Monthly Archives

October 2017

The Link Between Stress and Body Weight

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As you no doubt know, we are becoming progressively fatter as a nation. You’ll also know that there’s a well established link between being overweight and serious illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

There is also a definite link between stress and overeating and this can be explained chemically. Acute (short term stress) causes the brain to produce an appetite-suppressing hormone called corticotrophin-releasing hormone. Adrenaline, which is released in a stressful situation to initiate our primitive flight or fight response, is also an appetite-suppressing chemical. You’ll know the feeling of acute anxiety (or panic) where your stomach is churning and the last thing you feel like doing is eating.

Chronic (long term stress) is however a different story. With chronic stress, we produce a chemical called cortisol which increases our appetite. An excess of cortisol favours fat storage over using calories for energy, and this fat tends to be stored in the abdominal region. Abdominal fat also has more cortisol receptors so we actually produce more stress. So more fat equals more stress equals more fat. A vicious cycle.

How do we get out of this? We attack the chronic stress. Hypnotherapy is a fantastic method for this, and will get you back in control of your stress and your eating.

Keep on Movin’

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We all know the importance of exercise in keeping us physically healthy. However, did you know exercise has a huge impact on our mental health too?

Physical activity releases beneficial molecules that reach the brain, increases blood circulation to the brain and encourages the formation of new brain cells and connections between them. You can actually run yourself smarter and counteract the effects of ageing on your brain power.

Check out this video below:

Running is also a fantastic way of dealing with stress. If you think about it, this makes sense as stress comes from our prehistoric “flight or fight” response to threats. We can run off the adrenaline caused by our anxious thoughts by putting on our trainers or our speedos and engaging “flight”.

 

Of course, another excellent way of reducing the impact of chronic stress is hypnotherapy.

 

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/01/4-ways-to-improve-your-brain-health/

 

Get Some Zeds!

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We all feel better after a good night’s sleep, but leading neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker recently confirmed it’s more than a little grumpiness we may have to contend with if we don’t get enough sleep. We actually increase our risk of cancer, heart attacks and Alzheimer’s.

 

Sleep deprivation, you may be surprised to hear, is classed by scientists as anything less than 7 hours a night, and it is a very rare person that can tolerate a lifestyle which involves less sleep than this without it eventually impacting their health. Walker states that “no aspect of our biology is left unscathed by sleep deprivation” and research indicates that as well as the devastating illnesses already mentioned earlier, we also increase our risk of diabetes, obesity and mental illness with chronic sleep deprivation.

 

We are in the midst of a sleep loss epidemic with many causes, such as our 24-hour connectivity and the resulting blurred lines between work and home, the ubiquity of artificial light, overuse of caffeine and alcohol, and high stress levels. There’s also a macho culture around surviving on low amounts of sleep – “Sleep is for the weak”, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” etc.

 

What can we do about all of this? Here are a few tips:

 

  1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule – go to bed and get up at the same time every day (even weekends)
  2. Use your bed only for sleep (well, and one other pleasurable activity…)
  3. Have a relaxing bedtime routine. Anyone who comes to One Life for a consultation will be given a free download to listen to at bedtime and this will help enormously.
  4. Exercise daily, although try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
  5. Put the phone, tablet etc away an hour before bedtime
  6. Avoid overindulging in alcohol and food as much as you can.
  7. Don’t drink caffeine after 2pm, and last but not least….
  8. HYPNOTHERAPY – If you’re really struggling with sleep, hypnotherapy can work wonders. We help you to get on top of stress and anxiety, increase your confidence, and allow good sleep to follow naturally.

 

What about sleeping pills? These might give you a short term improvement, but they don’t address the root cause of sleep issues and they become less and less effective as you become more and more dependent. Not a good situation.

 

Happy sleeping!

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/24/why-lack-of-sleep-health-worst-enemy-matthew-walker-why-we-sleep