I think the title says it in a nutshell (it doesn’t get any more blunt than that).
But in all reality, stress is some seriously dangerous stuff. Regardless if it’s eustress (so-called “good” stress that positively propels you) or distress (“bad” stress) research is finding how detrimental it is on all aspects of your life.
The way stress works within the body is a stimuli occurs causing the body to release hormones to protect ourself. These hormones prepare us to either “fight or flight” – to either stay and fight or to run away. They cause an increase to our internal mechanism – increase heart-rate, blood pressure, release of hormones, etc.
These hormones are also associated with inflammation which is good when dealing with an injury because it allows for the injured aspect to be broken down and then rebuilt, but in today’s world our fight or flight mechanism is constantly on causing a constant breakdown.
Ever heard of a little thing called cortisol? This little beast is released when faced with stress and it:
- Suppresses thyroid function (the thyroid determines our metabolic rate)
- Decreases muscle tissue (causing a decrease in the rate at which we use calories)
- Causes an increase in abdominal fat which is associated with a number of other health issues (increase blood pressure, heart rate, bad cholesterol and decrease in good cholesterol)
- Causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels
- Breaks down tissue (thus the aging factor)
- And much, much more.
It’s no wonder during times of stress it seems the pounds come on easier and are far more difficult to come off. Physiologically when we’re stressed our bodies don’t want us to lose weight.
So what can you do to avoid this pesky thing called stress?
Yoga, meditate, breathing techniques, read, walk, exercise – whatever it is that allows you to disconnect from the world for at least 10 minutes.
Ten minutes are all you need create a change within your body and address stress. Start by taking a 10 minutes out of your day to slower your breaths and build from there.
I’ll have a post on meditation to piggy-back this one, until then, tell me what you do to deal with stress.
Tell me about you.
Be gentle. Be kind. Be loving to you.