Friday, May 4, 2012

Stress- Eating Your Brain & Growing Your Waistline

We all know too much stress is bad.  It doesn't feel good and makes you unhappy.  Stress has become a part of modern life and most people have chronic elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood stream.  This constant presence of cortisol causes the body harm.  Most people are willing to put up with the stress and some people feel obligated to keep pushing themselves to achieve and do.  But maybe if people realized that stress makes them become stupid and fat, they would want to make some changes.  It is frightening to watch yourself forget simple things and have decreased decision making ability.  It is sad to watch your body increase in size and be affected by food cravings.

To prevent these side effects, one needs to use techniques to reduce the cortisol.  Some of the pillars of Ayurveda can help do this.  The first pillar is sleep.  Good sleep and rest restores mental and physical processes so the body is stronger and more resilient in the face of stress.  The second pillar is meditation.  Meditation calms the mind so that it does not ruminate and constantly recycle a disturbing situation.  The rumunating makes us relive the stress.  Exercise is also important in Ayurveda, and the benefit is that exercise burns off excess cortisol running through the body.  It also helps manage the weight better.

Once we reduce our cortisol, we will be smart enough to figure out how to deal with everything better and we will look beautiful and fit while we do it.

Stay healthy & well,

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