Most people consider me an expert in restoring and maintaining health using diet and lifestyle approaches. My “claims to fame” are my in-depth knowledge of nutrition and biochemistry, and my program effectiveness for restoring balance to achieve vibrant health and energy.
Countless people come to me for advice, wondering why they are still overweight and ill, in spite of eating a healthy diet.
How Stress May Supersize You
While I can usually find things to tweak in clients’ diets, and I can recommend herbs or natural nutrition supplements to restore balance, we’re fighting an uphill battle if we ignore the role of stress, negative emotions, and worry; your health, energy level, AND weight are all affected.
On a past radio show, Your Muscles May be Making You Fat, I explored in detail the mechanism by which stress and worry contribute to belly bulge, and I encourage you to listen for details.
In summary, fear, worry, stressful thoughts and situations, and negative emotions trigger the release of cortisol and adrenaline from your adrenal glands. This hormone release triggers a series of fight or flight mechanisms that cause your liver and muscles to release sugar into your blood. Normally, this release would ready you for your “chase” or “escape”.
But what also happens, and this is the troubling part when it happens frequently, is that your insulin is also triggered to rise, so the sugar in the blood can be absorbed by your cells and fuel them to flight or fight. Keep in mind, that extra sugar in your blood would normally get used. Unfortunately, when your stresses are mental, you can’t burn all the released sugar. Insulin, in following through with its job of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, causes the sugar to be put back into storage… as white adipose tissues, whose main receptors are – you guessed it – right around your belly.
I discuss more details concerning insulin, its role, and insulin resistance in Video 1, of the 5-part Bye-Bye Belly Fat, Brain Fog, and Burnout video series.
When you get stressed over situations that are beyond your control – like fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, traffic, other people’s attitudes – you are creating the perfect environment not only for “turning your muscles into fat” but for injuring your insides and setting yourself up for diseases. The three most serious and very common sequelae [secondary conditions] to chronic stress are the BIG 3: Heart disease, Cancer and Diabetes.
If achieving a slim trim body and keeping yourself safe from “the Big 3” aren’t enough motivation to get a handle on stress, there’s more.
A Change of Heart Can Mean a Change in Dress Size
Your thoughts and emotions impact others around you, both those in close proximity and those far away.
Let me explain.
Research at the Institute of HeartMath has confirmed that your thoughts and emotions affect your heart rate variability (HRV). When you’re calm, HRV, when graphed, looks like a nice even sine wave and when you’re frustrated or angry, worried or anxious, it’s erratic and spikey. Notice the difference in the graphs to the right.
The smooth wave pattern is associated with ideal blood pressure, clear thinking, proper metabolic function and overall well being. The other pattern hallmarks disease, dysfunction, resistant weight loss and a host of other serious metabolic disruptions.
This article on the HeartMath website gives all the details, and it also takes you step-by-step through a couple of their techniques for restoring balance:
According to HeartMath:
In my Mend Your Metabolism & Maximize Your Vitality webinar, I will take you step-by-step through one of the HeartMath processes for Transforming Stress so you can feel for yourself the effects of being in a state they refer to as “coherence”.
It’s an amazing feeling and you too can learn it. In my 30-day B4 Be Gone program, I guide my patients and students through daily practice of this technique, and send them daily reminders and a recording of me guiding them through the process.
Join us on the webinar to get yourself started.
Get Slim, Stress-free, and Save the World
So now for the really amazing, almost unbelievable finding.
YOU have more power than you think over the state of the world, the energy in the room, and the stressful feelings of others.
Hear me out on this one…
When two people with different HRV patterns come into each other’s energy fields, the HRV’s tend to synchronize, and the strongest field prevails. This has been measured by the institute of HeartMath researchers on medical equipment!
By practicing the HeartMath technique called Quick Coherence several times a day, with as little a time investment as 5 minutes a day, you’ll become proficient at changing your emotional state and the HRV’s of others with whom you come into contact.
How cool is that?
And when you practice their more advanced technique, called Heart Lock-in, you actually practice deliberately projecting your energy out into the room. To master Heart Lock-in takes a bit more time, 15 minutes about 3-4 times a week!
When natural disasters like fire and flood strike, the natural tendency is to feel victimized. That puts you into the “triple P emotional state” that has been shown to be the most damaging of all… powerlessness, pessimism, and pervasive worry.
It’s times like these that we need to band together energetically and send positive thoughts, prayers, and uplifting energy to those whose lives are affected. Imagine the effect of thousands of people all over the world projecting their positive energy field! According to the above aforementioned article from the Institute of HeartMath (which I highly recommend you read in its entirety), “positive thinking” without accompanying positive feelings usually only provides temporary relief from emotional distress. Whereas the activation of positive emotions is more likely to transform the stress at its source.
According to Joe Vitale, author of The Attractor Factor, “there are over 25 scientific studies that prove when a group of people meditate together, they can change their surroundings — just by getting settled inside.”
Dr. Vitale lives not too far from where I live, just outside of Austin, and he sent out a plea for help with getting the fires under control through the power of positive emotion.
I’ve printed his entire letter on my blog, where Joe tells of his experience with this process when Hurricane Rita threatened Austin a few years back.
Whether you believe Dr. Vitale’s account of changing the course of natural events or not, there’s no disputing the positive effect of appreciation and love on your own chemistry and that of those around you. Lots of studies at www.heartmath.org support this.
So, what do you have to lose?
Even if you think it’s goofy, it can’t hurt and it will change your own emotions and your internal well-being.
So take a deep breath… find that place of peace inside yourself where you know all is well. Access that area of inner calm…and then just feel the fires going out; imagine the hurricanes heading out to sea; envision the earth’s core relaxing; and perceive that all the people affected are safe, sound, and protected.
Stop, breathe, focus, pray, or in some positive way send out an energy that will help dissolve the fear.
It’s your way of making a difference in the face of disaster, even if you can’t send lots of money or travel to the scene to help.
Check out the book Unconditional Bliss by Howard Cushnir. He says you can find happiness in the face of hardship.
And in the words of Joe Vitale, “… be happy, right now. Smile. Send that loving energy out, in the direction of Texas.
Intend for all to be well, for, in reality, all is well.”
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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Disclosure: Sometimes (but not always), when I share resources in my programs, newsletter, and on my website, I'm using an affiliate link, which means I do make money if you buy. My credibility is extremely important to me; therefore, I only endorse the products, services, and people I believe in. DrRitamarie.com is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are my own.