What is YOUR stress about?

Money? Work? Relationships?

We all have it.

We don’t always realize how much stress impacts our health, eating habits and mood.

A recent study showed women who were experiencing high levels of stress burned fewer calories after eating a fatty meal than their peers. YIKES!

When we get worked up our flight or fight mode kicks in, changing our hormones and it can even slow down our metabolism. A stress hormone called cortisol can also disrupt and increase hunger, making you crave foods high in sugar and fat!

Unfortunately stress can trigger you to choose more pleasurable foods that aren’t always the best for your health goals. These typically are high in sugar, fat or salt.

Tips to Reduce Stress:

1.) Write down emotions, journal for 15 minutes everyday

Find a zen environment, write out how you’re feeling, your goals, or whatever you feel like! Don’t worry about grammar or what exactly you’re writing, just jot it down.

2.) Yoga & Meditation

Yoga and meditation provide highly practical techniques and movements to help manage stress before it does lasting damage to our minds and bodies.

3.) Listen to Music

Music therapy has been shown to help reduce anxiety and may even help with pain management. Pump the jams before going into work or while getting through daunting errands!

4.) Turn stress or anxiety into positive thoughts

Get excited! Perception matters, and science suggests that a little bit of stress can actually be beneficial. If you have a quick deadline, take it as a positive challenge!

5.) Make exercise a priority

Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.

6.) Connect with a friend.

Maintaining a deep friendship requires a level of psychological intimacy. Being transparent and open about what’s going on in your life can build relationships.

7.) Revamp your workspace.

Declutter, rearrange, personalize it! Get environmental irritants out! A cluttered environment saps your mental energy and increases anxiety. Diffusers are a great way to boost mood!

8.) Get a massage.

Massage therapy has more recently been used for the treatment of mental and emotional problems, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Also considered a relaxation technique, massage therapy may be able to help reduce tension.

9.) Put down the electronics.

Schedule time to turn it all off and just connect and decompress. Electronics cause overstimulation when you are already stimulated.

10.) Create a worry list and make strategies.

Breathe out anything that was the opposite of awesome with the intention of letting it go.

11.) Say out loud what’s bothering you.

Call a friend to vent, see a therapist, belt it out loud! Sometimes it helps getting those feelings out into the universe.

12.) Sip on some tea, eat a snack slowly, be mindful. 

Take a minute to enjoy a snack or beverage. Think about the taste, smell, texture. Refocus your thoughts on being in the moment.

Studies:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0062817

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/writing-about-emotions-may-ease-stress-and-trauma

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29345398

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30075469