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Why Stress Can Make You Overweight

Stress is an inescapable component of modern life. It has its biological origin in the fight or flight response, but what was once a lifesaving biological response now more frequently manifests itself as a serious health challenge. The Daily Mail delved into a recent study on the pressing issue of stress and the tremendous health damage it can inflict.

During stressful events your body releases stress hormones (such as cortisol) that prepare your body to either fight or flee. When stress becomes chronic, your immune system becomes increasingly desensitized to cortisol. Inflammation, which is partially regulated by cortisol, is an indicator of most diseases, from diabetes to heart disease, and cancer. Weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight are also common problems associated with stress.

As stress is a nearly inevitable occurrence for most people, what matters most is how you respond to it. Sleep is often the best strategy to ameliorate the ill-effects of stress. Physical activity, music, aroma therapy and time spent in nature are just a few stress reducing activities that can also improve your quality of life. Yoga and meditation have also been shown to reduce stress.

Redefining success can be an empowering and liberating exercise. It allows you to become more connected with humanity and is an important step on the road to self-actualization. Defining yourself exclusively by prestige and material wealth is a stressful and slippery slope. Mindfulness training is an excellent way to avoid stress and other emotional obstacles that litter the modern landscape.
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