Exercise and nutrition are typically the focus when it comes to improving employee health and wellness. However stress is often left out of the equation and not fully addressed. Stress is costing U.S. businesses an estimated $300 billion every year. In fact U.S. companies are spending 200-300% more on the indirect costs of health care in the form of absenteeism, sick days and lower productivity due to stress. This special report covers the effects of stress on employees and five essential elements to a successful, comprehensive employee wellness program that improves overall employee wellness and reduces stress.
To get this report click HERE.
Another fantastic question from a member of Dr. Oz’s Sharecare community. Here is my answer:
Stress can definitely have an effect on your waistline. Two of the main ways stress adds on the pounds is through inflammation of the body and increased appetite. Both can lead to unwanted, extra pounds and a series of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system to heal and protect itself. It is a standard reaction but when chronic stress hits, inflammation can go beyond what is normal.
In fact researchers from Ohio State University, the University of California, Los Angeles, Northwestern University and the University of British Columbia found that chronic stress affects gene activity of immune cells. They found that immune cells are already ready to fight infection or trauma before they enter the bloodstream and even when there is no infection or trauma to fight. This causes even more inflammation.
High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, can fuel your appetite and increase your cravings leading to weight gain. It’s that craving we have for chocolate or potato chips when we are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or upset and reaching out for food for relief.
Your cortisol levels may go up because your boss yelled at you, you are upset with your partner, or work feels overwhelming. Picking up that bag of chips or eating something yummy just feels easier than dealing with the real problem. It brings comfort and relief.
Sound like you?
The good news is you can beat stress eating. It’s all about tuning into yourself and experiencing your emotions head-on, rather than covering them up with food.
Try these four steps throughout your day to conquer stress eating.
What to do when the urge to eat (junk) strikes:
- Ask yourself if you are truly hungry. If not, tune into the feeling that you’re feeling. For example you may be feeling stressed. Where do you feel it? In your chest? In your stomach?
- Be specific about the feeling – the more specific the better. It helps you deal with your underlying emotion. Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel hurt or sad by what someone said or did not do? Do you feel undervalued versus just feeling stressed?
- Experience the feeling. Let the feeling wash over you. Let it come instead of sweeping it under the carpet. Feelings are natural and normal. It’s ok to feel what you feel. Remember it’s important to deal with it. You may need to take a break for a few minutes or more. Give yourself time and space to recover. Be easy on yourself.
- Do something that makes you feel good instead of reaching out for food. Read a great book, watching your favorite movie or talking to your best friend on the phone. Are you at the office and it’s hard to get away? No problem, visit one of these sites to put a smile on your face J
This little-known problem can zap your energy and kill your focus day by day. I was delighted to come across this very important issue and brilliant question from a member of Dr. Oz’s Sharecare site. The question is:
How do I know if I have adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue can be the very cause of your exhaustion and poor mental focus. Read on for my answer.
Every single day we are victims of stress – the buzzing of our phones, the demands at work, being pulled in all directions, etc. All this stress isn’t easy on the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that are on top of the kidneys. Their main responsibility is to regulate the stress response through the synthesis of corticosteroids like cortisol and catecholamines like adrenaline.
When the adrenals are tired, the body may experience a number of different symptoms. Here are the most common symptoms caused by tired or worn-out adrenal glands:
- Excessive sweating or perspiration from little activity
- Lower back pain and/or knee weakness or pain, especially on the side
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Muscle twitches
- Low blood sugar
- Heart palpitations
- Sensitivity to light, or difficulty seeing at night
- A craving for salt
- Low stamina for stress, and easily irritated
- Excessive mood responses after eating carbohydrates such as pasta, breads and sugar
- Chronic infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast)
- Low blood pressure
- Light-headedness on standing up
- Tired but wired feeling, poor sleep
- Cravings for sweets and carbs, intolerance to alcohol
- Premature aging
- Dry, unhealthy skin with excess pigmentation
- Lack of libido
- Cystic breasts
- Tendency to startle easily
- Negative response to thyroid hormone
If you are checking off the symptoms listed above you are likely to have tired adrenals. Your course of action is to address it right away. Not only are adrenal glands extremely important to a healthy immune system but they are necessary for proper thyroid function.
This is what you need to do:
- Make sleep a priority. You must rest if you are going to help your adrenals get stronger. Get your 7-9 hours of sleep each and every night. No skimping. Your adrenals need their beauty sleep!
- Eliminate sugar and processed carbs. Sugar and simple carbs (junk!) put stress on the adrenals. Adrenal glands help to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Eat clean and whole foods. (Think: a nice, green, juicy apple picked off of a real tree instead of that KIND bar that seems natural and good, but it’s not!)
- Quit the coffee habit and drink plenty of fresh filtered water every day.
How can I relieve stress quickly?
This was a question I just recently came across from a member of Dr. Oz’s Sharecare community. (For those of you who do not know Sharecare it’s a platform where follow health experts and I answer members’ question on anything health. I focus on questions related to weight loss and stress).
Let me share my answer. The very first thing to do is to take deep breaths. Just taking a few deep breaths can help reduce tension and relieve stress, thanks to an extra boost of oxygen. When we’re stressed we tend to breathe too shallowly and that stimulates something called the sympathetic nervous system. What that does is speed up your heart rate. Every wonder why your heart may begin to race when you’re nervous? Now you know why.
Deep breathing, on the other hand, stimulates the parasympathetic reaction, which helps us to calm down.
When you want immediate stress relief try this deep breathing exercise:
- Breathe in slowly and deeply, filling your lungs as much as you can.
- Hold your breath briefly for a count of three.
- Exhale slowly.
- Repeat these steps five to 10 times, concentrating on breathing deeply and slowly.
This can help relieve stress quickly and be your first line of defense. Breathing is great for stress and will help you get started, but it’s not the full solution. If you want to get a better handle on your stress sign up for my upcoming teleclass “De-Stress to Boost Your Productivity”.
Click here for more details.
Need An Energy Boost?
If so, I want to invite you to join me for my Eating For Energy workshop where I will teach you how to boost your energy and be productive throughout the whole day. You will also learn what you need to do to get more energy and what foods are best to eat to increase your energy.
This is perfect for you if
- you feel tired and drained
- you use coffee to plow through your day
- you want more energy to move, move, move
WHEN: WEDNESDAY, December 5th
TIME: 6:30 PM ET
LOCATION: 63 Wall St, NYC
by clicking here
If at any time you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To your health and happiness,