We live in a world that takes on too much, too fast without enough sleep or proper nourishment. Its no wonder there is a stress epidemic around here!
1. Stress is linked to increased body weight. When we stress out, our body kicks into survival mode and seeks out high-calorie foods that it stores as fat for times of famine.
2. Stress is linked to increased cancer and heart disease risk. The top 2 causes of death in the US!
3. Stress is linked to poor sleeping habits. Poor sleeping habits is linked to weight gain & poor concentration.
How to deal? For starters, try fixing the little things that are in your control. If you know you run late every single morning to get out the door for work, maybe wake up 5 minutes earlier or set up items for your morning routine the night before. Stressor eliminated!
Not everything is in our control. For the inevitable stressors, try taking a break when you feel it coming on. Take a few deep breaths, think about the big picture in life. Is it really worth the health consequences? Communicate your feelings in a calm, but assertive way so that you are rid of the emotional burden that may be weighing on you.
It’s also helpful to try to be present minded. Far too frequently we go through life on autopilot. Half-participating in life’s events has become a part of our smart-phone obsessed world. Fully focus on whatever it is that you are doing in the moment, and appreciate everything you have to be grateful for. Gratitude is shown to lower stress levels and increase happiness!
As you’ve probably heard, exercise can be a great stress management tool as well. Aerobic exercise (anything that gets your heart pumping a bit) tells your brain to release chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel happy. Light aerobic exercise is also shown to increase mental clarity, meaning you can think more clearly & reasonably…even a quick walk around your office can provide some benefit!
The important message here is to find something that works for you so that you can face everyday as your best self. What works for you?