When are we not stressed out? Recently, I was trying to think of a day when I did not feel tense and anxious. Sadly, I came up with nothing! Not only does stress affect our mental state, I’ll explain How Stress Negatively Affects Your Weight.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, elevates in your body when you experience stress. This stress hormone alters our insulin and blood sugar production which also affects the way our body processes fats and carbohydrates. Besides the physical factor of stress affecting your weight, you may also overeat, get cravings, have poor sleep patterns, and feel exhausted.

Time to stop stressing out and start to remember what life feels like to be footloose and fancy free. I’m ready for some R&R, are you? Here are 5 simple tips to reduce your stress and experience relaxation and focus.

#1. Breath! The simple task of taking 5 deep breaths can do Wonders for the mind and soul! That’s only 30 seconds of your time! You can breathe deeply anywhere, too!  This surefire tip instantly realigns your mind, body, and soul to have a clear, focused vision and kick stress out the door.

#2. Smile & Laugh! Laughter does wonders for the soul and decreases cortisol! Laughter boosts your happy hormones which brighten your mood. Find a video that makes you laugh and save the link in your phone. Or call a friend that will get you rolling on the ground with a good joke.

#3. Fresh Air! I tell clients to take the smokeless smoke break and go outside for a moment to decompress and breathe in some fresh air! Smokers shouldn’t be the only people allowed a break outside! Everyone can take one! By detaching yourself from the stress at hand, you can re-focus and rejuvenate.

#4. Music! Music is super powerful when dealing with stress reduction. Many studies show how listening to music can decrease anxiety. Make a playlist of your favorite songs or nature sounds. Put on your headphones for a moment and listen while you work.

#5. Get Up & Move! Movement is huge with stress reduction. If you can’t go to the gym during that hectic business meeting, can you get up and walk to the water fountain to hydrate? Do you have time to stretch? Raise those arms above your head and release some tension. Movement and stretching can be a quick trick to reduce cortisol levels.

Call to Action: We ALL have hectic lives. Comment below and let me know your favorite tip for instantly reducing and managing your stress.

For more stress-relieving tips, check out:
7 Ways to Reduce Stress and Enjoy the Moment

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN