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Is stress a common factor in your day? Our natural response to stress could be detrimental to our health. When a stressful challenge presents itself, the body responds with the hormone cortisol. With increased levels of this hormone, the result is higher insulin levels that cause you to crave unhealthy food. Keep in mind, tension-filled days can fuel unhealthy eating habits into a downward spiral of weight gain.

Why are we stressed?

As unique individuals, stress affects each of us differently and we all have our own responses to stress. While some can manage stress, others feel overwhelmed. In small doses, stress can be a healthy manipulator to perform under pressure. On the opposite side, constant stress over long periods of time may trigger unhealthy dietary habits. In addition, it will increase injury recovery time, and impair mental reasoning, which can lead to emotional and behavioral symptoms. Stress affects your health directly.

How does the body respond to stress?

When a stressful challenge presents itself, the body responds with the hormone cortisol. When released, cortisol introduces a wide range of symptoms that include: increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, tightened muscles and a surge in blood pressure. Proven with research, too much cortisol in the body’s cells can decrease the ability for those cells to protect from disease. As explained by Pamela Peeke, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, stress makes the body think you’ve burned calories to deal with the problem, but in reality, you haven’t. This response triggers the body to think it needs replenished with more calories, but it doesn’t. Stress is tricky.

What can help eliminate stress?

Ultimately, the goal is a balanced life and the ability to hold up under pressures when challenges arise. Stress management is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Like the individual, ever situation is different. Be your own best friend, and carve out down time to rejuvenate and take care of your needs.   If you dedicate time for fun and relaxation, the result will put you in a better place to handle what life throws at you. Stress can be conquered.

Are you ready to reduce stress and take charge of your life again? When you’re pulled in too many directions, it is hard to find focus. The good news: there is a way to achieve a healthy work-life balance and improve your response to stress with Ideal Body’s StressLess Club. Through therapeutic methods, we provide an individual approach to your stress. Don’t stress any longer – click here to learn more!