Chill out! Finding an easy way to relax is essential to reaching your weight loss goals. Since popping the anxiety bubble is actually enjoyable, it shouldn’t be too hard to discover an activity that makes you relax. Yoga and meditation work for some, but maybe you’re the singing in the shower type. Or maybe turning up your iPod and dancing like a lunatic on your living room rug. Running or swimming can work, but so can reading a novel or slipping into a hot bath. Yes, we’re all different. But generally, whatever floats your boat will sink your stress.
When you really want to succeed at something, sometimes your brain can get in the way. Think of it as sabotage — your instinct is overruled and soon your stress levels skyrocket, making it that much harder to reach your goals. Instead of obsessing, try these tips to stress less and act more.
What's Really Happening
In slow-pitch softball I couldn't buy a hit. I would stand at bat, waiting, planning, and preparing for the ball. And that was the problem. My brain and all its relentless thinking sabotaged my instinct.
I'm hardly the only one who overthinks things. We all do it. In fact, research shows that our brains constantly try to forecast the future, to anticipate what will come next. In caveman times, that meant a fast prediction that a lion was probably following the herd of running antelopes, so stay away. Today it means mulling the healthfulness of every item on …
When we're crazy-busy, our natural inclination is to cut back on pleasurable activities—as if fun is a luxury. However, research suggests that this is a mistake. One study found that people who engaged in enjoyable leisure activities had lower blood pressure and cortisol scores (two measures of stress) than those who didn't. They were also more resilient in the face of stressful life events. You might not be able to grab your knitting needles in the middle of a hectic day, but you can head out for a short walk or call a friend for a chat—whatever gives you a quick lift.
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