Are you finding yourself anxious, stressed and tired? Are you not sleeping because of all the things you HAVE to get done… been there, done that – and yes, I understand life is short and we all want to make the most of it, but at what expense? If you are so overscheduled that it’s affecting your quality of life and health it’s time to take it down a notch.
Stress causes an increase in the hormone Cortisol which is produced when we feel threatened or anxious. This hormone stimulates fats and carbohydrate metabolisms for fast energy and stimulates the release of insulin. Insulin is a storing and locking hormone. When it comes to storing fat, high insulin levels assure that any extra calories will be stored as fat, while putting a lock on fat cells and inhibiting the body’s ability to release fat. Carbs dramatically impact the elevating of insulin levels, increase fat storage and decrease fat burning.
Ways to reduce stress and Cortisol levels:
- Allow yourself some private time each day, even if it is only a half hour.
- Take a long walk.
- Buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself.
- Begin to develop an intimate circle of friends and family.
- Turn off the phone and allow your answering machine to pick up your calls.
- Put on your favorite music, turn it up loud and dance.
- Call your best friend and settle in with a hot cup of tea, for a good long talk.
- Snuggle up in bed with a good book.
- Sink into your tub for a long, luxurious soak at the end of the day.
- Indulge in getting (or giving) a massage.
- Write a love letter (to your partner, children, parents, friends…)
- Treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure.
- Rent a great video.
- Start a gratitude journal and express your thanks on a daily basis.
- Go to the beach. Delight and bask in the warming rays of the sun.
- Visit your favorite bookstore and spend the afternoon.