Stress can lead to high blood pressure, headaches, problems with sleeping, heart disease, and even weight gain.
Studies have shown that people who are able to limit and reduce their stress levels are far more successful at losing weight and keeping it off long-term. While mild levels of stress can result in a temporary loss of appetite, research shows that chronic, long-term stress levels can actually trigger and alter the hormones that control our appetites.
Identifying your sources of stress
The first step you can take to fight off stress is to identify the components in your life that are causing stress in the first place. Are certain friends stressing you out? Are you unhappy at your job? Are health problems stressing you out? If so, you can start making changes in your life to slowly phase out the sources of your stress. If you’re not quite sure what’s causing you to feel stressed, try keeping a journal to help you identify times throughout the course of your day during which you feel sad, anxious, or depressed.
Find new healthy ways to battle stress
Each person handles stress differently, so it’s important to find ways to battle stress that work best for you. Here are tips on ways you can effectively battle stress:
Avoid situations that cause stress. Although life isn’t always perfect and some situations may be unavoidable, there are still a number of ways you can prevent stressful situations from happening. Start saying no when people ask you to volunteer your personal time or stop spending time with people who irritate you. If you always feel busy and rushed throughout the day, eliminate tasks you don’t necessarily need to do. Just remember that it’s okay to put your own needs first, especially when you’re suffering from stress.
Change the outcome of stressful situations. If certain stressful situations are unavoidable, find new ways to change the outcome of said situations. For example, if you deal regularly with a person who offends you, speak up instead of letting the person get away with being offensive. Or, if a certain process or task at your job is stressing you out, try to develop a new way to complete the task that is less stressful.
Change the way you respond to stress. Do stressful situations affect you for days, and prevent you from being able to sleep? If so, ask yourself if the situation is really worth getting upset about. Also, if you find yourself constantly stressing about situations that haven’t even happened yet, take a step back and try focusing on the present moment. In some cases, people will often stress about situations that haven’t happened, and may never happen.