Take Five to Transform Holiday Stress

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“Stress isn’t something that happens to someone. It’s something someone feels about what’s happening. Your capacity to deal with any outer situation is based on your inner perspective. . . How we see ourselves determines everything.”

Bruce D. Schneider

There is a lot about the holidays that can impact people’s wellness. One of the biggest culprits is stress.

Holiday stress can come from overeating, or feelings of depression or overwhelment, or challenging relationships, or just too much on your to-do list.

Now I’m going to be perfectly honest and authentic with you.

I’ve been stressed the last couple of weeks.

Oh, it wasn’t the holidays. I’ve learned how to manage getting ready for the holidays in a healthy and balanced way.

None-the-less, for the first time in two years, I found myself stressed and I didn’t listen to my body when it was telling me to slow down. As a result, I’m just now getting over a cold that I had for weeks.

Believe me, the irony of that was not lost on me every day when I was writing my blogs!

The thing is, your wellness and finding balance in your life is never done. You’re not likely get to a place where you can slap your hands together and say, “Woo hoo! I can check wellness off my list of things to do. Thank goodness I’ll never have any more stress again.”

New things will come along that you have to make adjustments for and that require re-finding your balance. That is part of the evolution of life.

So what threw me into serious stress mode?

It was taking my business to the next level by launching my new brand and website last week, getting ready to launch a new coaching program on January 7, and planning my first ever Love Your Way Slim beach-side retreat in April.

What I forgot is that stress is not created by the situation I am in. What I forgot is how powerful I am.

We are the creators of the limitations—and the success—that we experience. When we are stressed, we are not accurately seeing ourselves, what we are capable of, what we deserve, and the support we are receiving from the Universe.

When I was seeing myself as overworked, limited, tired, and overwhelmed, I was not seeing myself accurately.

My coach was able to help me shift my perspective slightly so that I could see myself as capable, confident, energetic, and empowered. She reminded me to ask for the support I needed, and to see the support I already had. And that slight change in perspective made all the difference in the world.

Not only did I immediately feel emotionally better, but I began feeling physically better, too. All of a sudden, I was able to see how to work in the rest and self-care I had been neglecting, and my to-do list didn’t seem so overwhelming.

The only thing that was different was my perception of who I was in relationship to what was happening.

We are all so much more powerful than most of us realize. Huge changes can be made with just a slight shift in how we see ourselves.

While it took my body reminding me of this—and to practice what I preach—the great news is I have the tools and have been able to get my body back in balance.

And even better news is I didn’t fall back into old patterns of reaching for comfort food or overeating.That is a huge win!

Now, I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with stress the last few weeks.

You may be having a really hard time right now. And the idea that your stress is a result of limited self-thinking and faulty beliefs may sound like tosh.

But the Truth is, Who you really are is capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. The key is shifting your perspective just enough so that you can begin to believe it.

One way to reach for a new thought and perspective is to quiet your mind. Even taking a 5-minute mental break can make a huge difference in how easily you can see solutions to your situation.

Make quieting your mind—even for 5 minutes—a priority over the next few days. 

Do this by:

  • Meditating
  • Going for a walk
  • Taking a nap
  • Enjoying a stress-relieving bath
  • Sitting down with a cup of tea and a good book
  • Taking 3 deep breathes

Even if all you can manage is shutting the door and actually going to the bathroom by yourself, that can be enough to help clear your mind.

Then remind yourself that you are capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. Harness the power of your self-perception.

I know 5 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but consistently quieting your mind for even just a few minutes a day—and then reminding yourself of Who you really are—can have a profound impact on your physical and emotional health.

When you feel better, you’re better able to take care of your family—and be the version of you that your family actually wants to be around!

Make it a priority today to take a few minutes to quiet your mind and remember Who you really are. What difference does that make in your stress-level? What difference does that make in how much you enjoy your holidays?

Together we can do it!

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My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

What Do You Think About the Body You Want?

“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.”

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, (1826)

Translation: Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.

The idea that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food has been around a while. But an even older concept is the idea that we are what we think.

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

Buddha (c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE)

What if both are true?

What if the thoughts you think are just as important to your getting the body you want as the food you eat?

For most people that feels like a stretch, but science is backing this up.

Stress is being found to be the root cause of a number of illnesses.

And while you think stress is something that happens to you because of the people, situations or events going on in your life, stress is really a result of what you think.

“Stress isn’t something that happens to someone. It’s something someone feels about what’s happening. Your capacity to deal with any outer situation is based on your inner perspective. . . How we see ourselves determines everything.”

Bruce D. Schneider

Your negative thoughts—about yourself, your abilities, what you deserve, about everything—generates catabolic energy that releases the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals that literally cannibalize your body.

This chain reaction is breaking down your immune system, straining your heart, and impacting your muscles. Over time, this catabolic energy can cause everything from painful trigger points in your shoulders, to inflammation, to heart attacks.

And it significantly impacts your metabolism and other weight-related systems making it easier to gain and harder to release weight.

For many people there’s a vicious cycle with thoughts and food. You have a stressful day or feel badly about yourself and you reach for the chocolate chip cookies to find some comfort. But then you feel guilty about eating the cookies, which adds to your stress and self-criticism, and the negative pattern repeats.

There are a number of things you can do to break that unpleasant and unhealthy spiral.

You have to figure out how you can comfort yourself—or fulfill your emotional needs—in more healthy ways. You might ask for support from friends or loved ones, take a nap or bath, or drink a cup of tea.

You have to decide Who it is that you truly want to be and the actions you want to take to move you towards becoming that person. This may mean really looking at why you want to be slim, how that will make you feel, and making a commitment to follow through with action.

And you have to break out of the victim mode and become empowered to handle any situation in your life. The first step is being willing to examine the negative thoughts you have about yourself and challenge them as untrue.

Really, it boils down to deciding to think about yourself—and your life—differently, and then aligning your actions with your new thoughts to move towards creating the body you want.

What new thought can you think—about your food, yourself, your experiences? How does choosing to feel good and focusing on what you want support your wellness goals?

Together we can do it!