Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stress can make your sick, fat, and unhappy

So many people in this world are stressed out! Do you know the impact stress can have on your body? Do you know how to reduce stress? Read on and I will give you some important information about why you should try and live a stress free life!
I tell people I don't have any stress in my life. They always say really none, no stress at all? I say yes, I don't have any stress in my life. They will usually say again, "you don't stress about anything?" No, I don't. Nobody seems to believe me when I say that. I have made changes in my life and I really do live stress free.
That has not always been the case. When I worked as a district manager, and oversaw 20-30 stores in several states I did stress about things. I remember laying awake at night thinking about missing deposits, employees that were stealing, and making sales All those worries for what? Whenever I felt the stress in my life was no longer healthy, I made a change. I quit my corporate job and became a personal trainer when I was not enjoying my job anymore. While this was not easy, I did it. It took me a while to get a client base as a trainer. I had to cut back on any frivolous spending while I was building my client base. I only bought the necessities for a while. I worked some lower paying jobs until I was able to build a good client base. Was it easy? No, but I wouldn't have done it any different. The life I live now is really great and I have so much fun everyday doing what I love to do!
So what does stress do to your body? When you are under stress your body will produce too much of a hormone called cortisol. Too much cortisol can cause several bad things to happen in your body:
  • increased belly fat
  • decrease muscle mass
  • loss of sleep or uneasy sleep
  • poor performance

Stress can also:

  • cause ulcers
  • cause inflammation in your body
  • cause headaches
  • over eating binges
  • cause you to miss workouts
  • lead to depression
  • decrease immune system and make you more susceptible to sicknesses such as colds and flu

So what should you do to reduce stress? Well if you cant change jobs like I did there are still things you can do to relieve stress in your life.

  • Avoid people that stress you out! Yes no matter how much you like them, some people LOVE drama and pull you into it. You need to distance yourself from these people. I am not saying you can't be friends or acquaintances with them just limit your exposure to them. Sometimes it is family members and this is tough but you need to think about what its doing to you.
  • Exercise is the best way to reduce stress. When you are stressed the LAST thing you should do is miss a workout. It is good for your body both physically and mentally.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine, ephedrine or bitter orange. These could make sleepless nights worse and cause more anxiety.
  • Do something you really enjoy doing. I am shocked when I talk with people that don't really know what they are passionate about! But there are a lot of people that really are not sure what they like to do. Find out what it is and do it. There has to be something out there for everyone!
  • Keep yourself busy. Don't give yourself any time to dwell on the things that stress you out. Keeping busy will also make it more difficult to stress eat. If you tend to eat unhealthy when stressed the busier you are the better.
  • Mediation or Yoga for some people is a great way to reduce stress.
  • Get enough sleep - at least 7-8 hours a night.
  • Take your vitamins and eat healthy!

Living a stress free life is possible and it is up to you to make changes toward living stress free. I surround myself with positive people that make me laugh. They say laughter makes you live longer so I plan on living a long life. They also say people with pets live longer.....I am good on both of those!

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