Anxiety and Weight. It is the panic you feel when you think about your declining health or about whether you’ll be financially set for retirement. It is the pounding in your heart and the sweat on your upper lip as you’re about to present your ideas to the board or do something you’ve never done. It is also the one emotion that can contribute to your increasing pant size, which makes getting it under control a necessity if you want to reach a lower weight.

Your Body’s Response to Anxiety

Anxiety is a stressor to your body that puts you in fight-or-flight mode and causes your cortisol and adrenaline levels to shoot up in an effort to help you deal with whatever difficulty lies ahead. While this is great for immediate emergencies such as dodging a car that is driving straight at you or outrunning a vicious dog, when the emergencies are merely images in your mind that you replay over and over again, that is where the problem sets in.

Cortisol that continues to be released in high doses, which is the case when you have chronic anxiety, works against your weight loss efforts. It can add pounds to your midsection (which is the unhealthiest place to have it since that is where your organs are) and it increases your appetite, making it harder to fight sugar cravings and lose your excess weight.

Also, adrenaline that is in your system for long periods of time has the ability to affect your heart. It is like constantly running on the treadmill without taking a break. This puts you at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke—two conditions that are all too often fatal.

How to Reduce Your Anxiety Naturally

Reducing your anxiety then is not only critical to your weight loss strategy, but is also detrimental when protecting your life. How can you effectively lower the anxiety you feel without relying on prescription drugs that often have unwanted side effects?

For starters, it helps to engage in a regular exercise program. This not only makes you feel better about yourself mentally and physically, but it also helps limit cortisol’s negative effects. Just throw in some earbuds and listen to music that inspires and empowers you as you work up a sweat and release the anxiety as you work your way to a calmer state of mind.

Another all-natural anxiety reliever involves taking the time to regularly relax. The only way to get your body out of the fight-or-flight mode is to let it know that it is okay to do so. This means that you need to make it a priority to do things that ease your mind and soothe your soul. Some options to consider include reading, playing a musical instrument, sitting in front of a fire with a cup of tea, or watching your favorite movie. Don’t worry. The rest of the world will get by just fine without you for an hour or two.

A third suggestion when it comes to relieving your anxiety is to watch your consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. While it may be tempting to rely on these vices to help you feel better, they actually make it harder to reach your goals as they increase your cortisol levels. So, greatly reducing and even eliminating them can help you lose weight and feel better long-term.

Finally, if your goal is to reduce your anxiety and lose your weight, it helps to make sure you have the nutrients your body relies on to be and feel its best. This requires getting tested to figure out what you are low in and taking supplements to resolve any deficiencies that exist. Some positive benefits can be felt fairly quickly after starting the appropriate supplement regimen and some take time to work. However, in the end, you will feel better than you’ve ever felt before because your hormones will be balanced, which will also help you balance life in general.

Reduce Your Anxiety, Reduce Your Weight

Once you begin to get your anxiety under control, not only will you be lighter mentally, but you’ll start to be lighter physically as well. You won’t crave sugary and fatty foods as often as you do right now and your desire to emotionally eat will reduce as well since you won’t be constantly trying to drown the anxiety and fear.

Try these four suggestions and see how you feel. My guess is that you’ll notice a renewed energy as you go about your day, you’ll experience more focus at work, and you’ll have a greater passion for life. What’s not to like about that?