Stress management is critical to your healthfulness, but it’s a piece that is frequently overlooked. I hear this routinely, “I eat healthy, I exercise, but I cannot get rid of the belly fat!” Who’s to blame?….STRESS!!!

Keeping our stress at a minimum is at the underpinnings of losing fat, keeping immunity high, digesting food effectively, looking beautiful, and even sleeping well. But, handling stress is also a skill that must be developed through deliberate practice and with a healthy diet too. Let’s start with the diet. It’s fairly common knowledge that a diet low in processed sugar, caffeine, and processed foods is effective for supporting health, happiness, and lowered stress. That’s old school, right? But, what you might not know nor practice is the simple practice of deep breathing to lower your stress!

Think about it, when your feet hit the ground in the morning, your are bombarded with emails, texts, Facebook, children, and work deadlines. Throw in laundry, meal preparation, and all of the mundane tasks we balance, and you find yourself in the throws of one STRESSFUL LIFE! It’s as if you are being chased by a bear all day long, everyday. And, that’s precisely the chemical reaction that happens with 24/7 stressful demands. Your body responds to this heightened demand with shallow breathing and cravings for caffeine, sugar (fast fuel!) and opiate rich foods (cheese, pizza, pasta, fried foods). Internally, your cortisol or stress hormone is increased, releasing more insulin, which in turn stores fat because your body thinks you are going to die! Honestly, it makes me stressed and I find myself typing faster just thinking about the whole scenario. Yet, most people live in that state of being most of their lives. It’s the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) on OVERLOAD!!!

By now you are hoping for an answer, and happily, it’s one that is simple and straightforward. But, it takes practice to develop, similar to working out routinely to develop biceps and triceps! I’m talking about deep belly breathing to engage your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which regulates “rest and digest.” Incorporating a nutrient dense diet into your daily life and learning deep breathing techniques is a highly effective method to lower stress and to burn fat. What’s great is that the more you practice, the better you get….just like strength training!

Let’s dive in…You can practice Deep Belly Breathing, the most basic and effective breathing technique anywhere, even at a stoplight!

1) Breathe in deeply through your nostrils to enlarge your belly. Your chest stays stationary.
2) Breathe out slowly through your lips.
3) Slowly repeat 3 and 10 times.

It’s that simple, and when done several times throughout the day, you are lowering stress, cortisol and your “flight or fight” sympathetic response to life. What’s more, your breathing signals the parasympathetic nervous system to do it’s job: “rest and digest”…the result of which is fat loss, health, and beautiful skin!
Make Mindful Breathing and living a part of your daily routine and watch your health improve!

If you are ready to take your health to the next level, schedule your free health coaching consultation today!