This is the cardinal rule of nutrition that no one can deny, but some caveats—discovered in recent years— have modified the notion. Now it’s not just about what we are eating, but when we eat, what routine habits we have, and even how we perceive things. For instance, a mind preoccupied with stress can disturb our appetite.
Let’s face it! How many times have you craved for a banana or an apple when stressed out? Almost never. We are actually tempted by palatable foods (particularly fats and carbohydrates) and they serve as our “comfort foods”, eventually undermining our stress hormones and releasing happy hormones in our body. This explains why chocolates, donuts and cakes do not last long at our workplace.
Here we are going to discuss a few stress-countering activities that you can add to your daily routine.
Activity #1: Meditation
We all might have gone through the times when nothing seems to fall into place or when the clouds are so dark that finding silver lining in them is next to impossible. Sometimes, all you need to do for feeling better in that moment is to release your clenched jaw, take a deep breath, and rest the constantly working mind. Just so you know, meditation works wonder to de-stress. It can even put a stop to binge-eating.
Practicing mindful eating can help us focus on how our meals taste, smell, and especially, make our bodies feel. It eventually make us more attentive towards our inner cues of actual hunger against the cues of satiation, thereby reducing the habit of emotional eating.
Activity #2: Exercise
Being a great stress-buster, exercise can put more pep into your daily life. Even walking, running, swimming or cycling can reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body. Yoga and tai chi works both as exercise and as meditation. Regular exercise also helps in expelling the byproducts occur in response to stress – allowing you to revert to the normal state easily and quickly.
Whenever you swim, walk or jog around the block, you enter into a different “zone” and feel enhanced self-esteem and satisfaction resulting from doing something good and healthy.
Activity #3: Socializing:
Loneliness breeds stress. We are a social animal and socializing with other people works as a buffer against stress. Stressed people who get sufficient amount of social support are more likely to feel less anxious. The time you spend in socializing can fortify your sense that life has a purpose and distract you from all the reasons of stress. Besides, people sharing their problems with other people feel lighter and less burdened.
Even if you are an introvert, you can start with meeting an old friend, saying ‘Hi’ to your neighbor, and spending quality time with family. Enjoying close social ties with people we love can make us happy and increases the overall life satisfaction.
To Wrap Up:
Life is too short to let the stress and stress-eating play havoc with your dear health. Stress management is important and one cannot afford to ignore it. So, the next time you start to panic because you ate too many donuts, don’t blame the donuts, and try the above-mentioned exercise instead.