Learn to control the reward centres of your brain
Stress is bad for your mental health. It’s not great for your heart or immune health, either. Furthermore — and just to rub salt into your wounds — it can also make you fat. But the consequences of stress are not inevitable: once you understand what’s going on, you can fight back.
Stress can also be good for your mental health and overall survival. The stress response is designed to save your life, when called upon to do so. It also stimulates imagination and creativity. Likewise, eating is both essential and a pleasure. Issues arise when normal stress crosses a line, and so too does normall eating.
At the heart of the turmoil created by mental anguish and overeating is the brain’s reward system and the hormones that interact with it, in particular ghrelin.
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, produced mainly in the stomach. When all is working well, it tells your brain when you are hungry. Thus, starvation is avoided. But with prolonged, unrelenting stress the normal ghrelin response is disrupted and you fail to differentiate between genuine hunger and a craving for something to stop the stress.
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Copyright © 2020 Maria Cross All rights reserved.
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