Stress can be one of the most insidious culprits for your lack of body transformation progress. Aside from its devastating effects on our hormones, it also has some everyday life implications that are equally troublesome. I'm hoping by now that you've already read Interesting Facts About Stress and Weight Gain. If you have not, I definitely encourage you to.
Find the Funny
The first simple way to reduce stress is through laughter.Laughter is scientifically proven to lower cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine levels which exacerbate feelings of stress. Additionally, it causes the body to release dopamine. Dopamine assists in controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, and you guessed it, it gives us the warm fuzzies and feelings of relaxation. So if you’re feeling stressed or exhibiting symptoms of stress, watch something funny, or go see a comedy show. I simple way to alleviate stress is to literally laugh out loud.
Meditation has wonderful immediate effects and after effects. In the short term, meditation is largely a practice of controlled breathing. When your breathing is controlled and steady, your heart rate slows, which is essential to battling symptoms of stress.
The other key component of mediation, which assists even after you’re done, is a clear thought path. The best way to cure stress is through prevention, and meditation can give you a clear head to think through the situations causing you to stress. Done well, this can help you think yourself out of a sticky situation or develop tools to prevent the stressful situation going forward.
This would not be a fitness blog if I didn’t mention the extremely positive effects exercise has on managing stress. Exercise triggers your brain to release feel-good endorphins which are powerful enough to curtail feelings of extreme pain. Specifically, endorphins reduce our perception of pain via their interactions with opiate receptors in the brain. So, of course, the same feel-good side effects of endorphins can help you manage stress. Additionally, where is your mind when you’re exercising? If you think back on past workout sessions, you may realize how clear your mind can be while working out. This combined with any of your favorite music in your ear, makes exercise a triple threat against stress.