Just BREATHE!

Finances can put my stomach into knots at the best of time. Add in a generous serving of HMRC, an incompetent bank, an unwanted Limited Company, incomprehensible tax laws, accountants that never reply to emails and an inefficient payroll department, and frankly it is enough to send me over the edge. Or over to the beige side at least. I was doing some serious self-medicating yesterday. Foolishly, because self-medicating makes me feel worse than I did, before the day is through, and I kind of enjoyed the discomfort by way of penance for my foolishness…note to self…harmony..harmony….harmony between what I know and what I do…..

You don’t have to practice yoga to know that deep breathing has a calming affect upon us. Everyone knows that. “Take a deep breath“…….You can actually feel the tensed up muscles relaxing, and I can almost visualise the life giving oxygen flooding my system. I have even read that deep breathing- with a clean diet of course!- can aid in some small way with weight loss or weight maintenance.

Why?

Firstly because deep breathing increases your metabolism (supposedly) and maintains it throughout the day; other benefits then, can include greater energy levels and mental clarity (Again- with clean eating and good sleep routines  for optimum levels of  energy and an alert mind)

Secondly, when you are stressed, your body releases adrenaline  and cortisol.  Adrenaline helps your fat cells release energy (glucose) for a fight-or-flight. Cortisol helps produce glucose from proteins as an  extra back-up. The problem is not an occasional flight-or-flight “rush”. the problem is when you are almost constantly stressed, for various reasons.   This leads to an almost constant state of excess cortisol production. Excess cortisol stimulates glucose production. This excess glucose then typically ends up as stored fat.

There are a number of research studies that have shown that fat cells can, in the presence of too much adrenaline, become resistant to the effects of adrenaline. . In other words, eventually, they won’t release the fat that the adrenaline “tells” them to, but through the presence of high cortisol, they’re more responsive to fat storage.   At the same time, high levels of circulating cortisol increase the risk of obesity and increased fat storage — and particularly, abdominal obesity, one of the most dangerous types of obesity, and one that contributes to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.

To this we add, that in times of stress, we tend to “self-medicate” like I was yesterday (ironic phrase) with foods that are either high-fat, high-sugar, or both. Or perhaps we self-medicate with drinks like caffeinated drinks, coffee, alcohol or sugary drinks, which either throw our blood sugar out of whack or increase cortisol levels in our system once again.

In short friends……Eat clean. Breathe deeply.  Love.

And -when relevant- get a decent accountant.

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