Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Stress vs Overeating


WHY STRESS CAUSES PEOPLE TO OVEREAT
Stress eating can ruin your weight loss goals – the key is to find ways to relieve stress without overeating
Harvard Mental Health Letter
Updated: July 18, 2018
Published: February, 2012
There is much truth behind the phrase "stress eating." Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary "comfort foods" push people toward overeating. Researchers have linked weight gain to stress, and according to an American Psychological Association survey, about one-fourth of Americans rate their stress level as 8 or more on a 10-point scale.
In the short term, stress can shut down appetite. The nervous system sends messages to the adrenal glands atop the kidneys to pump out the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Epinephrine helps trigger the body's fight-or-flight response, a revved-up physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold.
But if stress persists, it's a different story. The adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol, and cortisol increases appetite and may also ramp up motivation in general, including the motivation to eat. Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn't go away — or if a person's stress response gets stuck in the "on" position — cortisol may stay elevated.
Stress eating, hormones and hunger
Stress also seems to affect food preferences. Numerous studies — granted, many of them in animals — have shown that physical or emotional distress increases the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both. High cortisol levels, in combination with high insulin levels, may be responsible. Other research suggests that ghrelin, a "hunger hormone," may have a role.
Once ingested, fat- and sugar-filled foods seem to have a feedback effect that dampens stress related responses and emotions. These foods really are "comfort" foods in that they seem to counteract stress — and this may contribute to people's stress-induced craving for those foods.
Of course, overeating isn't the only stress-related behaviour that can add pounds. Stressed people also lose sleep, exercise less, and drink more alcohol, all of which can contribute to excess weight.
Why do people stress eat?
Some research suggests a gender difference in stress-coping behaviour, with women being more likely to turn to food and men to alcohol or smoking. And a Finnish study that included over 5,000 men and women showed that obesity was associated with stress-related eating in women but not in men.
Harvard researchers have reported that stress from work and other sorts of problems correlates with weight gain, but only in those who were overweight at the beginning of the study period. One theory is that overweight people have elevated insulin levels, and stress-related weight gain is more likely to occur in the presence of high insulin.
How much cortisol people produce in response to stress may also factor into the stress–weight gain equation. In 2007, British researchers designed an ingenious study that showed that people who responded to stress with high cortisol levels in an experimental setting were more likely to snack in response to daily hassles in their regular lives than low-cortisol responders.
How to relieve stress without overeating
When stress affects someone's appetite and waistline, the individual can forestall further weight gain by ridding the refrigerator and cupboards of high-fat, sugary foods. Keeping those "comfort foods" handy is just inviting trouble.
Here are some other suggestions for countering stress:
Meditation. Countless studies show that meditation reduces stress, although much of the research has focused on high blood pressure and heart disease. Meditation may also help people become more mindful of food choices. With practice, a person may be able to pay better attention to the impulse to grab a fat- and sugar-loaded comfort food and inhibit the impulse.
Exercise. While cortisol levels vary depending on the intensity and duration of exercise, overall exercise can blunt some of the negative effects of stress. Some activities, such as yoga and tai chi, have elements of both exercise and meditation.
Social support. Friends, family, and other sources of social support seem to have a buffering effect on the stress that people experience. For example, research suggests that people working in stressful situations, like hospital emergency departments, have better mental health if they have adequate social support. But even people who live and work in situations where the stakes aren't as high need help from time to time from friends and family.
Disclaimer:
The content of this blog is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any question you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Opt4health does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physician, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Opt4health blog. Reliance on any information provided by Opt4health, Opt4health employees, other contributors appearing on the blog at the invitation of Opt4health, or other visitors to the blog is solely at your own risk.

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Monday, 9 December 2019

Cyberbullying and Mental Stress


CYBERBULLYING AND MENTAL STRESS
Posted Date: May 07, 2014
Posted in Secureteen.com, Child Safety > Cyberbullying

The world is gradually starting to understand the different types of bullying that exist out there, especially cyber-bullying, which is the newest member of the bullying family. While extensive research has been conducted on the typical forms of physical bullying that exist at homes or at schools, the understanding about online bullying is still lacking on many fronts. One thing that every adult agrees upon is that cyber-bullying is proving to be more dangerous for the mental health of teenagers than physical bullying. There are many reasons for this new revelation regarding the impact of online bullying on the psychology of teenagers. Some of the reasons for online bullying causing mental stress are discussed below to help you grasp the concept in its entirety.
Virtually stressed out
The Family Institute is an organization committed to helping families from all walks of life to heal from psychological problems and as a result provides them with motivation to strengthen their mental capacity. Hollie Sobel, PhD, a Family Institute clinician who specializes in treating adolescents and their families, said, “While social media can serve to augment peer relationships in adolescence, it can also provide a forum for negative exchanges that can be quite hurtful.” She added, “Teenagers can’t emotionally process these painful experiences in the same way they do their face-to-face equivalents. There aren’t the same opportunities to work it out online.” This statement is important because the failure to pacify tense situations online can lead to stress among teenagers. After all, the human mind was designed to respond to facial expressions, tone of voice, and the general mood of the surroundings. The only virtual expression that can actually start a reaction in the human brain is a selfie of a pouting teenager. It makes the brain go cuckoo because no-where does the theory of evolution suggest that it makes you look sexier.
Out of sight
The greatest problem with handling online bullying is the anonymity that the internet provides to its users. A victim of bullying cannot see the bully nor make sense of all the messages coming their way. Moreover, the help coming in from online friends in the shape of kind words might not be as effective because the victim can neither see them nor feel their presence in their immediate surroundings.
Going viral
There is no such thing as an internet police yet that can intervene and stop cyber-bullying from taking place. The speed with which information flows in the virtual world can even put The Flash to shame. Therefore, if a teen is being bullied with taunting remarks online, other users can quickly jump into the fray and bombard the target with under harsh negative statements under the cloak of invisibility. Teens have a greater chance of succumbing to pressure in such cases where the attacks cannot be traced back to a single person.
Game changer
In the eyes of parents, academics and clinicians, the greatest long-term effect of cyber-bullying on teens is the demotion of home from the level of safe-zone. In the old days children would get respite from bullying for a while once they entered the secure confines of their homes. Traditional bullies could not just walk into someone’s house and beat the living stars out of a weak soul. With the advent of social media, the safe boundaries of a house are safe no more because the victims can be attacked once they are online. This keeps teens mentally stressed throughout the day and makes them fearful 24/7. When the pressure becomes too much to handle for kids, they would break down mentally and plunge themselves into deep depression.
The next time you check your cyber-bullying facts, don’t forget to tick online bullying as the most dangerous form of bullying that destroys the mental health of kids more effectively than traditional bullying.

Disclaimer:
The content of this blog is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any question you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Opt4health does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physician, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Opt4health blog. Reliance on any information provided by Opt4health, Opt4health employees, other contributors appearing on the blog at the invitation of Opt4health, or other visitors to the blog is solely at your own risk.

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