How do you manage stress? According to a recent survey, nearly 40% of Americans report that they eat unhealthy food to cope with stress. It’s no surprise then, that stress can contribute to obesity and weight gain.
Weight Loss and Stress Management
For some people, managing stress may be an effective way to lose weight. If, like many Americans, you find yourself heading to the junk food pantry when your stress levels rise, then finding a way to avoid that eating pattern may help you shed a few pounds.
Sound too easy? Give it a try. Learning a stress management technique is free, easy, and doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day. Use the ideas below to get started.
Stress Management Techniques
- Exercise. Get your body moving and your heart pumping to lower your stress level. Listen to North Memorial Medical Center’s Daniel Feeley, MD, talk about how exercise improves your mental state, then head outside for a walk, go to the gym, or start exercising at home.
- Meditation. The American Psychological Association suggests that meditation is a healthy way to manage stress. Don’t know how to get started? Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down, then take five minutes to relax and listen to your breathing. You might be surprised how this simple act can improve the way you feel.
- Make time for yourself. It might seem like there is no time in the day to take care of yourself, but you can’t be an effective employee, parent, student, or family member if you are always run down. In their Stress Tip Sheet, the APA suggests that “simple things like reading a good book or listening to your favorite music” will make a difference.