Advances in science and technology have revolutionized how people live and work. The breakthroughs in 21st Century medical science have extended life expectancy rates and wiped out some of the diseases that were once thought to be incurable.
Still, these modern miracles have fallen short of eradicating two of the most troublesome conditions that have afflicted mankind: stress and anxiety. No matter how many vitamins we take, or how many fitness programs we try… absolutely no one can get immunity from life’s woes.
Another health problem that poses a challenge to medical science is the silent plague of obesity. According to the U.S. Obesity Society, at least 64% of Americans are now obese or overweight. The dramatic changes in food intake or diet, the ease of transportation, and the change of work into a more sedentary activity have all contributed to the rise of obesity.
But another major factor that has been left behind in the news is the fact that stress is a contributing cause for obesity. What comes to mind when you are trying to beat the deadline? What comes to mind when you become so tense just thinking about the upcoming bar exams? What comes to mind when you feel overworked? Food! Food! and More Food! You begin to develop food cravings as a way to relax your nerves and keep your mind off your problems for a while. You can hear it calling inside your head “Come to me….taste me! How delicious I am today!” Your mind suddenly is filled with swirling images of cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate bars, donuts, burgers….and, mind you, not just plain burgers — we’re talking about double cheeseburgers with extra toppings.
It is true that eating is one of the most common escapes for troubled souls. No wonder there is such as term as “comfort food.” Depressed people are more prone to give in to food cravings. Studies show that an average healthy individual carries around about seven to ten pounds of toxic waste. So it is not hard to imagine how much waste overweight people have to move around with. Other studies reveal that 10 percent of people who are overweight actually began overeating as a means to escape from their anxieties. The pleasures of eating had become a way to block off all negative thoughts and feelings.
Having a healthy body and a healthy mind is something that we cannot achieve separately. In fact, our thoughts have a very big influence on how our bodies feel. Somehow, our bodies show our mental and emotional condition. Obesity, therefore, could probably be a sign of a more serious emotional and psychological problem.
Stress and anxiety, as indirect causes of overeating and obesity, must be addressed squarely in order to avoid more serious health problems. To determine whether you or a person you know is being slowly sucked into a stress spiral, see if you have any of these stress symptoms:
- High Blood Pressure
- Memory loss
- Low self-esteem
- Nervous twitches
- Changes in sleep patterns
Aside from managing our eating habits, we also need to manage our emotions. The daily pressures at work and at home can be too much for some people. Most urbanites and executives are trapped in a life in constant rush. Busy people can become so frantic that even their eating habits can be affected. Just observe a regular restaurant in the middle of the business and financial district. Most likely, you’ll notice people just gobbling up whatever is in their plate…not really enjoying the meal. And to make it worse, they eat enormous amounts of food thinking that they need to replenish themselves after having worked so hard. The worst part is that instead of getting good nutrition, busy people consume high fat, high-calorie foods that are not good for one’s health.
So, if you are serious about not getting too fat or becoming overweight, you must eliminate the many things that can cause stress in your life. More than just controlling the amount of food you eat, you should also try one or more of the following health-enhancing activities:
1. Try out a Yoga Program or DIY Yoga – all you need is a mat and a yoga video showing the different Yoga positions.
2. Laugh till you drop- laughter is still the best medicine.
3. Meditation – although a bit difficult to master it is good stress reliever. it involves focusing inwardly and shutting out all the noise, restore the body and give us calm.
4. Diet – There are certain foods that contributes to a person being stressed out like for instance too much caffeine. Watching what you eat and knowing what essential foods that give you strength and stamina is vital. Getting the right proteins and balancing it with vegetables keeps you strong and healthy!
A healthy solution to combat stress and obesity is that you must lessen your hectic, fast-paced life.
Get rid of the thousand and one things that bring chaos to your daily life. Eat healthy foods and try to keep in mind to do everything in moderation. Do something else with your hands other than dipping it into bucket of chicken or holding a liter of soda.
When you think about it, the solutions to stress and obesity are in your hands.