I suggest you find a way to cope with stress...a healthy strategy that works for you...because as a grad student, I can tell you that from my experience (and the experience of many other grad students): being in grad school is much more stressful than applying to grad school. So if you can figure out a way to de-stress yourself now, you'll be at an advantage when the stress of graduate school hits.
Keep trying the relaxation techniques. They won't change your life overnight -- nothing will. Keep it up. If you ended up in the hospital with stress, thinking it was a burst appendix, then it's all the more essential that you find a way to deal with the stress in ways that don't consume your health.
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Stress and anxiety can really do a number on a person's stomach. Have you considered trying yoga ? Yoga has many deep breathing techniques that can help calm your nervous system. I find the techniques I learned to be very helpful in stressful times. So, you might want to consider taking a yoga class with an instructor. Many good ones incorporate different breathing techniques into their class. Also, being in a difficult pose is all about learning to calm your nervous system. a good yoga class could be very helpful to you.
Mostly, I know you're stressed out about grad school, but what happens when you're accepted ? You're going to have to learn to deal and cope with these kinds of stresses life tosses at you. Because the more stressed out you become, the more likely you'll make mistakes.
I'm also a big believer in walking not just for its cardiovascular benefits. I find a walk in the fresh air really helps clear out the mind's cob webs.
try yoga, it's not just for flexibility.
As far as eating, if you're looking for healthy ways to increase your caloric intake during these high stress times, consider snacking on nuts. Almonds, walnuts, etc... are all high in a healthy fat that's good for your heart. If you don't like chomping on nuts, try a piece of whole wheat toast or rye with some almond butter. Almond butter is very rich, so you don't need a lot to get full quickly. You may even want to make yourself some refreshing fruit smoothies to drink too.
It's not strictly right after I eat, and it's not consistent. I'll just occasionally get into these bouts of panic where I literally worry myself sick. A couple months ago it got to the point that I had to go to the hospital because it felt like my appendix had burst; they checked everything out and everything was fine. I've tried about every relaxation technique in the book, I've tried exercise, I've tried destressing as much as possible, and I think I may just have to accept that my future is hanging in the balance and there's no way I'm going to be able to relax until I figure it out. In the meantime I know I have to find some way to keep myself going physically, but the anxiety just saps my appetite completely. Unless anyone is a grad school admissions committee member, I think all I can do is find a way to force myself to eat in the meantime :)
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What do you mean you can't keep anything down? Are you reaching the point where you get sick after eating? If so, you may want to contact your doctor to get his/her take on this. Remember food is fuel for your body. If you consistently under eat, over time you your body will begin to conserve those calories you do eat, thereby slowing down your progress.
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Have you tried working out? Maybe just go on a long walk, or a run, or biking or just pumping weights? I find that vigorous excercise works just as well as yoga and meditation (or sleep haha). It gets you sweating and helps clear your mind atleast for some duration of the day, and usually after a pretty good workout you get hungry.
It sounds to me that you need to work on all the ways you can cause your body and mind to release some of your stress. You can't work on the outside issues that are causing you the stress -- university responses and all -- but you can work on how your body reacts to stress.
If you search the site for stress and meditation, you'll find many coping mechanisms that may help you release some of that stress and make it easier for you to eat some healthful foods. Many popular methods are to darken a room, put on soothing music, and light a candle. Watch the flame of the candle as you focus on your breathing -- in through your nose, hold for two counts, out through your mouth, hold for two counts, in through your nose. . . . Try to let your mind let go of all the problems you're facing. If the candle and breathing doesn't work for you, try one of the myriad other ways (hot baths, dancing, going for a walk, singing, whatever works for you.)
Your lack of food is contributing to the stress on your body. You need to take care of your health or the stress will be even harder on you physically.
I think if you take any of these steps, you'll find it really helps with other things in your life, too.
So I need a little advice on how to get something in me. I'm applying to graduate school and decisions will be coming back within the next month or so. Lately I've hit a whole new level of stress and anxiety, and when friends hear back from schools, it seems to be amplified x100 even though I'm thrilled for them. I used to be an emotional eater when I was slightly stressed, but I'm at a point where I can't seem to eat anything or keep anything down. Yesterday I actually UNDER-ate, I was only able to get about 1,000 calories. It feels like I'm forcing myself to take every bite. Is there anything I can eat that might go down easier or even perk up my appetite a little so I can get something into my stomach?
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