Stress and Obesity

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Stress is a beautiful domain which can either build us or deteriorate us. It is the biological and psychological response to a threat.
Increased levels of stress often elevates the release of stress hormone cortisol. Continuous and frequent production of cortisol increase our appetite. This if continues results in overeating. If the levels of stress are not dropping down even after the triggered situation has ended, levels of cortisol keeps on rising, and the excessive eating mode stays active.
These changes further cause drift in the metabolism of the individual and start disrupting the functioning of immune system. The physiological break down is followed by psychological disequilibrium. It is marked by psychological changes where in one experiences mood disturbances, decreased attention, increasing levels of distractibility, insomnia, anxiety, aggression and so on.
Persistence in the physiological and psychological changes increases the frequency of over-eating which results in obesity.
Obesity leads to high blood pressure, increases the risk of diabetes, increases the rate of occurrence of heart diseases like atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. People also encounter sleep and respiratory problems, cancer of various aspects can occur like breast cancer, prostate cancer, cancer of colon, gallbladder, and uterus. Risk of cardiovascular diseases reaches to threefold. Moreover, people often face psychosocial effects of obesity like decreased self esteem, self confidence, disapproval by social groups and so on. A sense of identity seems to be lost due to this disease.Knowing how stress can impede our lives can help us take steps to reduce, manage, and deal with the same constructively.
There are many ways through which one can handle stress and control it. Most important ones are as follows:
1- Positive Outlook: Replacing every negative comment and atmosphere with the positive one. It helps to reduce the effect of negativity, increase the positivity, that increases the level of serotonin in the body, which expands the horizon of thinking, makes space for constructive and healthy thinking, and helps us to make rational and productive decisions.
2- Relaxation: Includes deep breathing exercises, yoga and meditation. This helps to relax one’s soul and mind. It also helps to lower down the elevated level of cortisol and other stress hormones.
3- Diet: Eating healthy fruits and vegetables helps to keep the body healthy and sound. One should eat in intervals instead of eating in long gaps.
4- Talk to someone: Includes talking to close ones(like friends, families, significant other). This helps to vent out and feel lighter. It also helps to get advice from our dear ones which helps us in taking decisions.
5. Challenging distortions: It involves changing the negative beliefs and perceptions that may be formed due to past experiences or other external factors. This can be accomplished through challenging the irrational thoughts and beliefs, and restructuring them into rational ones.
Obesity can be cured and eradicated if the levels of stress are handled effectively. So, stress is a blessing when we are able to see and deal with it insightfully, and make our lives beautiful and peaceful.
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