You could be doing everything right with your diet and exercise, but if you are still holding on to a few extra pounds (especially in your belly), then there’s a very good chance it could be because of your stress levels.
We all have a hormone in our body called Cortisol. Cortisol is our body’s natural “fight-or-flight” hormone and is dubbed our “stress hormone.”
Let’s say we’re attacked by a bear in the woods…our Cortisol levels shoot up, allowing us to have clear focus on the immediate danger and giving us energy to sprint as fast as we can away from the bear.
The problem is, we are not sprinting away from a bear in daily life. We get stressed out at work, sitting in traffic, or dealing with personal situations that cause chronic levels of increased cortisol.
Now…all of that energy and adrenaline gets released into our bloodstream for sprinting in the woods, except we’re not sprinting anywhere…..so it all gets stored as belly fat.
Cortisol also reduces the effectiveness of our immune system.
So when we’re chronically exposed to stress, our immune system is compromised.
Chronic Stress is one of the main contributors to weight gain and obesity, getting sick, having less energy, and depression.
The good news is that we can decrease stress with a little persistence and dedication.
Here are a few Ways to Decrease Your Stress:
- Reduce your Sugar Intake
- Try Meditation or Yoga
- Start taking Omega 3′s (fish oil)
- Disconnect: Turn OFF your Computer & Cell for at least an hour every day
- Try to find at LEAST 10-15 min a day of peace and quiet
- Find 10-15 minutes to be outside in the sunshine
- Get a Massage!
So….this week’s Challenge of the Week is to Focus on DE-STRESSING Your Life.
I challenge you to spend at least 30-60 minutes EVERY day this week, focused on relaxing, resting, and de-stressing.
Sometimes taking time for yourself is the hardest thing to do- but by taking care of yourself, you are able to handle everything and everyone that comes along more easily. ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE!? Leave a comment below if you are committed!