Dieting is difficult. The commitment to a new lifestyle carries a promise of future improvements, but only after committing all of yourself to the task. The stress of dieting can bring its own collection of lovely disruptions to your lifestyle by clouding your judgement, aging you prematurely, and even cause inflammation where you’re so desperately trying to shrink. Combating stress is the first step to setting yourself on a path to success, and more importantly, keep you from relapsing into old habits. Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to stop stress from getting in your way.
Directly linked to cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, fat can gather around your stomach and waist as a result of being over-stressed. Beyond all the benefits of living to avoid stress, a managed system of meditative breathing exercises can even help battle your belly fat. Using a technique called “Deep Belly Breathing,” the practitioner is able to manage their body’s production of cortisol through deep breaths and relaxation. By calming bodily functions, the brain naturally produces a chemical called melatonin. Melatonin, as opposed to cortisol, is a hormone suited to regulate sleep cycles, fight aging, and reduces the production of cortisol. All that’s necessary is that you follow these simple steps:
- Find a dark and quiet space for you to sit in. Melatonin production is motivated by being in dark places, hence it’s common release prior to sleep.
- Start performing meditative breathing cycles with your hand on your stomach. Breath in through your nose and feel your stomach expand with the fresh air.
- Finally, exhale through the mouth to a count of five. Use this breath to focus on voiding that space you just felt fill. Repeat this activity for 5-10 minutes each night for a week and results will make themselves apparent.
Focusing your mind on such a simple task is meant to empty your mind of all stress, and drastically reduce your cortisol levels. Not only does this exercise place your body in a healthy cycle of stress management, it helps to increase your energy levels, bolster your immune system and improve reaction time. For as little as five minutes a day, you can fight fat and stress with these simple steps. For more on the topic, follow this link!