What Divorce Stress Can Do To Your Body

divorce stress

By Karen Malkin, Divorced Girl Smiling Contributor, National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach

By now, you probably know that stress–including divorce stress, takes a tremendous toll on your body, often showing up in the form of headaches, intestinal issues, weight gain, hypertension, insomnia, and other health problems.

Did you know stress also wreaks havoc on your bones and calorie burning capacity?


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Stress travels with you like unwanted baggage. So, if you are willing to make a commitment to incorporate some stress-reduction techniques into your routine, you will stand taller, breathe easier, feel stronger and burn more calories.

First, let’s take a quick look at how stress impacts your health.

*When stressed, your body releases the hormones cortisol and insulin.Elevated cortisol and insulin lead to increases in blood sugar, cholesterol, and signals the body to store fat and not build lean muscle.
*Stress causes salt retention.
*Stress decreases gut flora, healthy bacteria, needed for good digestion.
*Stress decreases the amount growth hormone in your body which is needed for growth and to build muscle.
*Stress decreases thyroid hormone needed to regulate metabolism.
*Stress increases inflammation in the body and oxidative stress and causes premature aging.
*Stress increases nutrient excretion.  The body excretes calcium as well, chromium, selenium, magnesium, zinc and all the micro minerals, through the urine, from going to your bones for the good of other tissues-it’s like the anti-Vitamin D.

Am I stressing you out?

Don’t worry, just slow down! If changing gears doesn’t come naturally, know that it’s very hard for me, too.

Here are 5 tips to help you de-stress:

1. Cut down on your commitments. Say “NO”.  Create a NOT to-do list.
2. Take a vacation, spend time in nature, and truly unplug (NOTE: this means your mobile phone and laptop also take a rest!) Try not to worry. What you resist, persists!
3. Practice deep breathing, rhythmically, which short cuts the stress response and allows you to feel relaxed very quickly, which increases calorie burning capacity.
4. Read a good book!
5. Get quality sleep and give yourself permission to nap. Sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, which causes refined carbohydrate and sugar cravings.

Move to De-stress

Cycling, walking and Pilates are my exercises of choice, especially in the morning to get my day started right; it’s a great option for stress reduction, which in turn helps keep cortisol levels regulated. Simple daily walks, weight training and finding loving ways to move your body will go a long way toward rebuilding your bones.


Juli Walton, Divorce Therapist, North Shore Reach


Eat to De-stress

Reducing caffeine and other acidic foods such as animal protein, milk, packaged foods and soda, and adding in a nutrient dense array of colorful whole foods helps ward off bone deterioration. Fruits and vegetables, especially calcium rich leafy greens and those high in lycopene and polyphenols such as tomatoes, berries and watermelon are particularly beneficial for bone health. Additionally, Food + Oxygen = increased calorie burning capacity.  Take deep sips of air before and during each meal. Eating under stress slows down metabolism. Turn on the parasympathetic nervous system by relaxing, which burns more calories and boosts metabolism!

So, spend time with the people you love, take a walk in nature, catch up on reading, and fill your plate with dark leafy greens, fresh fruit and lots of vegetables. Your body-and bones will thank you. Keep your eye on the prize: a long and healthy life!


divorce stress

Karen Malkin is among the first National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches in our country. Karen is the founder of MCT Lean, a plant based, dietary supplement company. She serves on the Philanthropic Council for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine and as a board of director for the Environmental Working Group. Some of Karen’s specialty areas include her 14 Day Transformation series, emotional eating, weight loss, the science of nutrition, high energy superfoods, smoothies, supplementation, managing cravings, and healthy lifestyle makeovers. Learn more: www.karenmalkin.com. This article was originally published at: https://www.karenmalkin.com/destress/

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