If you’re like most people, stress is a problem. In fact, a Gallup poll found that 2 out 3 Americans report feeling stressed. That’s one of the highest rates of stress in the world. 

America’s Happy Hormones Doctor, Deb Matthew MD, joined Bloom with 5 Holiday Stress Mistakes to Avoid.

Dr. Matthew said, “stress causes cortisol (our stress hormone) to go up, and high cortisol causes many health issues.

Here’s a list of what high cortisol levels can do to your body:

•  Weight gain (especially around your middle).  All that belly fat doesn’t just affect your belt size – it causes inflammation and promotes heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

•  Food cravings When we’re stressed, no one craves broccoli!  We want salt!  sugar!  chocolate!  (Maybe wine!)

•  Insomnia It can be hard to turn off your brain at the end of the day.  You toss and turn at night and wake up feeling unrefreshed. 

•  Bad memory When you’re stressed, short term memory suffers.  You forget where you parked the car, rely on lists and start to wonder if these are early signs of Alzheimer’s.

Here are some mistakes to avoid this Holiday Season if you don’t want your stress levels to go through the roof:

1. Not eating healthy foods with the treats

2. Not scheduling down time

3. Allowing too much clutter

4. Trying to make everything perfect

5. Not stopping to feel grateful

You can watch Bloom in the Tampa Bay Market weekdays at 2pm on WFLA News Channel 8.

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