You’re busy; I get it. You’re balancing work, family, your household – all while trying to maintain a little sanity. You may think that anxiety is just something you feel, but that it doesn’t affect any other part of your health. I’m here to tell you differently- anxiety can cause an abundance of health issues including making it extremely difficult to lose weight. Anxiety and stress causes most of us to eat MORE, which I can say stresses me out even more. When your body feels threatened, such as the fight-or-flight feeling anxiety can bring, it stores fuel in your abdomen. God made us this way to be able to survive in certain situations; unfortunately, your body doesn’t know the difference between work-induced anxiety and survival-induced anxiety.
Now that you know there is a correlation between anxiety and weight loss, I also have a bit of good news for you- you CAN fight back and counter-attack the anxiety causing you to pack on the pounds! Read on for a few of my suggestions to fight back against anxiety.
1. When you start to feel anxiety creeping up on you, pull up YouTube and type in “funny videos”. For me, funny animal videos can take my stress and anxiety away INSTANTLY. Call me a dork, but I can’t resist giggling at funny cats and dogs. If you’re at work, take a short break and do this on your mobile phone, not your work computer!
2. Take some time to play with your pet; if you don’t have a pet, consider adopting one or just volunteer for an hour at a local shelter or offer to take a friend’s dog for a walk. I love playing with my kitties, but the most fun for me is playing with my dog. She is SO silly and makes me laugh like crazy. Laughter is awesome medicine.
3. If you battle chronic anxiety, consider starting an exercise routine. I know for me and members of my fitness groups on Facebook, working out eliminates a lot of stress and anxiety. There is just something about working up a sweat that helps melt anxiety away. If you’re feeling extra stressed and want to punch a hole in the wall, pop in a kickboxing DVD instead. I PROMISE you’ll feel better afterwards and you won’t need to patch your wall.
4. This particular one is hard for me, but it really works – hide your smartphone. Believe it or not, the need to constantly feel connected causes anxiety and stress. If it is in the open, you may feel the need to check it constantly, which gets overwhelming FAST. Take a break.
5. If you’re feeling rushed, brew up a hot cup of tea or coffee. For anxiety sufferers, I recommend DECAF- caffeine does nothing positive for anxiety in my experience. I have read before that hot beverages cause you to SLOW DOWN, because you have to drink them slow. And if you’ve got one in hand, you also have to walk slowly so it doesn’t spill. Another helpful hint I have read is to squeeze some lemon into it (only tea of course!), because lemon contains a compound called linalool which has been shown to strengthen the immune system against stress. SWEET!
So share with me in the comments below- do you have any tips for battling anxiety? I’d love to hear.
Whitney DeLong is a certified personal trainer and online fitness coach specializing in helping women become happy in their own skin, confident with how they look in the mirror, and empowered to help others do the same. Whitney hosts online fitness groups and one-on-one coaching for weight loss. Contact Whitney and view services at http://www.whitneydelong.com.