Lessons About Stress That I've Learned

November 1, 2016

Do you stress easily?  How do you deal with it?  I’ve learned a few things that helps.  And of course, we are all human so it’s a constant work in progress.  Be easy on yourself. 

Stress is not only terrible for our health and happiness but definitely a culprit to weight gain. Let’s face it.  When stressed, we don’t ever resort to broccoli.  We want comfort food and we want lots of it, maybe even to the point of feeling ill.  Some ideas to ponder:

  • Small is Grand.  I admit, I really am terrible at meditation.  I would love to be the kind of person who can get in my zen zone for an hour, but that’s simply not my personality.  Instead,  I focus on small, regular rituals of calm.  Deep breathing throughout the day, positive thoughts, etc.  Don’t wait until the end of the day to finally relax.  It’s too late.  A stressed out person by the end of the day is not one with the best judgment of healthy living. By then, it’s “the hell with it” attitude.
  • Inspiration.  Listen to inspirational stories, podcasts, quotes, etc.  I’ve been struggling with some family feud for a while.  Friends invited me to watch “He Named Me Malala.”  Her story and inspiration makes all woes seem so insignificant but not in a way that make you feel bad for having first world problems but in a way that makes you just want to be better. Find ways that make you just want to be better.  After all, the world needs you.  Don’t downgrade your significance in this crazy thing we call life.
  • Rituals.  Although many of us resist it or don’t take the time to think about it, rituals help.  It’s exhausting to make thousands of decisions a day.  It lightens up the load when some things can be on autopilot such as morning routines.  For example in our house, we wake up at 5:30/6am, eat breakfast, 6:30 morning walk/jog, and the rest of our day follows a certain routine too but with plenty of variety and flexibility.  We wouldn’t want to get bored or feel like robots.  Or…get a kid.  My daughter does a great job at keeping us on task almost to the minute. 
  • Regular practice.  We can’t just stop to breathe deeply when we are stressed out.  As one of my clients experienced, deep breathing became associated with stress.  It’s gotta be a regular practice for us to truly feel the benefits of relaxation, calm, meditation, or whatever you do that works.
  • Laugh.  Laughing has been known to cure cancer.  Don’t underestimate it!  There’s a mind-body cycle that won’t allow you to be sad if you’re laughing and smiling.
  • Buy In.  Just think, relaxation is good for our heart, brain, and anti-aging.  Aren’t we a society totally fearful of aging?  Here’s your fountain of youth plus exercising, eating well, sleeping enough, and lots of water, of course (wink, wink).

Changing habits take knowledge, accountability, and support.  If there are changes you’d like to make in your stress level, eating habits, exercise, and overall healthy and happiness, start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you.  I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone.  Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.

~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA