Stress is a feeling you get when something strains your body, emotions, or mind. Your body reacts when you need to pay attention or take action. Think of stress as a messenger telling you something important is happening.
Everyone feels stress in different ways. We must choose how we deal with stress because it can affect our health if we don't handle it well. Studies have found that people who are stressed for a long time might gain weight. This could be because stress makes us eat more and crave fatty or sugary foods. When we eat these foods, our brain's reward system gets activated, and it can make us feel better temporarily.
To deal with stress, there are some helpful things we can do. The first step is to look at the things neutrally causing stress. Just focus on the facts of the situation. For example, let's say you've been given a new project, and your schedule is already busy for the next few weeks. The next step is to think about your thoughts regarding the situation. For example, you might think, 'There's no way I can handle this new project and my other responsibilities! I wish my boss understood how much I have to do!'
We must think about our thoughts because they affect how we feel. The actual situation itself doesn't directly cause our stress. It's our thoughts about the situation that makes us feel stressed. It's helpful to separate the situation from our ideas and understand that our thoughts create our feelings. The good thing is we can choose different thoughts. For example, instead of thinking, 'I have so much to do in the next few weeks, I can't handle it,' we can choose to think, 'I do have a lot to do, but I believe I will figure it out,' or 'Things usually work out, maybe I can find a way to reduce my workload.' These thoughts can make us feel calmer.
Another way to think about stress is to consider how it relates to our needs. When we feel happy, our needs are being taken care of. But when we feel stressed or angry, our needs are unmet. As humans, we all have necessities like rest, peace, order, and feeling valued. If you're feeling stressed, it's a sign that an essential need of yours isn't being fulfilled. Once you figure out which need is not being met, you can devise ideas to fulfil that need.
Thinking about what you can control to meet your needs can be helpful. For example, are there things you can say no to instead of yes? Can you ask for help from others? What actions can you take to fulfil your needs and reduce stress? Additionally, can you include regular activities to deal with stress? Many people find that activities like meditation, writing in a journal, or exercising can be beneficial. Sometimes, we turn to food to feel better because we don't like feeling bad. That's why we call it 'comfort food.' But relying on food for comfort is a temporary solution that doesn't help us in the long run. Learning how to handle stress in a way that truly takes care of ourselves in a lasting way will bring many benefits, including weight loss.
If you're seeking guidance on how to lose weight and manage stress, you can reach out to the team at Weight Loss Coach. At Weight Loss Coach, they have doctors and registered dietitians who can support you in making changes to your eating habits, physical activity, and mindset to help you achieve your health goals. Your Weight Loss Coach doctor also prescribes weight loss medication.