This state of emotional tension can be rooted in anything from work-related pressures to frayed family relationships. At one point or another, everyone has experienced stress in his or her life. And while it comes and goes, stress is a completely natural feeling, but it can become unnatural and harmful to your health when you’re dealing with it constantly as it contributes to various diseases and can lead to craving comfort foods—something that can make the cycle of stress even worse!
The Cortisol Connection
Also known as “the stress hormone,” cortisol can increase when you’re feeling tense or stressed. As a result, you may be inclined to eat more comfort foods such as ice cream, pasta or other sugary or high-fat foods. Why? Because intensified levels of cortisol contribute to higher insulin levels.
When this happens, your blood sugar dips, creating carb cravings. In addition to banning bad carbs, try to eat a diet filled with nutrient-dense foods such as leafy, green vegetables. And while a glass of wine may seem like a harmless way to relax and subtract stress, alcohol can also increase cortisol levels.
Reducing stress can not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it also can allow you to enjoy better overall health and a reduced chance of experiencing the following: Alzheimer’s, depression, headaches, heart disease and gastrointestinal conditions.
Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress in our daily lives. As exercise boosts the body’s feel-good neurotransmitters, also called endorphins, stress can dissipate and your mood can improve dramatically. You don’t have to be a CrossFitter or marathon runner to reap the rewards of exercise. Brisk walking, for example, is a terrific, low-impact way to feel fantastic, both mentally and physically.
Regular chiropractic adjustments may also help reduce stress by decreasing interference in the nervous system and releasing muscle tension.