Stress seems to be “in” and being busy seems to mean being successful.
When asking someone how they are doing, they often say: Good, busy, but good.
Does it mean it is good being busy? What if we are not busy? Is it not good then?
Why do we feel like we need to be busy?
Stress and fatigue seems to be the norm in today’s life. Clients, friends and family share with me how stressed and tired they are – for different reasons but mostly it is family commitments, work and taking on too much. Ok, I am honest – I suck at taking time off at times well.
We seem have to become a society of super humans, those who get up at 5, have a quick coffee before squeezing in a gym session before work, running around like crazy chickens throughout the day to get the work done, go home to take kids to their activities, go to netball for weekly training, come home to have quick takeaway dinner with a glass of whine to relax and wind down after the crazy day. And, of course, you want to have some more “Me” time after your kids are gone to bed and want to get all the chores done which means by the time you go to bed, it is close to midnight.
After only 6 hours of sleep, the craziness starts again.
Maybe I hit the nail and have just described your typical day, maybe it is only similar. But you get the point. We want to get done as much as possible and don’t even know how much “as much as possible” is. – As long as it feels busy. Because busy is good – useful
When was the last time you stopped, took a breather and just felt how you actually feel?
We don’t usually realize how tired and stressed we are until we stop and get the chance to tune in and feel what our body is telling us. It might be screaming to STOP by giving you headaches, by getting sick, by not allowing you to have a good quality sleep, by forcing you to eat emotionally or by gaining more weight for only one reason: To stop, feel and breath.
Now, you might think that you don’t have time to stop because everything will fall over without you. Let’s assume you really believe that. I would like to challenge you, however, to think how you feel now and how hard it is to get things done, how it affects your health and how much of your life you actually enjoy.
Do you want to stay like that? What will happen if you don’t make any changes in the next 3 years? How are you going to feel and look then?
Let me show you that there are ways to make small changes without huge interruptions in your day to have LESS Stress and MORE Energy:
1. Prioritize nutrients dense food
You need energy to create energy. When I talk about energy, I talk about calories. You need calories to think, feel, sleep, walk, play and work. However, it is not only about calories, it is about nutrients, balanced diet, blood sugar stability and keeping liver loaders to a minimum.
Let’s say if you don’t prioritize nutrients dense foods but go for easy takeaways, sugar and muffins, your body gets enough calories but it is still starving because it doesn’t get what it really requires to feed the cells and to allow the body to work to its potential. You will experience that you are hungry every hour or so because of the food choices you made. Your body will be screaming to get more nutrients, however in a form of hunger. The more you eat poor nutrition, the hungrier your body will be. This is how we gain weight. We feed the body with too many calories but not enough nutrients.
2. Practice Mindfulness daily
And I don’t mean to sit down into a cross legged position and mediate for an hour. Well, if you can and have the time, even better but let’s assume you don’t have the time.
Mindfulness is to bring awareness to the current moment to feel the physical sensation, emotions, thoughts and feelings without judgment. It is not about quieting the mind or finding the feeling of bliss. The goal is to pay attention to the present moment without judgment.
Next time you feel stressed and overwhelmed, come back to the sensations and feelings you have. Ask yourself why you feel like that? What are your thoughts and your feelings? What can you do to calm yourself? What does your body need right now? What does your heart need? What does your soul need? What would feel good to you right now?
When we feel anxious and stressed we are usually looking into the future, our next appointment, the shopping that needs to get done, cooking, washing, etc. It is very overwhelming and very stressful.
In those moments, come back to the NOW and focus on the current moment. Where are you now? What are you doing in this moment? Who are you with? How can you make the moment as joyful as possible?
There is lots of evidence that Mindfulness reduces stress. Give it a go and see what happens.
3. Breathing exercises to reduce Stress
Breathing can help reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, cool yourself down when your temper flares, and sharpen your concentration skills.
Either find a comfortable seating position or just lie down and start breathing in through the nose and out of your nose. Take a long inhale and feel your belly rising and long exhale through the nose and feel your tummy falling. Repeat this for good 5 rounds and feel how relaxed you will become. You might feel very light and maybe almost euphoric. That is normal. This is your brain getting more oxygen 🙂
It all sounds good to you but you don’t know where to start and how to start?
Share with me what your main struggles are so that I can support you to kickstart your health. Email me here: https://mindfoodness.nz/contact/