A lot of people are always trying to get in shape and lose a few pounds, which they should, but why not add stress reduction to the list? Chronic stress not only causes mental strain, but also higher concentrations of stress hormones such as cortisol that are associated with increases in visceral fat. Part of that reason, unfortunately, may be because eating sweet and fatty foods is one of the preferred choices of Americans for managing chronic stress. Both visceral fat and stress are also linked to raising the risk of chronic disease. If you know how to properly deal with stress, you will be able to calm yourself down when you start to feel yourself getting upset. Deep breathing is an exercise that you can do behind closed doors or even open ones if you have no choice. No one has to know you're doing it and it will help you to calm down almost instantly. You take one deep breath in and hold it for four to five seconds. Then, let your breath out and hold it for another four or five seconds. You may want to take up yoga as another stress reduction method you can practice on a weekly basis. The practice of yoga involves stretching the body and forming different poses, while keeping breathing slow and controlled. The body becomes relaxed and energized at the same time. These stress reduction exercises will not only allow you to deal with the built-up stress that has already taken up residence in your mind and body, but they can also help prevent it from happening again.