What Effect Does Stress Have On My Metabolism?

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When you are in a constant state of stress, your metabolism slows down. Cortisol leads to central obesity, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Ayurvedic approach: Indulge in relaxation techniques, meditation, exercise and yoga. Reduce anxiety with therapeutic aromas and essential plant oil. Take some time off to do something you love.

Metabolism is the process of converting food into energy.The biggest component of your metabolism is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the energy your body burns just to maintain functioning at rest and accounts for 50 to 80 per cent of the energy used each day . A number of factors determine your BMR, including caloric intake, physical activity, environmental and hormonal factors, gender and genetics.

How Does Stress Affect Your Metabolism?

‘Stress’ may be defined as any situation which tends to disturb the equilibrium between a living organism and its environment. In day-to-day life there are many stressful situations such as stress of work pressure, examinations, trauma, medical conditions etc. Some amount of stress is normal, however, chronic stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body.

The levels of various hormones change in response to stress. While stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and our “fight or flight” response, it de-activates our parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system. Reactions to stress are associated with enhanced secretion of the hormone cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Cortisol curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This hormone triggers the release of glucose into the bloodstream, fueling your body to react to a threat. However, cortisol is not necessary to combat most daily stresses, so it can build up in your system, leading to insomnia, anxiety and depression which may also lead to weight gain.

In short, when you are in a constant state of stress or “fight or flight” mode, your metabolism slows down.

According to studies, “Stress responses include activation of the sympathetic nervous system and stimulation of epinephrine and cortisol release. These hormones may, over the long term, reduce insulin sensitivity. Cortisol may also favour the development of central obesity” .

Approaches To Manage and Reduce Stress

Here are some natural ways to deal with your day-to-day stress and thereby improve your metabolism:

Relaxation Techniques

To effectively deal with stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise and yoga. Fitting these activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy, mood and your metabolism.

Therapeutic Aromas

Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils to improve well-being. Therapeutic aromas work very well in relieving stress and have a proven calming effect. Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief as it offers a natural, organic alternative and works to enhance lifestyle modifications that further reduce stress.

Listening to Serene Music

Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Music can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day.