Stress

  1. Stress eating leads to weight gain

    Eating after stress can slow calorie burn

    We've all done it. After a rough day, we turn to a favorite dish to help ease the stress.

    But you should settle for a warm bath instead -- because in most cases, that favorite dish isn’t exactly health food. And now, new research confirms that this “stress eating” can actually do more damage than eating an unhealthy meal without the stress.

    When you battle stress, your metabolism slows so much that even a single high-fat meal under the gun of stress can do lasting damage, and the new study on 58 women shows how.

    The women were asked about the stresses they faced the previous day. Some were relatively stress-free, while others were battling the typical pressures of life, including family issues, work problems or trouble with a friend or spouse.

    Then, all of them were allowed to indulge in a super-junky meal of 930 calories and 60 grams of fat.

    As it turns out, the stressed-out women burned 104 fewer calories over the following seven hours, according to the study in Biological Psychiatry.

    Over the course of a year, daily stress eating could lead to a gain of 11 pounds. And over the course of a few years or more… well… you don’t have to do the math.

    You can see the damage on your waistline.

    Along with weight gain, chronic stress can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and more in men and women alike, which is why it’s important to get control of stress even if you’re stick-thin.

    If it has an obvious cause, try relaxation therapy, prayer, time with family and loved ones and holistic remedies.

    But if you’re stressed out and don’t know why, it could be a sign of a hormonal problem or an issue with your adrenal glands. A holistic physician can run some tests, determine the cause and help find a natural way to correct it.

  2. Hostility, stress and depression can increase stroke risk

    Mood problems can lead to a stroke

    A stroke is so frightening in part because they seem to strike like lightning, out of the blue and almost at random.

    And sometimes they do.

    But that's not always the case. Strokes can also be triggered by everything from diet to lifestyle -- and believe it or not, your mood and emotional state are also major stroke risk factors.

    For example, one new study finds that hostility can double your risk of a transient ischemic attack.

    That's a so-called mini stroke, but there's no such thing as "mini" when it comes to a stroke. They can do lasting and even permanent damage, and suffering one could put you at risk for another.

    And there may be nothing "mini" about that next stroke.

    It's not just hostility. Depression can boost the risk of a TIA by 86 percent, according to the study of nearly 7,000 adults between 45 to 84 years old who were tracked for an average of 8.5 years.

    And stress -- of course a classic stroke risk factor -- can increase the risk of a TIA by 50 percent.

    In other words, consider mental health issues and mood problems to be every bit as important as your physical health -- and if you're suffering from any of these conditions, seek help.

    But that doesn't mean you need to seek meds.

    Natural approaches including relaxation exercises and prayer can often work wonders when it comes to easing stress, anxiety, hostility and depression. And if you need a little more help, try calming herbal remedies and even homeopathic solutions.

  3. Chronic stress can damage the brain

    Stress causes permanent changes in the brain You know what happens when you're stressed. Along with being a nervous wreck, you can't think straight -- and stuff slips right out of your brain. It's not just you. The stress hormone cortisol can actually block critical neurons in the brain from communicating with each other. That, in turn, causes you to forget stuff. Continue reading →
  4. [Video] Fall Asleep Fast: The 20 Minute Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep

    Remember when you were a kid and could fall asleep fast … the minute your head hit the pillow... and sleep like a rock all through the night? Remember when you could wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day... instead of feeling like you're walking in a fog and can't wait to take a nap? Continue reading →

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