We’ve all been told that in order to be healthy we need to rest and manage our stress… right? But why?
Cortisol is a hormone that is released every time we feel anxious, stressed, or in danger (thank you adrenal glands!) When it’s released it heightens our awareness and supplies our muscles with a ton of energy. It also halts nonessential functions such as digestion and reproductive function. So if you feel chronically stressed, odds are you probably have tummy issues too. Heightened levels of cortisol can also lead to weight gain, inadequate sleep, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and weak bones.
This is why it is sooo important to manage our stress. Not just when losing weight but all of the time.
When we are constantly stressed and filled with cortisol, our bodies release tons of energy. This increases our appetite and may lead to weight gain. And in reality, I think many of us can relate to over eating or emotional eating when we’re stressed. I see it all the time with my clients. And to be honest, I sometimes still see it in myself if I’m super stressed.
So many of us use food as a coping mechanism. Eating releases happy hormones which gives us that short term feeling of calm and relief…but like I said, it’s only short term. This is why learning how to manage your stress and stress levels is key for long term success, health, happiness and also weight loss.
So how can we manage stress?
Recognize your stressors
This might seem super obvious, but I bet I’m not alone in saying I’ve felt irritated for no reason. And odds are it’s actually justified! Do you have too many deadlines? Extended family coming to town? Whatever it is, pinpoint it so you can begin the steps of coping.
Take time for YOU
Set aside a moment in the day when you can relax and unwind. It might be at the beginning of your morning in silence with a great cup of coffee. Or at the end of the day with a nice hot bath. Take a walk. Be in nature. Whatever makes you feel at peace.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is a time for your body to reset and repair itself. I recommend getting around 7-9 hours of sleep every night for optimal rest!
Meditation gives you the chance to disconnect from the hectic world around you and tune in to your own body. If you find it challenging to meditate on your own, I suggest finding a meditation app that guides you through the exercise.
Move your body & nourish it
It’s proven that daily exercise naturally releases stress-relieving hormones. Whether it’s biking, running, walking, or strength training, moving your body every day will have a major impact on your mood and stress levels. Also make vegetables & protein sources a priority in your diet. The less processed foods we can eat, the better our body will feel. It takes a lot to break down processed foods which can leave us feeling lethargic and bloated.
Give these tips a shot and let me know how they work for you! You are worth it. 💖