Weight Loss Wisdom 2: Seven “Stress-Less” Steps to Slimming Serenity

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Cortisol — it’s both friend and  foe to the body.  It’s a steroid hormone and more specific, a glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal glands.  Its job is to raise blood sugar, suppress the immune system, and aid in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  To read more about cortisol, here is an link that has a far better explanation that I can provide in a few words.

Like most things, too much cortisol isn’t good for us, especially women.  When stress causes cortisol to be released into our bloodstream, too much of it can cause fats and sugars to be deposited around your belly, hips, and thighs.  Over the past few months, I’ve picked up some ways to reduce to stress that comes in daily living:  lots of prayer, a good eating plan, exercise, breathing, and taking some time for myself.  I know a lot of us do these things.

Here are other ways I’ve found that reduce my stress levels, which you might never have heard before:

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1.  A Rosemary by any Other Name

The scent of rosemary calms the brain’s anxiety center.  In as little as two minutes, sniffing rosemary oil (an essential oil found in health food stores) can stop stress surges dead in their tracks.  (I have also made a rosemary sachet using a toddler’s white cotton sock, filling it with four to six tablespoons of dried rosemary and tied at the open end.  I always make sure to crush the dried rosemary in the palm of my hand or with a mortar and pestle before adding it to the sock. This releases its essential oils.)

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2.  Take a Chill Pill

A recent Canadian study has shown that if you take a regular-strength acetaminophen tablet twenty minutes before stressful events (like public speaking or being around people with whom you don’t necessarily get along), it seems to lower anxiety levels.  Preliminary results show that the acetaminophen interrupts brain signals that cause psychological distress.  (And it’s easier to obtain and less expensive than Xanax!)  Of course, you should always check with your doctor because too much acetaminophen isn’t good for your liver.

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3.  Doodle for Your Noodle

Distract your brain and start those soothing alpha waves flowing by doodling for two or more minutes.  You don’t need to be a great artist like Karen Palmer to get great results.  Even something as simple as drawing circles, squares, and triangles and shading them in seems to lower your stress hormones.

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4.  Put Down the Phone and Step Away from the Computer

Taking regular breaks from your cell phone or computer can lower stress in as little as twenty-four hours.  Try turning them off during coffee breaks, meals, and family time to decrease the cortisol release from your adrenal glands.

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5.  Give a Girl or Guy a Fish…

And both will lower their blood pressure, which will in turn reduce their stress levels in every area of their body.  Daily fish oil supplements are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acid and help reduce blood pressure.  Another, more tasty way, to get this effect is to eat two to three ounces of fish at least three times a week.

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6.  Find Your “Hunger Kill” on Blueberry Hill

Feeling hungry increases your stress level.  Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, and natural sweetness that contribute to the feeling of satiation for which we long. A 3/4 cup serving of fresh blueberries (frozen will do in a pinch) and a small handful of raw almonds as your afternoon snack will activate the receptors in your small intestine that signal the brain that you’re full.

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7.  Make a List and Check It Twice

Pre-planning a busy day by making a list of chores or activities can ease your worries.  Checking each off the list once the chore or activity is complete gives you a sense of accomplishment.  That sense of accomplishment can be a calming effect on your nerves.  When your list is finished, display it in a prominent place so you can see how much you’ve gotten done and continue the calming effect.  If you don’t get to all the items on your list, start a new list for tomorrow with anything you don’t get done today.  More importantly, don’t stress the small stuff.

Sources of information:  Psychiatry Research Journal, Woman’s World Magazine, Health Magazine, Self Magazine

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4 thoughts on “Weight Loss Wisdom 2: Seven “Stress-Less” Steps to Slimming Serenity

  1. Another thing we have in common: weight loss strategies that work! I joined TOPS a year and a half ago and earned KOPS status a couple months ago. Now I am into Kepping Off Pounds Sensibly – and really appreciate the tips you shared here. I will pass them on to my TOPS club members. I bookmarked this page. Thank you! 🙂

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