In the swirling chaos of our daily lives, stress often rises to the surface and influences our mood, our attitude, and our hormones. When we try to compartmentalize this mental duress, it soon becomes physically apparent, whether we like it not. In fact, it can incite inflammation, accelerated aging, poor judgment, bad decisions, and impaired slumber. Put frankly, stress makes you fat, sick, dumb, and weak.
For example, scientists at the University of California at San Francisco have found a proven association between cortisol (the stress hormone) and belly fat content. Yet, despite this terrible news being proven (we all knew it was true anyway), there is something we can do to take control of our lives and our own fitness. We are not subject to the whim of inevitable stress.
Essentially, you can combat stress and relax through something called “deep belly breathing.” When engaging in “deep belly breathing,” you are able to overcome your body’s stress response, decrease your cortisol production, and bolster your melatonin creation (the sleep hormone that also protects against aging). Alright, alright, now here’s how you do it:
- Sit or lie down in a dark and quiet room. Place the palm of your hand on your stomach.
- Take a deep, slow breath through your nose and pay particular attention to how your stomach rises and falls underneath your hand.
- Exhale. Slowly, and for as long and steadily as possible (like, for at least five seconds). Breathe out until your lungs are entirely devoid of air.
And that’s it! Just repeat steps one through three every night for at least a week and I promise you will not only feel better and more energized, but you’ll even notice your waistline shrinking! Yet, that’s not all. There’s actually another trick that has been proven to burn 400% more fat when used, and it takes less than a minute!
Another study published in the Journal of International Medical Research illustrated that people who used the same aforementioned trick actually managed to lose 20% of their body fat in only 12 weeks. If you want to burn 400% more fat than you would otherwise by dedicating a simple minute, check out this neat and easy to understand video.