Weight gain and anxiety can be caused by stress. However, there are techniques you can use to reach a certain state of calm and escape from it.
In stressful situations, many people find in food a way to escape and feel comforted, especially if it is food rich in sugars, fats and salt. The problem is that this leads to health complications and weight gain.
“Junk food stimulates the pleasure center in the brain, especially during times of stress. The harsh reality is that the wellness factor you get from eating these sweets and fatty foods is short-lived,” explains former Olympic athlete and nutritionist Samantha Clayton.
For the same reason, the expert suggests the practice of yoga and meditation to relax. According to Clayton, exercise of the mind is as important as exercise of the body in restoring focus and calming the mind.
A gentle yoga routine is a great way to start the day, as it clears your mind and sets a positive tone for the day with some simple movements, says the former athlete. As for meditation, it indicates that it is simply a term for spending some unconnected time in a state of clear consciousness.
However, Clayton also maintains that this last technique is often misunderstood, which is an obstacle for people to try it. For this reason, she shares some practical and simple advice:
- Don’t think you need a completely quiet and isolated place to practice. In the real world and especially in a house with children or in the office, finding complete silence is almost an impossible task.
- Try to eliminate all the important distractions such as telephones, computer screens, and highly noisy spaces. If you’re at the office, just turn your chair away from the screen; at home, close your bedroom door.
- “You don’t need any special equipment, such as a mat, bells, or blankets; understand that you can meditate anywhere. The fewer things you need, the easier it will be to take a quick moment to practice,” Clayton says.
- Try to sit or lie down in a comfortable place where you feel relaxed. You can keep your eyes open or closed. The important thing is that you do what feels right to you.
- Don’t force yourself to start breathing with a specific style, like belly breathing or nose breathing. At first you may get discouraged or even feel dizzy. Work on that technique once you begin to feel more comfortable with meditation.
- Just concentrate on your breathing. Feel the air going in and out of your body. Just be aware of your breath and how it feels.
- Don’t give way to negative thoughts when your to-do list begins to slip through your mind.
- If other thoughts assail you, try to focus on your breathing again.
- Don’t have a long list of statements or goals that you think or say out loud.
- Have one or two key words to help you relax or guide you to a positive sense of well-being.