Don’t Let Worry Weigh You Down

Stress, Worry and Weight Management


What kinds of feelings does that word evoke in you? Perhaps you’re thinking of your job, taking care of your family or paying your bills. Maybe you’re “stressed” about an upcoming deadline or a doctor’s appointment.

But did you know that there are many types of stress? Fortunately, knowing the difference and how to avoid toxic relationships with stress can help you manage your weight long-term.

Understanding Types of Stress

Let’s take a look at the basics:


According to Webster’s Dictionary, stress can be defined as “a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.” Does this ring a bell? Maybe you get stressed when you’re sitting through rush hour or spill a drink on the floor. Symptoms often include tight muscles, headaches, a pounding chest, irritability, etc.


This is GOOD stress! You may be thinking, “Is there even such a thing?” The answer is yes. Eustress appears when we percieve a particular stressor to be motivating, challenging or exciting. Maybe it’s a sports game you’re looking forward to playing in. Maybe it’s a long-term project that you’re close to completing. These are all great examples!


Webster’s defines this word as “pain or suffering affecting the body or mind.” In other words, this is the long-term stress that begins to affect your day-to-day life. Maybe you suffer from chronic neck, shoulder and back pain, or you’ve experienced depression and high blood pressure. Not to mention… weight gain is a classic symptom!

Why Worry Weighs You Down

So, why exactly does prolonged stress contribute to weight gain?

When our body is stressed, our adrenal gland releases a hormone called cortisol into our blood stream. While we need some cortisol to increase energy and help us manage stressful situations, we usually don’t need all of it. This is because most of us don’t expend energy (exercise) when we’re feeling the effects of worry.

That extra energy is then stored as fat, and it often makes us experience an increase in appetite and unhealthy cravings. This sounds familiar, right? We’ve all been there!

Tips for Managing Worry and Stress

Too much stress = bad news. How do we prevent stress from affecting our bodies and contributing to weight gain?

  • Tune In – Take a step back and try to identify what physical and emotional symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • Analyze – Try to figure out what’s causing you stress. Do you have control over it?
  • Respond – Think about what you’ll do in response before you actually do it. Try to combat stress with healthy behaviors such as exercise, deep breathing, meditation or another form of catharsis.
  • Prevent – Now that you know what’s causing you stress, how can you prevent those stressors from occurring? Do you have control over those circumstances?

Want More Information about Worry, Stress and Weight Management?

Visit the full article from Your Weight Matters Magazine by CLICKING HERE.

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