The Surprising Link Between Happiness and Weight Loss By Locke Hughes

Changing the way you handle tense times could help you lose those stubborn pounds 

1.Can You Smile Your Way Slim?

Can You Smile Your Way Slim?

It seems like a simple formula: Diet plus exercise equals weight-loss success. But what's often overlooked is the mental aspect, which is just as important. How you handle stress and sadness in your life can truly make or break your bikini-body goals. Whether you’re anxious about work or dealing with a devastating breakup, there are real chemical processes taking place that affect the way your body reacts to temptations, from the donuts on the conference table to the urge to sleep in instead of hitting the gym.

Any form of depression, no matter how mild, affects neurotransmitters that control mood, thinking, appetite, and behavior, making you more likely to eat poorly, skip exercise, and gain weight. [Tweet this fact!] Similarly, high stress levels cause your body to release the hormone cortisol, which makes us crave energy and comfort (often in the form of pizza and cupcakes). This leads to a sugar-induced dopamine high, then the inevitable crash that causes you to seek even more dopamine, and so on. All those extra empty calories are then stored in your body, most commonly in the form of—you guessed it—belly fat.

Of course, dealing with life’s stressful and saddening situations is much easier said than done. After all, you can’t solve all your problems by ordering the salmon or taking a bubble bath. That said, these ten tips can help you battle anxiety, boost serotonin, and release endorphins, all of which will create a happier mood, healthier mind, and slimmer body.

2. Flash a Smile

Flash a Smile

The simple act of smiling is an instant stress-buster, according to a recent study in Psychological Science. You can do it anytime too—assuming the boss isn’t cursing you out at the time.  

3. Drink Up

Drink Up

 If you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to feel more tired and stressed, and have less energy, according to a study from the Journal of Nutrition, so it’s important to stay hydrated with water (plus: no calories!). Water won’t wash away your problems, but maintaining energy levels is an essential aspect of dealing with the tasks of life and reaching your physical and emotional goals.

4. Seek Peace

 Find an activity that can allow you to do mini-meditations, like a hike or walk outdoors. A study published in BMC Public Health found that a 20-minute walk outside twice a week was more restorative than getting the same exercise indoors. But even doing something like making a healthy meal can help you slow down. Take your time to chop, smell the scents, and engage yourself in the process of cooking, and it can act as a mind-cleanser.

5. Stretch It Out

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