Believe it or not, your physical health is affected by far more than what you eat and the amount of exercise you achieve. There is a very strong and well documented connection between your mind and body.
What you think about on a daily basis actually translates to how you feel and what you look like. That is not to say that you can literally make yourself lose weight through sheer will, but you’ll certainly have more trouble at it if you’re a chronic pessimist. Discussed below are three things to avoid in order to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Lack of Sleep
Not sleeping enough has drastic consequences for your health that go far beyond just feeling sluggish. A lack of sleep actually impairs you neurologically. You function at a lower level altogether, are more error prone, and will have significantly more trouble recalling memories and information. A lack of sleep also causes your body to release the hormone cortisol, which leads to weight gain, heart problems, and skin issues.
Even worse, if you are chronically sleep deprived, you will experience possibly long term health defects that are difficult (if not impossible) to remedy. Attempt to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, but if you can’t, you should at least try to sleep in on weekends.
Like sleep deprivation, chronic stress also releases cortisol. Due in large part to this and other hormones, stress can visibly age you. It is no coincidence that people who are perpetually stressed experience premature gray hair and deep wrinkles. Look to any former President as proof; they generally come into the job looking decades younger than when they exit.
Stress, both acute and chronic, is also very bad for your heart. In various studies, individuals that experience generally low levels of stress were found to be healthier, skinnier, and more psychologically well than their overstressed counterparts.
Chances are you’ll have trouble avoiding stress itself, but you can nonetheless avoid situations that you know are stressful. If that is not possible, look into stress management training. You’ll feel younger, healthier and happier within months.
The term “overeating” is often misused these days. While you should certainly avoid eating too much on a daily basis, you should also be vigilant about how much you consume at every individual meal. Unfortunately, we have been evolutionarily programmed to operate with a scarcity mentality when it comes to food.
Our bodies, and more importantly our psyches, simply aren’t used to having easy and perpetual access to calories. When we’re at a buffet, we are naturally inclined to eat far more than we need to feel full.
Overeating will actually expand your stomach, thus making it more difficult for you to feel full in the future. You’ll feel uncomfortable, hungrier, and will put on weight rapidly. High calorie diets have also been shown to contribute to a number of diseases once though unrelated to weight or BMI. Instead of eating three large meals, try and eat six smaller ones throughout the day.