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Managing Stress and Your Weight

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As women, most of us are really good about taking care of our outside appearance. We are good about doing things to enhance our outer health. It is important that we realize the need to spend just as much time and effort on the inside for a healthy mind and mood both of which relate to a healthy body.

Unnecessary eating and emotional eating can develop from stressful situations. Managing your stress can significantly assist weight goals. In a world where most women work outside of the home as hard as they work inside the home, mental stress is at an all time high. Do you recognize the stress in your life?

Stress comes in four forms: environmental, social, physiological, and personal thoughts. While you can control some of these sources to minimize stress, everyone has to learn to live with some level of stress as a part of being human. Some physical signs of stress include: weight gain or loss, muscle tension, negative mood, hair loss, sleep disturbance, high blood pressure, shallow breathing leading to anxiety, and digestive problems.

Regardless of where your stress is coming from, work, family, self induced perfectionism…here are three easy ways to manage stress effectively and maintain a healthy body.

1. Laughter and positivity. These are the most important stress releases you can use. Both are easy to use and offer immediate relief. Laughter has been found to release natural ‘feel good’ endorphins in our brains. When stress levels are high, think of a really funny memory or movie that will make you giggle. Let yourself laugh out loud. This breaks the tension of the moment and creates cognitive dissidence (a psychological term meaning that you cannot experience two opposing feelings at one time). Maintain positive thinking at all times and surround yourself with positive minded people. When you notice negative or critical thinking creeping into your mind…turn it around to improve your mood and coping skills. The majority of our experiences are manifestation of our thoughts and expectations. Keep positive expectations to improve your reactions to life events. If you doubt this idea…you are probably in a negative rut…test the theory for yourself.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.