Stress and Anxiety plays a major part in weight gain in most individuals. This is because emotional and physical stress initiates the release of various hormones in our system. Stress hormones produce energy and adjust the body’s metabolism and blood flow. For people undergoing physical stress, cortisol is secreted by the body. Cortisol stimulates the body preparing it for high-energy physical activities such as running or jogging. Cortisol will increase appetite so the food you eat can quickly replace the fats and carbohydrates that have been used up by the body.
People who are emotionally stressed and anxious are more likely to crave sugary, fatty and salty food. These are mostly processed food and fast food that are high in calories and are less healthy. Fast food is a big reason why obesity is becoming rampant nowadays. An increased level of cortisol makes a person eat more than usual and sometimes even causes binge eating. It slows down the body’s metabolism even if the same amount of food is consumed. This is often one of the overlooked reasons why losing weight can be difficult for some people.
Stress and anxiety causes havoc on blood sugar levels thereby triggering mood swings, depression, insomnia, fatigue, indigestion, muscular-skeletal aches, memory loss and ulcers. Since stress and anxiety slows down metabolism the amount of body fat increases. Excess fat gets stored especially in the abdomen. Moreover, the visceral fat that surrounds the abdominal organs is also a source of other potential diseases. This type of fat is often linked to diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, gallbladder problems and breast cancer.
Prolonged and excessive psychological stress can lead to anxiety syndrome, which can be characterized as a feeling of apprehension, or fear. Sometimes the specific causes of anxiety can be pointed to, as in a particular event that causes you anxiety, but often times anxiety syndrome results from the cumulative affect of a multitude of miscellaneous stressors, none of which are particularly damaging on their own, but when combined lead to a great deal of mental anguish. Another one of the more interesting facts about stress is how not being able to point to a specific cause of anxiety can in itself create anxiety and stress, which sets up a vicious cycle that perpetuates itself regardless of the presence of outside stressors.
Here are some practical tips that will help you manage stress and anxiety:
- Watch How You Breathe
When you are under stressed, your breathing tends to be shallow and fast. So when you find yourself in this situation, try to take a few deep breaths. The truth is when your mind is focused on one thing, your heart rate slows down and your blood pressure is lower as well. So try to focus your attention on breathing in and out normally for a minute or two.
- Meditate Using Mindfulness Technique
Mindfulness is basically paying complete attention on what you are doing. This is how it works: try eating a small piece of chocolate slowly as you can and experience its full flavor and texture. This will open your eyes and lets you realize every minute details of what you are doing. You can use this technique in everything you do whether you are eating, doing some household chores, or reading a book.
Reprogramming your mind can be very helpful and relaxing. Not only does it help you to reduce your cravings with powerful hypnotic language, but also reduces the stress levels and improves your sleep.
- Avoid Eating Too Fast
Did you know that when you eat fast you will suffer from anxiety and stress? This would often result to indigestion. And if you eat fast, you also tend to eat more which would lead to weight gain. Instead of speed eating, try to eat mindfully. If it’s possible, make an effort to eat one meal in peace in one day.
- Have Time for Yourself
Try to do something for yourself. Why not make a schedule to do stuff for yourself every day? Take some time to do things you enjoy doing and savor every moment of it.
- Seek support
Just like writing stuffs down can help you identify patterns and problems. If you talk about it, you can also help put them to the forefront. Support groups at weight loss clinics or online can be great resources, their apps and website have the added benefit of anonymity so you can share your thoughts and fears without embarrassing yourself. Alternatively you can use “The Beat Anxiety and Gain Confidence 6 Steps System” that aims to obtain rapid results when dealing with unwanted beliefs, fears and traumas.