When we meet our friends after a long time their first reaction is, “Hey you have gained weight, I know an excellent dietician”. We all talk about diet plans, being calorie deficit, and exercise to lose weight. But, one very important point that we miss is stress. Stress plays a very major role in our weight gain or even weight loss.
Action Of Stress
Stress might be internal (due to physical illness or mental ill-health) or external (job, relationships, monetary). It is an integral part of human life. We cannot run away from it but can learn to handle it well so it does not affect our health.
Different people respond to stress in different ways. For some stress drives them to eat food, which in turn soothes their negative feelings, and the chemicals released help to dial down their stress levels. The stress hormone helps in the accumulation of belly fat, causes inflammation and insulin resistance. Such people end up gaining weight.
While others respond to stress by not eating at all. Higher stress levels aggravate acid reflux and nausea which keeps them from eating. Such people tend to lose weight.
One can manage stress only if one acknowledges it and realize how it is harming their health. There are numerous techniques that can help you to manage your stress levels, a few are highlighted below:
- Gratitude: List two things for which you are thankful this week (they can be a person, event, or a pleasure.
Cultivating gratitude is the practice of focusing on what you have rather than what is missing in your life. The weekly habit of writing what you are grateful for in a journal is another way of reducing your stress level
2. Optimism: “Seeing the Cup Half Full” Negative thoughts are a barrier to achieving any goal. Transforming negative self-talk into positive affirmations can empower and give you the confidence to overcome challenges. By paying attention to and transforming your response to adversity, you can perceive stress positively.
- Recall a negative thought you had in a recent stressful situation (e.g., feeling that you are not good enough)
- Challenge that thought (e.g., Why do you not feel confident? In which ways are you qualified?)
- Substitute a positive thought (e.g., I have the skills to do this, I can learn a lot more)
- Do this once a day each day this week
- Change Your Negative Thoughts To Positive Thoughts
3. Meditation: It is the best way to stay calm and relaxed. The positive energy that flows through our body while meditation helps to drive us away from the stress factor. It helps us to think clearly and tread the correct path.
Once we learn to respond to stress in a healthy way and manage it properly we can invest the time of our life into other healthy things. We can then plan an exercise regime, indulge in healthy eating, and have a proper sleep routine. Only a well-balanced lifestyle can help you attain and sustain your ideal weight.