Does Your Fat Stomach Bother You (Part 2)
4) Stress Less.
Stress is the number one contributor to your less than optimal health, feeling fatigued, and making bad lifestyle choices and to the storage of fat; specifically around the umbilicus (belly button).
People are stressed beyond breaking point in modern day society. This does not mean they are tearing their hair out, though they maybe. When I say stress Im referring to what our bodies and minds perceive as stress. The contaminants in the air, in our food, the computer screen flickering 60-120x a second, air con, negative thoughts, waking before light, eating grains, traffic jams, feelings of confusion and being lost, even the mobile phone your carrying has quite a detrimental effects on your Adrenals and causes a stress on your body.
When the body is stressed it releases stress hormones. The most powerful of those being Cortisol. Cortisol has its place. In fact we need it, otherwise getting up in the morning would be a struggle. Because Cortisol is part of the catabolic (break down) hormones, bodybuilders try to keep Cortisol levels low as possible. There was a period when bodybuilders were taking drugs to suppress the production of cortisol but it simply resulted in them feeling tired and joint pain. One of Cortisols roles is to act as an anti-inflammatory. Which means if you have inflammatory issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, joint pain there will inevitably be an increase in Cortisol to help with the inflammatory response?
Cortisol has its role but the over production of it can lead to many symptoms and conditions. When we were cave men and women the exposure to a stress was limited to hunting or times of famine. Whatever the stress, it is not likely it was suppressed like it is today. When an animal is confronted with a stress, Cortisol is released signaling the brain to run or fight. Whatever it does when its over it just shakes it off and moves on. Modern stress typically does not allow us to react in a fight or flight manner. We merely suck it up, suppress it and through our thought patterns make it worse by exaggerating the problem and/or keep thinking about it over and over again.
Increased storage of belly button fat is associated with increased levels of Cortisol. So if you seem to be holding on to higher levels of abdominal fat when compared to the rest of the body, your Cortisol output might need to be lowered. Cortisol also shrinks dendrites which are the hands and feet that connect neurons in the brain. This may result in problems thinking, irritation, decreased memory and difficulty maintaining concentration. The common solution to symptoms like this is to stress more, eat some sugary crap and head to Starbucks. Needless to say, not ideal for healthy living or having a slim waist.
What can be done?
1) Eat healthily (Meat, Fish, Eggs, Veg, Fruit)
2) Drink plenty of water
3) Sleep well (look to above description)
4) Nap during day
5) Become of aware of you reactions to perceived stress 6) Avoid grains, sugars, stimulants and alcohol
7) Exercise regularly and appropriately
8) Have a relaxing hobby
9) Become aware of your breathing (will discuss later)
10) Meditate (will discuss later)
11) Spend time with friends and family when you can
12) Spend quiet time with yourself when needed
13) Make Love
14) Spend time with nature on a daily basis
15) Have regular massage
16) Stop watching and reading the news
17) Watch more comedies
18) Understand you have control over your perception even if you dont have control over the perceived stress
19) Dont be a perfectionist, which is code word for professional misery guts
Obviously there are more but this should get you started. You may want to read an article I wrote a long time ago on Meditation and Breathing Exercises. Check it out, you might find it useful.