Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Kayla
Stress is one of the most overlooked influences on health, yet it can be difficult to seek help for it. If you’re seeking solutions to minimize stress and avoid burnout, coach yourself as your first line of defense and seek professional help if needed.
What concerns me most is how nowadays, we wear stress like a badge of honor. As if more work and less self-care is something to brag to your friends about.
Perhaps you’ve found yourself in this scenario? Comparing commitments, PTO hours you’re “too busy to use,” or maybe you can’t remember the last time you had a “me” day.
Unfortunately, though, too much stress causes weight gain – regardless of whether or not you’re “doing all the right things.”
And so, this week I want to offer up actionable advice you can use to help manage stress and continue your journey toward optimal health.
If you like what you read here, check out the latest podcast from Ed Mylett which inspired today’s message. It’s one of my favorites!
Control your controllables
Our brains are hardwired for fear and worry. Take a step back from the immediate situation and assess what’s in your control.
As I recently read in The Power of One More by Ed Mylett, Navy Seals are taught to ask themselves, “What in this situation can I control immediately?”
Find comfort by recognizing what you can manipulate in your favor. Adapt quickly and don’t get caught up in negative emotions that don’t serve you.
Narrow your focus
Are you dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? If so, you’re not in the present moment. As CEO Scott O’Neil said, “Be where your feet are.”
It’s easy to feel anxious or overwhelmed when you’re thinking about past failures or future “what ifs.” Manage focus by shrinking your concentration to the present.
Successful time management involves managing focus more than it involves managing time.
For example, think about how much you get done the day before a vacation. You are more productive and laser-focused. You complete 2-3 days of work and may even work ahead.
I like the Focus Keeper app to help manage focus and boost productivity. I use the free version and can set a timer for working blocks and breaks. Choose one task to work on per block and stick to it. Manage focus, not time!
If improving health is a goal of yours, sleep should be a priority. Sleep impacts weight loss, and more stress increases the need for proper rest.
When you don’t sleep well, your body responds by releasing the stress hormone cortisol. This low-grade stress response is compounded with other life stressors. Ultimately this wreaks havoc on your hormones and leads to weight gain – especially around the middle.
Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. Dim lights, avoid screens, and find a wind-down routine that works for you. In my opinion, one of the best forms of self-care is getting great sleep!
Words from the Wise
In talking about stress, we didn’t even touch on the impact of stress on emotional eating.
Increased stress hormones can stall weight loss by slowing metabolism to “conserve” energy to manage extra stress. On top of that, stress increases cravings for sweets, carbs, and fat.
I think it’s no coincidence that “stressed” spelled backward is “desserts!”
Try the strategies above to help manage stress and stay on track with your goals! If you need additional help, check out my LIFe Programs for women after bariatric surgery.
Founder of LIFe – Lose It Forever
This post may contain affiliate links. When you make a purchase through any of the links, there is no additional cost to you, and I may earn a small (and very appreciated) commission. Thank you for your support!