These days, so many of us suffer from chronic stress that our bodies can no longer tell the difference between pressure from work, missing your morning train or actual life threatening danger.
Therefore, the “fight or flight” response will kick-in anytime you feel stressed – no wonder
it’s been so difficult for you to lose weight!
So, although you are late for work and this causes stress, this situation won’t prompt you to fight or run for your life (depending on your boss, that is!) as your body expects that you will.
Therefore, the extra glucose and fat that should have been burned off during this “fight or flee” episode end up being stored as fat in your mid-section.
The reason why fat targets your waist area is because this is close to your liver, meaning
that in the event you need to convert this fat into energy, it will be quickly done so by the liver.
Therefore, being able to effectively manage the day to day stressors in your life is a critical component of weight loss, especially belly fat.
Although you can’t avoid stressors completely, there are ways to minimize their impact through relaxation techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
These coping strategies activate the body's natural relaxation response and boost the production
of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
Here are the best science-backed ways to beat stress that you can implement today to help you on your journey to a flat belly and optimal health.
This Buddhist practice has been used since ancient times for its health benefits. When practicing mindfulness, you mobilize your own inner resources for growing, learning, and healing.
There is even a free program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) that has helped over 22,000 people change their lives and find their inner peace.
Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment and being aware of each step you walk, each breath you take, and the things around you. This relaxation technique helps relieve anxiety and stress and may ease the symptoms associated with
fibromyalgia, fatigue, depression, headaches, heart disease, and panic attacks.
It works by teaching you to be in control of your mind.
Deep breathing exercises are widely used for stress relief. This relaxation method releases endorphins throughout your body, leading to a state of joy and happiness.
For this reason, it is often recommended to those dealing with sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders.
Also known as abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, this technique increases
oxygen flow to your brain and internal organs, which helps stabilize blood pressure and
calms your mind. When done regularly, it boosts your energy, wards off anxiety,
and enhances your body’s ability to deal with stress. To fully reap its benefits,
practice deep breathing at least 10 to 20 minutes each day.
Meditation has been used as a stress relief tool for thousands of years. Modern research supports its healing properties. Just a few minutes of meditation a day can reduce stress, prevent heart disease, and boost cognitive function.
This practice induces a deep state of relaxation and lifts your mood. It also reduces negative emotions, increases self-awareness, and gives you a new perspective on life. Many health experts recommend meditation as a way to cope with depression, sleep problems, and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation and guided meditation or visualization are particularly beneficial in stressful situations.
Guided visualization is one of the most popular and effective forms of meditation. This technique is also known as guided imagery. When practiced regularly, it lowers stress hormone levels, recharges your mind, and helps reduce the side effects of stress.
This relaxation method involves creating and focusing on a detailed mental image of an object or environment that calms your mind, such as a beautiful landscape or a memory you cherish.
It is often used in combination with massage, music therapy, or progressive muscle relaxation.
In addition to its stress reducing effects, it may ease pain and aches, boost your motivation,
and improve your health.
Certain yoga poses have been shown to relieve stress and increase energy levels.
This mind-body practice reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone,
and improves brain function. It's actually considered one of the best stress
management techniques out there.
The benefits of yoga go beyond stress relief. This practice stabilizes blood pressure, improves your balance, and keeps you fit. It also yields strong emotional benefits and decreases physiological arousal. Yoga can help you beat depression and anxiety without popping pills.