The importance of managing stress

Stress Management for health and weight-loss

Stressors are inevitable. Life can produce the never-ending pressure of chronic stress. When this happens the body constantly releases the stress hormones of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.
If this is not controlled, chronic stress can lead to diminished health, disease, and can eventually kill us.

Stress can manifest itself by increasing the risk/s of:
* Obesity/weight gain
* Insulin resistance/type II diabetes
* Hypertension
* Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
* Cardiovascular disease
* Chronic pain
* Depression and anxiety disorders
* Eating disorders (both under AND overeating)
* Drug & alcohol abuse (including smoking).

Stress tolerance has an important influence on your ability to sustain the quality of your life. If you cannot tolerate stress, then you cannot enjoy a high quality of life. One of the most important factors for achieving this is the ability to choose coping behaviours where you can influence the stressful situation by keeping calm and maintaining control.

Most people don’t realise that there is a strong relationship between stress management and impulse control. When you control your impulses, you are reducing your potential stress factors. Controlling stress can also contribute to your weight-loss goals as well as your general health and wellness.

Some stress management strategies include:
* Meditation
* Include optimistic visualisation
* Adopting positive self-talk
* Controlled Breathing
* Exercise
* Relaxation
* Take time out daily. Include holidays
* Take up an enjoyable hobby
* Get a dose of humour
* Distraction (NOT with food, drugs, or alcohol!)
* Having a support network to share thoughts & feelings
* Talk to a psychologist 1 on 1 (therapy sessions are NOT just for mental illness but also for your mental health which high doses of stress can deteriorate).

Ensure you pay as much attention to stress management as to your weight-loss, nutrition, health, and exercise goals as the relationship between them all is more important than you might think!