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The Red zone of Stress| How to leave it without stress induced overeating.


Stress – it’s a regular part of life.

Every woman handles it differently. Unfortunately stress prompts many women to stress-eat and overeat, leading to weight and health problems

What are some ways to deal with stress more effectively?

In this video clip, Rick Hanson, PhD, creator of The Foundations of Wellbeing program explains why the brain is wired this way, and what needs to happen in the brain to slow down reactivity so we can deal with stress more productively.


Read Rick Hanson’ s tips on how Leave the Red Zone.

How we end up in the Red Zone?


We rev up into Red in order to avoid threats, pursue opportunities, or deal with relationship issues: the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system activates, stress hormones like cortisol course through the bloodstream, and (broadly defined) hatred, greed, and heartache course through the mind. In Red, we’re primed for fear, possessiveness, and aggression. If you’re upset – if you’re anxious, frustrated, irritated, or feeling put down or inadequate – you’re in Red or heading there quickly.

Green is the Responsive mode of the brain and Red as its Reactive mode. Both modes are natural and necessary.

How to leave?

In a busy life, each day gives you dozens of opportunities to leave the Red zone and move toward Green. Each time you do this, you gradually strengthen the neural substrates of Green, one synapse at a time.

In order to cope with urgent needs, the body can switch from Green to Red in a heartbeat. Then it takes a while to return to Green since stress hormones need time to metabolize out of your system. Even in Yellow and Orange, the effects and thus the costs of stress activation are present.

So as soon as you notice the needle of your stress-o-meter moving into Yellow and beyond, take action.

In your mind, intend to settle back down. 

Exhale slowly, twice as long as the inhalation: this helps light up the parasympathetic nervous system. 

Think of something, anything, that makes you feel safer, more fed and fulfilled, or more appreciated and cared about: focus on these good feelings, stay with them, sense them sinking in. 

Relax tension in your body as best you can. 

As you calm a bit, find your priority in whatever situation is stressing you and zero in on the key specific do-able action(s) that is/are needed. 

Take refuge in knowing that you can only do what you can, that you can only encourage the causes of good things but can’t control the results themselves.
  • Try to slow down and step back. 
  • Speak carefully. 
  • Buy yourself some time. 
  • Drink some water, get some food, go to the bathroom. 
  • Try not to act (stress eat) from fear, anger, frustration, shame, or a bruised ego. 

Ready to explore more proactive actions in order to develop stress resilience and de-stress your eating habits? Check out my mindful eating coaching program. Simply click here >>>

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