We’ve heard before that “stress kills.” But did you also know that it makes you gain weight? When you are stressed, you have more amounts of the hormone cortisol, the “stress hormone” that causes belly fat!
In order to decrease your cortisol levels, you must de-stress and learn how to deeply relax. Here are a few quick tips on how you can learn to relax even in your busy and stressful life:
Deep Belly Breaths
o Deep breathing allows the nervous system to relax and takes the body out of “flight or fight” mode. Instead, the body is better able to move between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, allowing relaxation to occur.
o Place your hands on your stomach, and take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your stomach up into your hands.
o Then feel the air rising up into your chest.
o Slowly breathe out through your nose (keeping your mouth closed)
o Repeat this breathing 10 times slowly throughout the day or whenever you’re feeling stressed.
o Exercise has been proven to reduce stress. Even if there is no physical change in your body, your stress levels are still greatly reduced.
o Your body releases feel good endorphins, which create a better mood and encourage a more relaxed demeanor.
Spending Time with Friends
o Research shows that people who socialize with friends report a reduction in stress levels and an increase in overall happiness.
Getting Enough Sleep
o The body needs time to repair itself, and it needs time to totally check out and relax during your sleep cycles.
o By getting an adequate amount of sleep for your body, you are able to be more relaxed and and also to relax more easily.
These tips will not only help you reduce stress, but also will help you avoid gaining weight. So if you’re not already, start implementing them today!
Stephanie Mansour is a Health & Fitness Expert and Body Image & Confidence Coach. Her company, Step It Up with Steph, can be found at http://stepitupwithsteph.com/