As a happiness expert, I know how detrimental negative and stressful emotions can be, but did you know that stress could also lead to overeating and unhealthy food choices?
Our metabolic health and storage of fat are linked to our food cravings and choices. Chronic, unmanaged stress is linked with weight gain. Stress induces secretion of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal gland), which increases abdominal fat. The connection between weight loss and stress is just one more reason to take control of your happiness and reduce the effects of stress.
Our happiness is linked to our health. Happier people are healthier and have stronger immune systems. Making a commitment to becoming happier and reduce stress will give you the inner strength to manage your weight and ward off illness and disease at the same time. A double win!
Here are three ways to reduce stress and increase positive feelings:
- Practice gratitude every night before you fall asleep. Write down five things you are grateful for that happened during the day. Give thanks for all the wonderful things in your life. Give thanks that you have a bed or a computer or a bus pass. Anything you currently have is worth giving thanks for! Just think how you would feel if you lost everything to theft or fire and you will discover that you are lucky to have them.
- Add some positive visualization to your daily practices. Use your imagination to propel you to a more compelling future. Have a job interview coming up? Imagine answering and asking questions in a calm and intelligent way. Create rapport with the interviewer in your mind. See yourself and them smiling, interested and open.
- Forgive daily. Letting go of grudges and becoming a more forgiving person increases your happiness and reduces stress. Your desire for revenge will increase your cortisol and stress chemicals. Forgiveness is not something you give away; it is a gift you give yourself. If one does not do the necessary forgiveness work, the hurts of the past compile and lead to more anger, resentment and increase physical and emotional ailments. Forgiveness is not condoning wrongdoing or bad behavior since it frees you to lead a happier and more joy-filled life.
Suffering is optional. Suffering is stress. Anger and jealousy are bad for your heart and blood vessels. When you are happy, your body creates calming and soothing chemicals. These chemicals inspire you to eat more healthfully and take care of yourself physically. All of this self-care allows you to release unwanted weight. Practicing these potent tools will help you to improve your health, your weight and, your life.