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January 4, 2021 • Healthy Living

Dr. Ann’s Favorite Tips on Stress Relief

Stress is bad to the belly. Here are some tips to help you stay cool and trim.


  1. Make sure you move! Regular physical activity is arguably the most powerful means to lower your stress level. Commit to walking briskly or some other form of aerobic activity for 30 minutes or more daily (the more the better). Physical activity relieves stress, lifts mood, dissipates anxiety, and improves sleep. The “cross pattern” repetitive movement of walking has been shown to have a unique calming effect on the brain. Aerobic exercise can also mitigate or counter all four of the fat-promoting effects of high cortisol! For best results, do your moving in a natural, outdoors setting (the beach, a park, etc). “Green” exercise has been shown to be particularly effective for boosting mental well-being. Additionally, simply gazing out in natural settings has been shown to provide immediate stress reduction. This interesting psychological phenomenon has been dubbed “biophilia.”
  2. Get in a good laugh. Rent your favorite comedy movies or reruns of funny sitcoms. Watch some funny YouTube videos with friends or family. Laughing is fun and lowers levels of stress hormones. If you can’t laugh, at least put a smile on your face. Smiling instantly induces relaxation.
  3. Sip on some hot, freshly brewed tea. This relaxing and healthy ritual has been shown to help lower stress hormones in the body.
  4. Listen to music with a slow or meditative tempo. This can facilitate relaxation.
  5. Get hot! Throw some hot spices (chili pepper) or condiments into your foods. Hot foods stimulate the pain receptors in the mouth, which triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s “natural” morphine-like chemicals that promote feelings of euphoria and enhanced well-being.
  6. Get a foot massage or better yet, a whole body massage. They feel great, help you relax, and improve blood flow.
  7. Twice a day (or when you feel anxious or stressed), take a two to three-minute break from life and calm yourself by deep breathing as follows:

• Exhale slowly and completely through your mouth.

• Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to a count of five with your mouth closed.

• Hold your breath to a count of five.

• Exhale slowly through your mouth to a count of seven.

• Repeat for a total of four or more breaths.

8.  Take up a regular yoga practice.  Yoga is great for the body, mind, and soul.


Make the next 12-months your healthiest yet.

IT’S HERE! Click the image for details on my year-long program.

Zoom to Health

BEFORE SEATS FILL: Click here to learn more or join.

Zoom to Health is a year-long, virtual wellness program that includes regular Zoom sessions, lifetime access to my most foundational e-courses, and so much more!

  • 12 months of live, small group Zoom sessions
  • Lifetime access to the Zoom to Health curriculum designed to provide comprehensive training for the 4 pillars of health:
  • healthy eating (to include cooking/meal prep)
  • optimal physical activity
  • optimal breathing, and
  • restful/restorative sleep
  • Full access to my entire library of e-courses (15 courses with a total value of $1,735). Students will also have free access to any live trainings or new courses I release over the year-long period.
  • Access for your spouse! Spouses have complete access (free of charge) to the e-course library as well as special permission to join you during group Zoom sessions. We highly encourage the proven practice of getting healthy with your loved ones!
  • An In-Person Finale At the end of this year long program, all students are invited to join me for a picnic at my family’s farm located in the ecological wonderland of the ACE basin–just south of my hometown, Charleston, SC.