10 Tips To Decrease Stress For Easier Weightloss
Written by Andrew Hanoun, September 10th, 2017

1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule 
We have all heard of the importance of sleep, yet it is the first thing to suffer on a busy schedule. Yet, a consistent sleep schedule and practising good sleep hygiene is really important when trying to decrease stress. Sleep deprivation effects every single body process, as it is only when our body is resting that it can heal and regenerate. Aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night. Choose a timeframe that suits your schedule and stick to it. Making sleep a priority will take some practise, but work at it, it is one of the most crucial things you can do for your health. 

2. Meditate daily 
The research behind practicing meditation on thwarting the negative effects of stress and preventing low energy is solid. Not only does it have direct benefits on our bodies, but consistent meditation allows us to be more in control of our thoughts, thus being able to shift them to be more positive, as we will talk about next. We can all use some more positive thoughts.

3. Reframe your mindset
Did you know that stress can be good for us and that it is actually necessary for survival? Think about gravity, and how when astronauts enter space they lose bone mass because the lack of gravity. Gravity is a stress that causes our bones to become stronger to adapt. The same thing goes for stress. However, it is when the stress is either too much, or perceived as negative, that it becomes harmful. Start practising the art of reframing, where you look for the good in every situation. At first they may seem difficult, but overtime it will become natural, and really help prevent our tempers from rising, thus helping to keep energy high and stress low. 

4. Schedule time for you 
Most of us don’t schedule time for themselves, not because we don’t want to, but because we feel selfish or value other tasks more. Trust me, I know. However, as you probably know by now, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will never be able to care for others or your business to the degree you want. Think about how much more you can help your family, friends and community if you’re at 100% vs running on empty. Think of this time as an investment into helping others, the more time you put into it, the better your ROI. When you schedule in things you love, it will also increase your mood throughout the day, as you know you have this time to look forward too. Aim for 3 hours a week, and try to work up to one hour a day. These activities can be anything, but make sure they are something that gets you excited. 

5. Schedule your vacations
Vacations are not usually something people consider scheduling in during their weekly planning, however, the anticipation that comes from knowing you are treating yourself and your social circle to a magical getaway has a lot of mood boosting benefits. 

6. Close positive friend group
We’ve all heard the saying that we become the average of the five people who are closest to us. This is all the more reason to choose a positive friend group. Having a social circle most definitely impacts our ability to be more resilient in the face of stress and can have tremendous impact on our motivation and emotional health. However, we must be protective over who we let into our lives. Energy vampires can really drain us of our precious energy, and positive people can really boost our mood and energy levels. 

7. Control Your Blood Sugar
A major stressor not frequently talked about, and arguable the most prevalent one in our society, is blood sugar dysregulation, or spikes and dips in blood sugar. I know this is difficult to hear, as nothing fixes that mid-afternoon dip like a nice sugar spike, but this is only contributing to the negative cycle of low energy and weight gain. Make sure you are eating high quality protein with every meal, fibre-rich carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, vegetables, quinoa, beans etc.. and good quality fats like olive oil, nuts or avocado with every meal, and eliminate the high-sugar processed foods and drinks.

8. Nature Walks
Our end goal when trying to prevent chronic fatigue is to reduce stress, known in the body as sympathetic stimulation, and increase rest and healing, known as parasympathetic stimulation. One of the best bangs for your buck is walking in areas surrounded by nature. This is a very common therapy in Japan for many ailments, including cancer, due to it’s ability to heal and restore the body. Another option is called grounding, where you simply walk on grass or soil barefoot. This has also shown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. I know it sounds odd, but try it, it could be more powerful at waking you up than that cup of coffee you were thinking about all morning. 

9. Get light exposure in the afternoons
Our days in the sun have been replaced by days in front of the screen. This has had far reaching effects on our health. Even a couple minutes a day of direct sunlight (it doesn’t count if it’s through a window) can increase dopamine release in the brain (our get stuff done and motivation molecule) as well as increase serotonin production (our feel good molecule) which is needed for melatonin (our go to sleep molecule). This direct sun exposure will also give you a dose of vitamin D which has tremendous health benefits in of it’s own, including giving a boost to the immune system. 

10. Exercise, in moderation 
This one was saved for last, as it is a tricky topic. Although exercise is very important in keeping us physically and mentally sharp and healthy, too much can definitely add to the stress we have and make us more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue. The trick is to listen to your body. If you are tired and worn down, your body does not have the reserves to go for a hard run or workout (even if you feel temporarily better afterwards). Instead, opt for a walk, yoga, tai chi or light excercises that won’t raise your heart rate too much. An added bonus would be to go for a walk barefoot, in the sun, around nature. To make sure you keep or build your muscle mass, try to aim for a brief strength training workout once or twice a week. 

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Andrew Hanoun

Andrew earned his Honours Degree in Psychology and Neuroscience, his Doctor of Naturopathy Degree and a Degree in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. He is also apart one of the TOP mentorships in the world for healthcare professionals. He now dedicates his mission to helping people break free of yo-yo dieting and attain a lean healthy body with tons of energy. 
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