Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness



Why doing something you hate increases stress


Life is hard, some days more than others but if we hate what we do every day, if we don´t enjoy our work then stress increases and becomes chronical.

Doing something you hate or you don´t enjoy increases stress for so many reasons and it gets worse when you not only hate what you do, when you not only hate the activity but also the people around you, your team, your boss, the environment or culture of the entire place.

So many people want a secure 9 to 5 job that pays well, we want that security and safety regarding money, but this only gets people trapped in a toxic job and toxic environment.

When you don´t like what you do you don´t have the motivation you need to do what you need to do, when things get harder or you get assigned a project or any challenge that involves learning new skills or taking risks you may start getting anxious or panicking because you´ll need to invest more time and energy into something you´re not interested but you need to deliver and meet expectations otherwise you can be fired.

If the people around you, your team whether they´re coworkers or even classmates just make fun of you every single moment spend there is like hell and as time pass by it gets worse. If your boss or teacher always criticize your work and blame you for everything that goes wrong then stress increases and remains high even when for some reason you are safe in your job and you know he can´t fire you.

If the culture and values of the company or office you work for do not align with your values every minute you are at the office or spend time working with your team you need to be rally aware of every thing you say and do so that you don´t do or say anything wrong.

If you wake up every day without motivation to go to work, without motivation to do all you need to do, if you´re not interested on your job and all the activities it involves you´re not living the life you are meant to live. You spend most time with high levels of stress even if you´re not aware of it, just the fact of not enjoying what you do and not being interested on it and having to do it anyway increases stress.

Life is a journey and none of us are meant to live a mediocre life doing something we don´t enjoy or possibly hate just to have financial security, there´s no reason to make just enough money to live a decent life if you hate every second of the journey and it´s worse knowing that stress is one of the cause of some diseases or at least if it didn´t cause it makes it worse. You might make enough money to pay bills but you have problems sleeping, you get sick pretty often, you are tired and unmotivated all the time you have changes on your appetite, you keep thinking about work and all you need to do and not in a good way even when you´re at home, there´s always something related to your job that keeps you worried, etc.

If you let this control your life at the end you´ll not only hate your job but also your life and you´ll regret not taking the steps or not taking the risk to do what you actually wanted to do. Around 40% of people hate their job and they stay there just because of the paycheck but not amount of money is worth paying the risks of living an stressful life, a life that you hate that can lead to health problems, if you hate your job it´s literally killing you.

Health is a priority, physical and mental, the negative impact of having a job you hate in your mental health needs to be counted. If you feel tired, stressed, unmotivated, if you feel depressed or anxious it can be caused by your job, every experience releases certain chemicals and hormones in your body so it´s not a surprise that a job you hate, doing something you hate in a toxic work environment leads to not only stress but also depression and anxiety, all this leads to poor sleep or lack of sleep, lack of physical activity, weight gain, and it also impacts your personal life, how you interact with your loved ones.

Realize that you deserve much more than a 9 to 5 job you hate, your deserve much more and you are capable of way more than that. We´re not meant to just have a secure job and just get by, we´re here to live a meaningful and fulfilled life and that comes from doing what you love.

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How we react to stressful situations is key


Life is hard, and we all go through very difficult and stressful situations. There are so many things and stuff that we need to go through each day and if we don´t respond the best way possible to each situation or if we don´t manage the way we respond those stressful situations can get out of control and lead to mental health problems.

We´ve mentioned before that it doesn´t matter what we´re living right now, where we are or what situation we´re going through there´s always something outside of our control and there´s something we do have control.

It doesn´t matter what we´re going through we always have control over how we respond to each situation and our emotions. There are some situations that may not be positive, they may not be what we were expecting and they are actually negative, if we´re involved on an accident or if received a bad news, or the project didn´t work out the way we wanted. If we just react in that moment without thinking and analyzing everything going on then chances are we´re going to make the situation worse.

Our perspective on each situation we live matters and also our values, we go through many different situations every day and many of them are not that really important, we give too much attention to minor stuff that does not deserves any amount of attention and we just bring them up, we give them attention and even react in a very negative way that only increases stress and it shifts our day to becoming a bad day. This is really common when we´re driving to the office and someone cut us in a really aggressive manner, but nothing else happens, we can make the whole situation worse by starting shouting a lot of stuff against him even when he/she is not listening. This only sets our day in a negative way.

When you take a step back in any situation to give you some time and space to breathe, to calm yourself down and think then you can react the best way possible. Once you are calm and thinking you can ask yourself if that situation is really important, does it really matters, is it going to make a huge difference a week, a month or a year from now, if it´s not then forget it. If it´s really important think about all the negative outcomes and all the positive outcomes, what´s the worst thing that could happen and what´s the best thing that could happen. What´s the best thing you can do now that is not going to make the situation worse?

It doesn´t matter what goal we set, or what project we´re working on life will get in the way, we´re all going to receive bad news in the moment we least expect, we´re all going to go through bad situations and at those moments our brain will focus on the negative, the negative outcomes, the worse thing that could happen and we react in a very negative way even rude and disrespectful which only increases the levels of stress and anxiety.

Most of us let external issues control how we act and how we feel, if we´re not in control of our emotions, our thoughts in normal situations there´s no way we can take control of our emotions and how we respond in stressful situations that require a lot more time and space to calm and think so that we can respond the best way possible.

It doesn´t matter what we´re going through there´s always something we can control, and that´s the way we respond to each situation, by how we respond we can make the situation worse, it can stay neutral or maybe we can make it a little better. For this we need to be able to be in complete control of our emotions and actions, we need to be masters of them, we need to be able to remain calm and be able to think. Sometimes the best we can do is nothing, do not react, do not respond. Just breathe and stay calm, this is simple said than done, remaining calm under stressful situations is so hard to do but sometimes it´s better.

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Stress and time


Stress can be caused or increased by lack of time management. We have so many things to do and not enough time.

Most of us spend so much time doing things we hate and too little time doing what we actually enjoy or sometimes we don´t have time to do what we enjoy. We have a lot of things to do that we don´t like and we don´t have enough time to do them, we need to get that project done for the end of the week, but we also need to answer at least this 6 emails that are urgent and we also need to go to this 2 meetings, we need to finish homework and get to our music class or the gym in one hour. And we also know that there´s more work and things coming so this is never going to end.

If we do not manage our time and schedule our day then stress will increase and as we see then end of the day or the deadline getting closer stress will go higher and higher. We all have the same amount of time, we all have the same 24 hours, how we use those 24 hours is what makes all the difference. Making use of those 24 hours wisely is what leads to success and an enjoyable life with less stress.

Lack of time management gets you out of control, even when there are things and situation we can´t control there are some situations or activities that are within our control, but by not having a schedule, organization or plan everything gets out of control because you don´t know what to do, where to start, you´re not efficient and productive and at the end of the day your progress is minimal or non at all.

When we´re not managing our time and we feel like there´s too much to do we can start getting irritable, we are unable to concentrate, we don´t know where to start, we have mental blocks, we procrastinate, we feel tired, we get poor quality sleep and all this create a negative cycle that keeps our levels of stress high, we can´t get enough high quality sleep and this leads to cravings, unhealthy food choices, lack of physical activity, etc.

We´ve all been in a situation where it´s too much to do and not enough time, we starts getting anxious and stress increases, if we manage our time effectively by creating habits, routines and schedule activities then we are in control of our time and most activities, the way to make this schedule as best as possible is to be really clear on our priorities. What is more important to us, what we value more, we can also make a list of all the activities and work, everything we need to get done in a day and assign a number according to the level of importance and mark the activities that are going to give us the best results or more progress, this activities may be the ones that take a little more time or are more difficult more are the once that can move us forward and take us to our goal faster.

When you schedule your activities make sure to give enough time for each activity, you may need 45 to 60 minutes to complete one activity, during that period of time make sure that you don´t have any distractions so you can concentrate on the task at hand and complete it as best as possible, when you´re done with it you can take a couple of minutes of rest.

Once you have the list of activities you need to realize that you don´t need to do all by yourself, there are some activities you delegate, if you are used to saying yes to everyone then it´s time that you start saying no, most of us have a lot of things to do because we keep saying yes even when we know we can´t handle the workload.

Keep your space clean and organized, it´s easier to work and find everything you need when your space is completely clean and organized, when you know where´s everything you need is easier to concentrate and you are more productive.

Make sure you do the hardest activities when you are more productive, some of us are able to concentrate and are more energized and productive in the morning, while others at midday and there are some people that find late afternoon the best time to do those difficult tasks, find what works best for you.

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Trying to please everyone increases stress


We´re all looking for attention and to fit in a group, that´s what we´ve been taught our entire lives, but this is increasing stress.

How many times have you stressed yourself in a conversation thinking and figuring out what to say so that you could please and get the approval of the people you were talking too? How many times have you changed your decisions based on someone else’s likes, thoughts or believes? How many times have you said yes when you really wanted to say no just to avoid being rejected or to avoid the feeling of not fitting in a certain group?

Even when we´re all looking for attention, the people who is always trying to please everyone around them have a bigger desire for attention, this can be because of insecurities, low self-esteem, low confidence so they look for all this attention and approval from the outside.

Trying to please everyone around us only creates stress and anxiety and we hide our true selves, we hide who we really are. When you´re trying to please everyone you rarely say your opinions, instead you let people talk and when you share something you make sure it goes along with what everyone else is saying, with their opinions and believes. The problem with this is that with time people see that you´re telling them what they want to hear and not what you really think and some people do not trust this type of person so at the end when they found out they won´t trust you.

Some people can take this to their advantage, if they see that you say what they want to hear they´ll realize it´s easier to manipulate you and get what they want because most of the time you´ll say yes and go along with what they´re saying and doing.

People pleasers find it really hard to share their ideas and thoughts and they rather stand for the ideas and believes of others.

Since it´s really hard to say no and they keep going along with others and not really standing for what they truly believe they get involved into a lot more projects, meetings or parties than they can manage ending with no time for themselves, they´re always running trying to meet the expectations of everyone even when they hate what they´re saying or doing. They end up doing a lot more than what they can really manage.

We all have different groups or relationships and when we try to please everyone we need to be really careful on what we´re going to say and when to say it, if we say something to the wrong person they will find out we´ve been only telling them what they wanted to hear so they lose confidence and trust. Being aware of what we need to say and to whom takes a lot of energy and anxiety knowing that we can tell the wrong thing and feel

What you can do is stop doing things you don´t like and you don´t feel comfortable, stop doing more than you can. If you already have a lot of work whether it´s from school or job and someone else asks you for help just say no, you have the right to say no without giving explanations, if someone asks you for your opinion say what you really believe in a polite and respectful way. If someone asks you to take care of their pets or babysit and you don´t want or can´t just say no.

Saying no will be hard in the beginning and many people can react negatively in the beginning but with time they will respect you a lot more, and they´ll trust you a lot more knowing that you´re telling them the truth, what they need to hear that will actually help them and not what they want to hear, your confidence will increase and you´ll feel way better.

When you start saying no your stress levels will start to lower because you don´t feel loaded with a lot of work, project, meetings or appointments, you have more time to do what you really enjoy doing, you have more time to focus on your work and you also have time for yourself.

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How stress affects relationships


We know that stress has a negative impact on our relationships, but some relationships can also increase stress making everything worse. It´s a negative vicious cycle that can be very hard to stop.

We all deal with stress every day, we´ve talked about this before, our job, finances, school, traffic, our boss or teachers, coworkers or classmates they´re all part of daily stress and to make it worse there are closer relationships that also increase stress. What happens when something goes wrong with our partner or a loved one?

Some of the things that can create stress in a relationships are different ideas, different perspectives, different habits or routines, different believes and values, finances. This can happen between friends, aunts, uncles, siblings, spouses. But how do you manage to have all this differences and still have a healthy relationship? This is why respect and communication are key in any relationship if we do want to stay together. It´s really important to understand and accept that we´re all different, we´ve all gone through different situations that made us who we are today, all those experiences make us see the world and everything that happens from a particular perspective and all this differences make us who we are.

When there´s something wrong going on in a relationship we start seeing more disagreements and create distance which only makes everything worse increasing tension and stress.

What you can do to improve the situation is listen and try to understand the other, listen to their perspective and point of view, for this we need to accept that we´re all different and we´re all going to react and respond differently to stressful situations this is why the first step is to listen with an open mind to really understand the other. Then find ways to be supportive, in some cases people are not looking for a real answer or solution to their problems, sometimes they just want to be listened and feel they are appreciated. If there´s something you don´t agree with then being respectful about their opinion, perspective and point of view is so important, from there find a place of mutual agreement between both can work wonders.

We all have some close friends or family members that are so rude and disrespectful, and even when you try your best to talk with them and get to a mutual agreement or at least a place of respect they won´t cooperate. They never support you, they make fun of you, they try to bring you down or maybe they ignore you. In this case the best step here is to stay away from them. If they´re trying to bring you down there´s no reason to be close to them or to try to find common ground, if they don´t support you there´s no reason to be sharing your goals or dreams with them, they´ll always find a way to bring you down and make fun of you.

You need to accept that some of the people you know, friends and family will only be there in the good times, the fun part of life but they´ll disappear when you need them most, there are others who maybe doesn´t appear that often but are the ones who show up when you need someone more, make sure to find out who they are and work on keeping them close to you, make sure that when they need someone you are there too, and there are others who just doesn´t appear on your life neither on good times or bad times.

It´s hard to find out that those who you thought where your friends and you thought you can count on are the first ones to disappear, but it´s good to know who really matters, do not waist time with the ones who disappeared or were never there, it doesn´t matter if they are friends or family, being blood related doesn´t meant you need to stay close to them or consider them. Try to stay away from people who doesn´t support or want to bring you down.

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Stress and mental health


Stress can lead to mental health issues. Even when stress is good and we need some of it, the wrong type of stress for long periods of time deal to depression or anxiety, and it can get worse.

We do need stress, some of it, small doses of stress is necessary for all of us to maintain optimal health, to grow and get stronger mentally and emotionally. We know that when we are under stress our body activates the “fight or flight” response and with this our breathing and heart rate increases, our muscles get tense all the focus and energy are concentrated in the best way possible to fight or run because we´re in danger so our body prepares to keep us safe. This response of stress is beneficial in some situations, this is why small doses of it are good, when we are out of danger our body returns to a normal and calm state.

Thanks to the way we´re living nowadays the levels of stress stay high, they don´t return to normal. How can we keep stress low when we need to go to school or job to do something we don´t like, when we don´t know how we´re going to make it until the next pay check, bills keep coming, relationships are not going well, someone close to you got diagnosed with a chronic or immune disease and for some reason everything seems to get worse. All this tress every day leads to chronic stress.

The reason why stress can lead to mental health issues is because stress release certain neurotransmitters like adrenaline and serotonin and it also increase or decrease certain hormones like cortisol as part of the fight or flight response. All this changes that take place on our body due to stress affect negatively the brain. We all know that when we are stressed we can´t think properly, we are not able to find solutions or make the right choices, it´s harder to learn, etc; this are just some symptoms we are aware when we feel highly stressed, but think about how this affects our entire body when stress remains high.

We´ve talked about the immune system in other posts, when we are in danger and the stress response is activated, our body is not able to fight viruses and toxins, it can do it for a short period of time which is why short doses of stress are good, it makes us stronger but when it´s over it leads to disruption of systems and hormones this includes the neurotransmitters and the brain in general.

You may have heard of PTSD which can be develop after an accident or a traumatic experienced when the person affected keeps recalling or having flashbacks and nightmares about it. PTSD is not the only mental health problem that can be caused by stress, depression and anxiety too.

Unfortunately we are use to live with high levels of stress and we think it´s fine, we don´t even think we are living with high levels of stress which is what makes the problem huge. I don´t think our body is able to handle daily stress and things get worse when we go through a really hard situation or moment, that´s when our life seems to fall apart and everything is out of control, this moments can break us which is why we´re seeing a lot more diseases so we need to find ways we can manage daily stress so what we need to do is preferably avoid doing things you hate, spend time with people you love and feel comfortable spending time together, but most of us can´t change school or job that easy so finding tools or strategies that help you lower stress is the best option. We´ve talked a lot about mindful meditation and breathing exercises which are a great tool.

Now when we talk about stress and mental health we also need to talk about food, what we eat can increase or lower stress and it can also improve the symptoms of any mental health or make it worse, this is why we need to be really aware of what we eat, stress can increase inflammation and it will impact our brain so eating a healthy diet that reduces and keeps inflammation low will also help our brain.

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Signs of stress, be aware of these!


We all go through hard times in life, but how we respond to each situation can make it worse. Most of us live with high levels of stress and this leads to health problems, it can be something small but with time those problems get bigger and bigger.

We all get stressed for many different reasons, it may be some class at school we don´t like, it may be a teacher, classmates or our boss, maybe some coworkers, traffic to get to school or job and back again. The simple fact of not feeling comfortable with our team or the people we´re working with it doesn´t matter if it´s school or job that increases stress, if we don´t like what we do that increases stress too and if for some reasons we don´t feel safe it´s another way to keep stress high.

The worst part of this is that most of us live this way, we don´t like what we do, we don´t feel comfortable, we don´t feel safe which keeps our levels of stress high and we face certain situations that make life worse and spike that stress to the roof, it´s on this times when we feel and are more aware of certain symptoms or signs of stress.

Some sings of stress are:

1.- Hair loss

2.- Insomnia or poor sleep

3.- Digestive issues

4.- Weight loss or weight gain

5.- Increased heart rate

6.- Chronic pain

7.- Headaches

8.- Acne

9.- You get sick like cold or flu

10.- Low energy

11.- Depression

The first step of lowering stress is to know that you are stressed so this symptoms will help you with that, if you feel any of them and you´ve been through a difficult situation, maybe a lot of work, an exam, maybe you´ve received a bad news then know and realize that we all go through times like that and we need to find ways to control that stress.

We all react differently to stress and to stressful situations so you also need to be aware of how far those symptoms go and how able are you to control them, if it´s hard for you to remain calm and you get frustrated, easily agitated, you feel overwhelmed, you feel like you´re losing control and things do not get better whit meditation or breathing exercises you need to find help to help you go through those times.

Most of us take a pill to deal and cope with the symptoms, we all know what to take to get rid of the headaches or any other pain, we also know what to take for digestive issues or constipation. The problem is that most of us are not aware that some of those symptoms like digestion, constipation, bloating, acne, weight gain, hair loss are caused by stress. If we´re trying to lose weight but we´re not getting results we get so discouraged and go lower in calories or think the diet doesn´t work because for some reason we didn´t lose weight or even gain some, but we don´t realize that if we´re stressed that can be the reason for not losing weight, some people are aware that their acne and hair loss can be caused by an unhealthy diet or stress and they do something to improve their diet but they don´t do a lot to reduce stress when managing stress can have a better impact on your overall health.

Stress is a huge problem for most of us, we focus a lot on diet and exercise and we blame the situation of someone else when things don´t turn out the way we wanted, but we do not take stress seriously. If we take a couple of minutes a day to lower stress by doing breathing exercises we will get better results on our weight loss journey while being more enjoyable and our overall health mental and physical will improve.

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How to breathe mindfully

00 Intro

We all go through life at 100 miles an hour, we´re living very fast paced times and we don´t take time to stop everything that´s going on outside and just sit, relax and stay calm for a couple of minutes. We just let things keep going around us like a tornado. Are you able to stay on the center calm and relax while everything around you is going crazy?

It doesn´t matter if you´re going through the hardest times of your life or if you´re living the best years of your life, mindful breathing is for all of us, you may have heard of mindful meditation where you focus and concentrate on the now, you bring your mind and your attention to this present moment. You may think that it´s too spiritual, it´s not for you and you´ll never try it, but you can skip the meditation process and stay with the breathing part. Mindful breathing is a key part of mindful meditation.

Mindful breathing improves the physiology and function of your entire body including your heart and brain. When you practice mindful breathing you´re not only able to lower stress but also you improve performance and make better decisions. It´s easier for you to process emotions and come up with more solutions to any situation or problem.

You can start with mindful breathing exercises and as you get better on it take that mindful breathing and add a mind-body training exercise. You can do this by still keeping some of your focus on your breathing patterns and start focusing on your body, how relax and calm you feel, relaxing your muscles and keeping your mind clear of all thoughts. All this helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate, lower stress, it keeps you calm. If you do this exercise in the morning you´ll find out that it´s easier for you to stay calm and maintain your impulses under control so you don´t over react in any situation.

Mindful breathing is all about focusing on your breathe, keeping it slow and control following a certain pattern. Here are some simple steps you can follow for a mindful breathing exercise:

1.- Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes

2.- Direct all your attention to your breathing,

3.- Take a deep breathe in, through your nose for a count of 5

4.- Hold your breathe for a couple of seconds

5.- Exhale slowly, through your mouth for a count of 5

6.- Repeat 5 or 6 times

When you start doing this exercise you´ll need to do it on a quiet place so you can concentrate on what you´re doing, with practice you´ll be able to do this everywhere and in any situation, if for some reason you find yourself in a very stressful situation or you feel anxious, you may had received a terrible news and you feel you start panicking you can do this exercise to calm yourself, and reduce that stress and anxiety so that you can act the best way possible.

Life is hard, we all have good days and bad days, for some of us, some of those bad days can turn into bad weeks or months, in most cases we can turn that around and have just one bad day and don´t let it affect the entire week by how we respond or react to certain situations, some of us make a big deal on even small things so one way to respond as best as possible is to remain calm so that we can think better and make better choices, there are occasions in which the best we can do is just remain calm. Mindful breathing will help with this, the moment you are able to stop for a couple of minutes and just breathe mindfully you´ll find yourself watching all the craziness going on around you while you are able to remain calm and relax.

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The relationship between stress and health


We all know someone who has been diagnosed with a chronic or immune disease, we all know someone who got sick after going through a hard time, in fact you may had gone through this a couple of times.

If you´ve been following me on social media and reading some of the posts you may know by now that for me, stress plays a huge role on maintaining optimal health. It´s been said that many of the visits to the doctor are caused by stress and we can agree with that.

We´re living very stressful times, must of us live with high levels of chronic stress and think this is how we´re supposed to live because that´s what we´ve seen our entire lives. We see our parents, uncles, aunts, etc; struggling financially worrying about how are they going to make it until the next pay check, how are they going to pay the bills, how are they going to buy some stuff that´s really needed. We see them depressed, anxious and worried because they know they can lose their job at any time, they complain about their boss and some coworkers. When we start school, high school or college we also start experiencing some stress, if there´s a class or teacher we don´t like we get anxious and going to class every day makes the entire day, week and month a terrible experience, if we´re bullied things get worse. And to make it all worse, the teachers and parents don´t seem to care.

If we add to this that most of us spend long hours in traffic to get to school or our job and back home and we know that if we don´t arrive on time they are going to discount the day from the next pay check or maybe we will lose the exam the levels of stress increase.

We spend most of our day worrying, anxious, with stress and this leads to diseases. It´s not normal to live with high levels of chronic stress, we get to a point where our body can´t handle all that stress and it starts to give up, this is when we start noticing that there´s something going wrong with our health, we start feeling bad and we start paying attention to the symptoms. When we get to this point things have been going wrong for a long time.

When we are stressed our body turns off some systems and functions in our body to make sure we can stay safe, it takes all the energy  and focus to make sure we are aware of everything going on and that we can fight or run to protect ourselves, but during this time all those systems and functions that are turn off make it easier for us to get sick, our body is not able to fight viruses, it´s like if some defense mechanisms are not working. This is why we get sick after we´ve gone through very tough situations.

We do need some stress, but we need it for short periods of time but when it´s for too long then our body keeps trying to maintain all the energy and focus in that awareness state and ready to run even when we´re sitting on the couch and not being chased by a tiger and for all this long time our body is not working efficiently. The systems that are supposed to protect us from viruses and toxins are not working.

Some experts have related stress as one of the causes of cancer, and even when stress may not be the one causing it directly it do has a negative impact on our body making it easier for the disease to advance more rapidly and this happens not only with cancer, because all systems and hormones on our body and not working in harmony. When the hormones and systems of our body get out of balance that´s when the problems begin and the more time we maintain this imbalance the more problems it will cause.

This is why making sure that you have a strategy or tool you can follow for a couple of minutes at every moment you need it, meditation and breathing are great tools you can use to lower stress, meditating for a couple of minutes in the morning and at night helps you clear your mind and get into a calm and relaxed state. When you´re in a stressful situation breathing exercises are great to help you lower stress and remain calm in that moment.

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How stress and food cravings are related.


Stress is a huge problem for most of us and if you want to lose weight and you´re following any program but for some reason you can´t stop eating, stress may be the reason.

Stress makes you eat, you may have heard of emotional eating which is something I´m sure you´ve done, use food to cope with stressful and emotional situations. You don´t need to feel like a failure, guilty or ashamed, I´m done this too and a lot more people but if you want to lose weight and improve your health you need to change that pattern.

Now, I need to mention that overeating is not completely your fault. There´s a reason why when you feel stressed, down, depressed, anxious, bored you go for unhealthy foods, this foods are high in unhealthy fats, loaded with sugar and extra ingredients to make them taste delicious but they also create addiction, they make you feel good by activating the reward center of the brain but this only last for a couple hours and then you want more of those comfort foods creating a vicious cycle.

I´ve mentioned in a past post that stress is good and we need some of it, if stress is used the right way it actually shuts down appetite because your body goes to the fight or flight response and turns off some systems and functions in your body that are not necessary at the moment and one of those is eating, but the problem comes when that stress remains high. When this happens other hormones on your body are affected by the chronic stress, hormones like insulin, cortisol, ghrelin play a huge role on how much you eat and if they´re out of sync you eat more.

So stress affects your hormones which leads to food cravings especially unhealthy foods and all the unhealthy fats and sugar that those unhealthy foods contain also affect your hormones and cause addiction so both of this situations lead to a negative cycle of overeating which not only makes it impossible for you to lose weight but also to maintain optimal health.

There are 2 ways you can stop this negative cycle, one of those is by lowering stress and the other by changing your diet. Here´s one tool to help you reduce stress:

1.- Breathing exercises.- Taking a couple of minutes every morning or every night or even when you´re feeling stressed out to do some breathing exercises is a great way to lower stress. You don´t need to do anything complicated just stop what you´re doing and bring your mind to focus on your breathe, take a slow deep breathe in, hold it for a couple of seconds, and slowly breathe out. Dot his 4 or 5 times and you´ll feel more relax and calm.

Every time you start feeling stressed and you catch yourself eating, the moment you catch yourself ask if you are really hungry or if you´re feeling any negative emotion or stress, if you´re not hungry leave whatever you´re eating and take some deep slow breathes.

If you ask the question every time you eat you´ll find out that there are many cases that you´re eating to cope with a negative emotion, because you´re tired, bored or you´ve made it a habit but you´re not really hungry so if you´re not hungry leave the food down and go do other stuff.

To stop cravings by changing your diet here´s what you need to do:

1.- Eliminate all unhealthy seed oils, and sugar. For this you need to read labels if you´re going to buy food that comes in a package, make sure to read the ingredients parts because that´s where you find out if that product contains something you need to avoid. If you want to take it to the next level and get rid of those cravings fast then just eat healthy fats and protein, just eat meat, eggs, bacon and some nuts especially pecans, coconut oil and olive oil. Going carnivore for a period of time is a great way but it´s so hard to get through it so if you don´t want to go carnivore which I´m not recommending go for meat and healthy fats as I mentioned before.

Remember that if you want to make a change to your diet you need to talk to your doctor or care professional first.

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