1. De-Stress Yourself

By this point, we know that our emotional, mental, and physical selves are intertwined and interlinked. We have ample evidence to prove that our psychological health affects our physical health, and vice versa. To this end, you need to realize that stress—especially long-term stress— has a negative effect on your body and your metabolism. A body that is under stress produces cortisol, a hormone left over from the days when our fight or flight response was necessary for survival. Back in the day, cortisol left the body after the appropriate response was taken, but long-term stress causes the hormone to take up residence in your body. This disruption to your system causes weight gain, depression, and a decreased metabolism. To de-stress your body—and boost your metabolism—take the following steps. You’ll be glad you did!

2. Think Holistically

It’s vital to your overall health to think holistically—to view yourself as a whole being, not a collection of parts. In the 1970s, when Buddhist ideas seeped into Western culture, one essential message was: “I am not my liver, my spleen, my blood, nor my brain. I am all of me.” It sounded new and often revolutionary at the time, but science soon joined the chorus. You are not the sum of all your parts; you are the sum of all your parts operating in tandem. Mind, body, and spirit are inseparable, and illness in one often produces illness in the others. Think holistically, and your overall health, as well as your rate of metabolism, will improve. Check out these alternative practices: tai chi, qigong, or Reiki.

3. Try Yoga

Yoga is a great way to build additional strength and flexibility without pounding your muscles as aerobic exercises tend to do. Stretching brings everything back into balance, keeping your muscles soft and supple so they can do their job. Since muscles help maintain posture and balance, helping them maintain pliability and strength will boost your overall health and your muscles’ ability to burn fat.

4. Embrace Pilates

Pilates is a series of exercises that focus on strengthening core postural muscles to support the spine for correct alignment, an approach used by many hospital rehabilitation programs. Recently, Pilates has become very popular with the general public, particularly those who are looking for a gentle method of increasing core strength, flexibility, and movement.

Pilates is typically taught in health clubs, where private or semiprivate instruction is available on special equipment or group mat classes are conducted without equipment. Pilates uses the resistance of the body to condition and correct itself, with the goal of lengthening and aligning the spine. Like yoga, Pilates offers a low-impact form of strengthening and toning muscles while helping you get more in tune with your body.

The practice focuses on the deep and lateral transverse abdominal muscle, combining stretching and strengthening exercises that target the abdominals, gluteals, and lower-back muscles. It can benefit athletes, those recovering from injuries, and everyone in between.

5. Get a Massage

High stress levels can contribute to your body storing extra fat, so it’s important to incorporate relaxation moments into your weeks. One great way to do this is through regular massages. Not only do they feel great, they also improve muscle flexibility and have been shown to improve circulation, which helps to boost metabolism.

6. Try Acupuncture

Many people have found acupuncture effective in maintaining a healthy weight and increasing their metabolism. Acupuncture treatments are typically achieved by the placement of slender needles in areas of the person’s body that have to do with appetite control, sugar imbalances, water retention, impulsive eating, thyroid stimulation, and weight gain associated with menopause or premenstrual syndrome.

7. Laugh

Not only does laughing ratchet down your stress level instantaneously, a study by Vanderbilt University reported a 20 percent boost in metabolism after laughing. Even if you’re not feeling particularly joyful, try forcing a laugh anyway. There’s a good chance that just trying to laugh will lift your mood and metabolism.

8. Meditate

Take up meditation and other stress-reducing techniques. Fifteen minutes of uninterrupted meditation is a wonderful way to melt away the day’s worries and stress. Meditation has also been said to increase energy levels and stimulate metabolism.

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