Our amazing bodies are continuously trying to find the perfect balance. You eat sugar, the body releases insulin to balance your blood sugar levels. You drink something cold, your body works to maintain 98.6 body temperature. When you are stressed, your body tries to balance itself out by releasing cortisol into the blood stream. A little bit of cortisol is good but most of us are functioning in a state of chronic stress and that chronic release of cortisol is hurting us.
Such high levels of cortisol lead to stomach fat, high blood sugar, increased inflammation, insomnia, overeating, high cholesterol, imbalanced hormones, bad memory, decreased digestion, and much more. There are tons of other negative side effects but I want to get to the point. You realize that stress is bad but you just don’t know what to do about it.
Here’s what you can do right now. Breathe. That’s right, it’s so simple. Practice a few simple breathing techniques and you will begin to feel better in under a minute. Try the exercise below from Dr. Andrew Weil:
Breathe in (through your nose) for a count of 4
Hold your breath for 7 counts
Breathe out (of your mouth) for 8 counts
This powerful anti-anxiety exercise should be practiced at least twice a day. Practice this when you feel anxious, have a craving, are trying to fall asleep, and are feeling angry or agitated.
P.S. Read more about my stress story HERE.