WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.
HOW TO IDENTIFY IT?
These are some of the symptoms that are indicators of too much pressure that can come from you, work, home, any combination of, or maybe even all three. These signs can be psychological, emotional, physical or behavioral. Physical signs include muscle tension, frequent cold/infections, weight loss or gain, constipation, panic attacks, high blood pressure etc.
HOW STRESS IS AFFECTING OUR BODY?
Stress can have a huge impact on our mental and physical health as well. Stress can cause different problems like sleep disturbances, headaches, digestive issues, depression, and can even take your metabolism on a roller-coaster ride. So, if you find yourself indulging in junk food or sweets very often because of your recent breakup, a failed interview, or a financial crisis, credit goes the high cortisol level. High levels of stress hormone cortisol have been shown to up appetite, drive a craving for junk food, and make it easier to accumulate belly fat.
Let’s explore the different problems that stress can cause:
1. GAME OF TWO C’S :
• Craving and cortisol( a stress hormone), goes hand in hand. Once your cortisol level increases, insulin level goes up, blood sugar level drops and you start craving for sugary fatty foods.
• So, instead of the healthy substitutes like a banana or yogurt, you reach ice creams and chocolates.
• That’s why they are called “comfort foods”. The body releases chemicals in response to the food that may have a direct calming effect. And, if you’re a true junk food lover, you make them your partner in this emotional fight.
• You are eating all the healthy stuff and doing thousands of crunches, every day to reduce that belly fat, but still not getting the result. Check out your stress levels, maybe they’re playing the side role very well.
• Stress makes us prone to getting an extra layer of “visceral fat” around the belly. Excess belly fat is unhealthy and difficult to get rid of.
• Eventually, you struggle to fit into your favorite jeans, leading to more stress about the money wasted.
3. METABOLISM TAKES UP THE BACK SEAT:
• Mental and physical work needs an adequate supply of glucose.
• Unfortunately, the excess cortisol level slows down the metabolism, because your body wants to maintain an adequate supply of glucose for all that hard mental and physical fight you’re going through.
• Have you ever spent your whole night wondering about the financial crisis or an unhappy relationship? The study shows that 40 percent of us lie awake at night as a result of stress.
• Our mind remains overactive and we may also lose sleep because of that. Stress decreases the blood sugar level, which leads to fatigue. If you drink coffee or caffeinated soft drinks to stay awake, or alcohol to feel better, your sleep cycle will be even more disrupted.
• People also crave carbs when they feel tired or grumpy because of a lack of sleep. Finally, these restless nights will decrease the willpower and ability to resist temptation.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS?
1. STAY AWAY FROM CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL:
• Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. Caffeine and nicotine act as stimulants and can increase your stress level instead of reducing it.
• Swap caffeinated, alcoholic, and sugary drinks with water, herbal teas, or fresh fruit juices. Keep yourself hydrated as this will enable your body to cope better with stress.
2. MOVE YOUR BODY:
• Stressful situations can increase the level of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in your body.• Physical exercise can reduce stress by making the body and mind calm.
• Exercises also release the happy hormone “endorphin” which can improve the mood instantly. , if you’re feeling stressed, just take a brisk walk in a fresh air.. to refresh mind and body.
3. SLEEP LITTLE MORE:
• A lack of sleep can cause stress and stress can disturb your sleep patterns. These two go hand in hand.
• Give your brain some time to calm down before you hit the bed. Relax and go to bed peacefully.
• Try taking a warm water bath or read a calming book to relax.
• Meditation is a great stress buster and helps in connecting the mind, body, and soul.
• Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.
• This daily practice will help you to get rid of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
5. TALK TO SOMEONE:
• Just talking to someone about how you feel can be highly beneficial.
• Stress can cloud your judgment and prevent you from seeing things clearly. Talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.