms me down. Sips are probably the best way to intake the smallest amount of nutrients, so this method gives you all the control you could ever need. 

nut butter nation, Fruit, healthy snack, snack, PB, peanut butter, apple, apple slice
Jocelyn Hsu

Keep it Cool

One thing I always try to keep in mind when snacking is to not stress out about it. When I'm under a lot of pressure, I tend to go for the first thing that interests me instead of searching through aisles for longer than necessary to find something more specific. As long as I'm eating healthy and that I know it will keep me satisfied, It will always do the trick. 

Aside from helping me eat in times of stress, snacking also gives me a greater sense of control over my life in different ways. One way is by giving me the power of choice. Sometimes, dining halls can be overwhelming, which is why a good snack option should always be available when I don't feel like dealing with crowds.

cream, goody, cake, cookie, sweet, candy, chocolate
Torey Walsh

Another way is by giving me an outlet to socialize. When a wave of anxiety comes over me, I feel too distracted to talk to anyone. With snacks, it's easier to offer up some of your treat as well as ask a friend for some advice to get you through your hard times.

Lastly, it's just comforting to eat when you're stressed. Your body deserves to be treated well so that it won't also lose control of itself. Plus, most people's favorite food is their go-to snack which is always a personal pick-me-up.

Next time you have a crazy week full of assignments and exams or when things aren't going as you'd hope, remember that you can do anything, especially when it comes to eating. Don't deprive yourself of nourishment because that always makes things worse. You just have to inhale, exhale, and munch on whatever makes you happy to get through it.