Is Anxiety Sabotaging Your Weight Gain Plan?

Overlooked by many, undue worries are affecting the health of many people. Read on to find out how your worries might be messing up your weight and muscle gain goals

Do you often worry yourself sick? Do you panic whenever things don't go your way? Do you know that your constant anxiety could be undermining your weight and muscle gain plan?

Anxiety isn't just any emotion. It triggers powerful reactions within the body called the fight or flight response. This primal inborn response to stress prepares and protects us from perceived harm, whether real or imaginary, by stopping or slowing down digestion, constricting blood vessels, increasing blood flow and sweat, accelerating heart beat and sending a rush of adrenaline and other stress hormones through our body.

If we are still living in the Stone Age, the fight or flight response will save us from saber tooth tigers by priming us for an expected confrontation, or to run for our lives. However, in modern times, either response is no longer appropriate in most circumstances.

In fact, if the fight or flight response is constantly activated, it may even result in chronic suppression of the immune and digestive system, leaving you weak, exhausted, fearful and chronically thin.

To gain weight, absorption of nutrients from food is crucial. It is not enough just to stuff our face with food and supplements to pack on extra pounds and muscles. If your body isn't capable of breaking down and and absorbing all the stuff you put into your stomach, then you are just not going to see any results.

So the next time you feel your anxiety rising up, try the following tips to calm yourself down before it ruins your digestive system:

  • Control your breathing. If you are breathing too quickly, slow down and breathe deeply, but be careful not to go into hyperventilation mode.

  • Count slowly from 1 to 10. Count 1 after one complete in and out breath, and so on.

  • Write down your worries. Don't let your thoughts run wild in your mind. Putting them down on paper will help you to see things clearly and also put them in their right perspective.

  • Meditate regularly. Meditation is a way to familiarize yourself with the workings of your own mind. With meditation, you will realize that most of your thoughts are, err, just thoughts. They are often not real and are either replays of past events or useless worries about the future.

  • Talk to someone. Don't keep your feelings bottled up. Talk over your worries with someone you can trust. If you prefer to remain anonymous, call free helplines manned by trained volunteers.

  • Focus on what you can do. It is not helpful to spend time worrying. Worrying is not going to help you to get anything done. Just focus on the one thing that you can do now, and then go do it.

If you find your feelings of anxiety becoming frequent and intense, do not hesitate to seek professional help to deal with your anxiety issue. Have confident that your anxieties can be overcome. Good luck and all the best!

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