For most of us, stress is no surprise, and unfortunately something we’ve accepted as a part of our daily life. However, even if you’re eating healthy and exercising daily, recent research shows that actually, “Stress may counteract the beneficial effects of a healthful diet”. Yikes! So if you’re wondering why you’re still not losing the pounds after consistently working out and pre-packing your meals, start to take a look into your daily stressors, and how they may be affecting this process!
Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, you get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee. At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This means, this can also make you very hungry. The more stress continues in your life, the more your body keeps on pumping out cortisol.
So how do we reset our hormones to stop us from having stress override our healthier food choices? Well there are many creative ways that we can spend a few moments out of our day cultivating. Here’s a few to help get you started in dissolving the way you react and approach stressful situations.
Telling your story is a powerful way to discover the truth of our human experiences and to make sense of them. This one’s a personal favourite for me. Keep a small journal with you, or open up the notes app on your smartphone and just simply start by ‘writing out’ the difficult emotions, such as anger, guilt, shame, fear etc. anything that comes to mind
Set aside 10 minutes each morning or night for ‘you’ time. This little routine can have a positive effect on you and how you navigate through the rest of your day.
Yes, I mean it. Anytime that you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or lethargic, see if you can find some space to take 5 minutes and stretch it out. Doing exercise even if it’s gentle stretches, helps get your body moving and your endorphins (happy feelings) rushing!
Paint, hang curtains, or finish any other home-improvement task on your to-do list.
It is essential that your body begins the day by eating a breakfast thats high in healthy nutrition, packed with vitamins and nutrients to help fuel you throughout your day. If you skip this meal, or cave in for something at the drive-through then these vitamin deficiencies can lead to increased cortisol levels, and you guessed it — food cravings! Try having some orange juice, a piece of fruit and try a whole grain bagel or toast with a bit of peanut butter. Whole grains are bursting with B vitamins, while peanut butter contains fatty acids that can decrease the production of stress hormones!
The most effective stress-reduction strategy of all: Get enough shut-eye. “Your body perceives sleep deprivation as a major stressor,” says Talbott. A University of Chicago study found that getting an average of 6½ hours each night can increase cortisol, appetite, and weight gain. Are you getting enough sleep?
Hand-wash dishes instead of using the dishwasher.
Give the delivery guy a break; when you order food in, pick it up yourself.
Preset the timer on your TV to turn off after an hour to remind you to do something more active!
Annu is best known for her authentic, non-judgmental teaching style and compassion centered self-love practices. She is instrumental in weaving ancient wisdom teachings of yoga into a modern day practice aimed at serving people at all levels. Annu is dynamic in teaching Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Power Yoga and Meditation. She is committed to finding key approaches to encourage the growth of the physical and spiritual self; helping others inspire thoughts into action in creating a life you deserve.
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