The Importance of Slowing Down and Preventing Stress

Especially if you are trying to lose weight.

In today’s society, life moves very fast. People seem to think that they should always be doing more, staying busy, and constantly running around. But while it is important to keep your goals in mind and work hard to achieve them, you also need downtime to regroup. Signs of stress can sneak up on you. Here are some reasons why you might need to slow down.

You Can Avoid Burnout

Most people face burnout at some point, but it is actually completely preventable. You tend to have burnout when you are overwhelmed, work too much, and just try to handle everything without giving yourself enough breaks. Burnout causes stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed. You might find that you can’t focus on work, your productivity goes down, or you lose interest in things you used to enjoy working on. These are all common signs of burnout.

You Gain More Clarity

Slowing down and giving yourself more time off can also help you to gain some clarity. Have you been struggling with making decisions lately? Do you feel like you are working your fingers to the bone, but not finding success? This can often be from a lack of clarity. You need to slow down and sometimes even stop what you’re doing, take a step back, and evaluate what you have been working on and how you spend your time. You just might find the piece that is missing. 

It Helps You Focus on Your Priorities

With just a little more time in between projects and daily responsibilities, you are able to focus on what is most important to you in life. Maybe that means more self-care time, spending time with loved ones, or in some cases, figuring out where your work priorities are. Slowing down is essential to figuring out what your progress is and deciding if the path you are currently on is the right one.

You Can Pay Attention to Stress in Your Life

There may be some hidden sources of stress in your life, that you don’t realize is affecting your mental and physical health. We often move so quickly from one thing to the next, that we don’t stop long enough to check in on ourselves. If you don’t remember the last time you just stopped to pay attention to your own mind and thoughts and how your body feels, it is possible you are missing out on some important sources of stress that need to be addressed.

How Does Stress Affect Weight Loss

When you are high-stress, your body produces more cortisol, which is a stress hormone that promotes more body fat, especially around the middle. This produces more visceral fat which surrounds your organs and increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This also releases more fatty acids in your blood, raising your cholesterol and insulin levels. This is not something you want to mess with. 

You may already be struggling with a lot of stress so don’t fear, as there is hope to make this change in your life. What is most important right now is recognizing where the stress is in your life and finding ways to resolve it. 

Grab this checklist to see if you are under too much stress.

Other Ways Stress Affects Your Life

Stress usually will cause people to eat more as it is a symptom of emotional eating. We crave sweet treats, or high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension. This comfort eating can be very soothing and feels like it alleviates our stress in the short term but it actually is making your life worse. After your bout of stress eating, you find yourself feeling more frustrated as the scale goes up and you feel more lethargic from the sugar crash!  

Stress can also cause people to sleep less. Ghrelin, the primary hunger hormone, will rise without sleep and tell your body to eat when you aren’t even hungry. If you are practicing Intuitive Eating, this can upset the balance and send you the wrong signals. Alcohol also releases Ghrelin as you experience the numbing” effect when drinking. The bottom, line is that sleep is important to send the right messages to your body so you don’t make decisions that you regret later.