Does Stress: emotional, physical and mental get the worst of you ?
Does it make you feel powerless, paralyzed, unable, and unequipped to function unless you 'filled up your tank'.... so to speak ?
Some people resort to drugs, others to alcohol. I guess I resorted to food....
Sugar cravings, or in general the urge to stuff my face with something, usually came to me, when I had a daunting task to undertake, stressful workload, and the paralyzing feeling oh "Oh my god,.. that's beyond my abilities :("..and "How will I ever get this done :("
I knew I had to be something 'MORE' than what I currently am, and I needed some serious boost from somewhere..
Logically, one must eat when one needs mental energy too !
As a kid, what did I know the difference between physical energy VS mental energy ?
So food became my safe haven to reach for.. A classic case of 'Mistaken Identity'. Need for more time, or more practice seen as a mere need to 'Food up' !
And it does not cause an addiction problem, health risk, or the risk to get caught like a drug addict.... RIGHT !
Food addiction is the reality of today, for most people suffering from inability to cope with stress, and suffering from anxiety, depression, low self esteem, low performance, living in little to no happiness, living a life they hate, or feel trapped inside....
Having a healthy fear of doing things that are challenging, can be converted into a great motivating force that produces great results..
But in my experience, this opportunity can be a recipe for disaster, if you respond to it as follows:
- You just amp up your stress to focus on the task.
- Tell yourself that you're not good enough, but you got to do it anyway....
- Beat yourself up for failures
- Try artificial ways to fill up on a lot of 'fuel' like food, cigarettes, coffee, alcohol.
- Keep your focus inward. i.e. Your shortcomings, your past mistakes, your past failures, and how you have to watch out for those..
- Expect the best most perfect result, holding yourself up on the gun !
Hold on.... You and I are only human !!!!
We cannot really always choose what happens to us, but what we do in response, is totally always OUR call.
If you look inside, focusing on your breath, your 'divine' spirit, and undeniable miracle of nature that you are..... You realize you already have enough of what you need.
You can overcome or begin to handle your anxiety, stress and regain mental energy using tools that address:
- Your attitude towards adversity
- How you handle situations when they happen.
- Ability of your physical body health to support your pre-existing mental strength.
Where are the tools, you ask ?
- Slow down. Take notice of the present, and just breeeeeeathe... Like a sleeping baby does! Let your tummy do the breathing rather than the thoracic cavity (errr.. chest). Notice how babies are always relaxed and happy breathing through their tummy when they sleep, and are gasping for breathe when in an uncomfortable situation ? Stomach breathing initiates our body's 'Rest and Relaxation' response and turns off 'Fight or Flight response'. So, mindfully.... Breathe !
- Root-Cause. Understanding a problem and root-causing it is the most important, if not the foundation step to approaching anything in a constructive way. So, what is causing you discomfort ? Try to Think objectively, think hard. Then distract from main topic, and get back to it in a while. The root-cause will come to your mind.. Promise !
- Switch focus. Move your focus from yourself, to the task and the beneficiaries. You need to help someone else get something done.
- Visualize success. Imagine in your mind's eye you've already completed this task. How do you feel ? What strengths do you already posses that helped ? How much time realistically did you need for this ? Accordingly build estimated time and expand resource list needed. It's all there somewhere. You just needs to piece the puzzle together to solve this riddle...
- Check motivation. Do you really want to do this. If so, why ? Try to find your reason behind wanting to do this task, cause, that will help your mind with action planning. Mostly, if the motivation is really big, the anxiety is bigger !!
- Perfection sucks. Know and accept, that no-one is perfect. Not even the task setter, and hence, there is always room for mistakes, and improvement along the way.
- Accept Challenge. Know how lucky you are, for you're the chosen one, to learn and conquer this fear and come out stronger than ever !!!
- Take breaks. Find ways to rev up and dodge getting over stimulated. Fill in creative and non-deadline jobs to rev you up during any busy work that task might involve. Once your brain muscle is trained do this new job, you will not need the breathers and breaks in between. But initially, go easy on yourself !
- Recruit Resources. Get creative, and recruit the whole world to get this job done ! If your intentions and conscience are clear on achieving this, the world will conspire towards your success !!! You have to just believe in this and it will happen !!!
- Stress Avoidance. Emotionally triggered stressful situations should just totally be avoided. For example, traveling on a business trip, away from your baby or toddler. If anxiety is the result of an occurrence, then after taking it out of your mind and doing mindful recreations, take a breather, and decode the reason behind the anxiety. As long as it's still causing anxiety, avoid it. But do address going forward.
- Socialize often. Be as social as you can. Talk to others about them, about things they love to do, or things that crank them up. What can you do to help them have a good time ?
- Find humour! This is an important one for me at least !!! In all that happens, there's always something that 'happened just right', or 'was funnily wierd', or has 'mild scope of denaturation'... It flashes by a slight rainbow through the dark, and reminds you slightly at least, of a happily ever after.... Find it, and laugh it off!!!
Might seem cynical at first.. even characterless.. shameless, and certainly not the ideal person you think you are to show off as !
But even false laughter, at the most wanting times, can help lighten and change your mood significantly !
- Exercise regularly. Listen to your body ! And if you feel like doing something light, take it light, if you're all jazzed up, then hit the floors hard ! But move almost daily for half hour or so trying not to pack in too much on 1 day !! na na !.
- Personalize execution.Take things in your stride, to do things your way. Situations and people make us rush around all the time, sticking to schedules, getting stuff in order for others, on their terms. Dictate your terms sometimes !
- Delegate tasks. Sometimes we tend to take all the reigns in our hands, trying to get all stuff done ourselves. But the happiness we can get in training others and empowering them with responsibility at home, work or other environments, are remarkable!
- Be mindful. Do not take things people say or do, personally. If people are mean to you, or say things you find offending, unappreciative or downright outrageous.... Just pause for a moment and think. Maybe the other person is having a bad day.. and maybe they're having a less than 'mindful' existence, where they're insecure or thinking negative thoughts. But if we're connecting with our soul and doing acts of self love, we can be more positive and forgive them for their behaviors.
- Practice skills. If we realize that we're in fact lacking in some skill set, then we should accept that, take current challenge as a learning experience and sportingly accept the outcome: whatever that might be. Wisdom lies in knowing our strengths and weaknesses, and spend time, effort and money on honing weaknesses that we feel the need for.
- Self Love.
- Find a hobby you really enjoy ! Engaging in your hobby after those childhood days of meddling around with the guitar, singing karaoke tracks or rocking to dance tunes, can become a well deserved break, home coming, and rest and relaxation!! And only you can give this gift to yourself, as you listen to your mind, body and feed your soul
- Connect with your spirit often. Practice guided meditation, or just sit down peacefully in the mornings, and breathe very slowly, deeply, allowing only good thoughts... or none if possible..
- Indulge in self care each day. Could be very small like a relaxing and long warm bath with lavender scented candle, or soap, and no rush to reach anywhere. Apply coconut oil on your face, all over to moisturize and enliven the mind in the morning.
- Grab your 8 hrs sleep
- Get enough Vitamin D* from sun or supplements. There's no denying that this hormone plays a major role in overall mood, function and is by far the most important and yet most lacking nutrient in most people in this modern indoor sedentary lifestyles we're leading.
- Clean up your nutrition. Get enough calories from healthy fats. Carbohydrates mess up insulin levels and make us jittery after the sugar crash does happen. So avoid them as much as possible. Provide enough pro-biotics to feed bacteria in the gut: our second brain, where serotinin pre-cursors are really harnessed by our symbiotic companions that define most of all we are. As we are what we digest !
- Be patient with yourself !
Even the healthiest food cannot SUB your need to practice more, spend more study time, or need to be patient !
It used to be that, I had to distract from my negativity by continuously chewing on something the whole time I was facing my fears or just plain boring but mandatory tasks...
Also, I interpreted need for a refreshing break or need for a brain-reboot 'endorphin' as need to eat.
My focus was on making progress, and there was no way I could 'take a break' !!!
But I can be way more productive if my body and mind need a break !
And we're not machines. Our social, physical, emotional needs make us human in the first place !
I have been and always am WIP (Work In Progress), figuring out my specific triggers that send me off in those weeds. And those have led me to my own core values, and fears !
I know what to avoid, or reduce my exposure to. And there's never a need for boring clutter ;)
Some other triggers, I realize need me to learn more compassion for others and their core values, or their low points in life.
Personal development is key to long term empowerment.
Choose a buddy bin to drop your unresolved emotional or mental stresses and needs, right before
We want to work our body's kinks out daily, and feed it with nutrients, to re-fresh and re-fuel our body's systems to face the world all over again (Our buddy bin has our back till then!)
Remember how your dad started and used his scooter or car daily, ensure it had the oil changed, and gas re-filled so it's does not get out of use when we most need it ?On that note, Let's Go Get 'em DONE !!!
That's precisely, how we need to work our body's muscles that we do not use much, so that they do not stop working one fine day ;)
Do make sure you're getting enough Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. Go for an annual checkup, and keep on track each year !!!
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