The Powerful Truth About Stress and Thought

The Reality…
In a recent blog I offered ten tips to reduce stress, stress and stress management being one of the three components of the Optimal Health Triad I advocate.  (If you missed it, click here to read Ten Tips to Manage Stress.)  One of the tips offered to reduce stress was to examine and clean up your thoughts about your life circumstance and stressors.
The Challenge…
To reiterate, if you fail to manage your stress, your mind and body may experience some undesirable side effects, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, premature aging, mood disorders, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  Stress is also linked to poor dietary choices and hormonal imbalance that keep you overweight.  It can be very challenging to manage your thoughts about your life circumstances and the things that cause you stress, but managing those thoughts is the key to managing the stress and reducing its impact on the body.
The Solution…
So, how do you clean up your thoughts?  Thoughts seem to happen automatically, so it may feel impossible to change them, but it is possible.  And changing your thoughts is key to everything from managing your stress to getting the results you want in any area of your life. 
I learned a neat trick called modeling when I did my coaching certification with the Life Coach School.  The idea behind modeling is that all of us operate under “unintentional models” which reflect what we are “unintentionally” doing in our lives that are leading us to the undesirable results are currently getting.  The acronym for the model is CTFAR, and the acronym translates as follows: C = Circumstances, T= Thoughts, F = Feelings, A= Actions, and R = Results.  Under the model, any circumstances you encounter in life are simply neutral facts that are neither good nor bad, at least until we think a thought about those neutral facts.  Our thoughts about life circumstances cause us to feel a certain way, and the feelings we feel lead us to take a certain action.  Ultimately, the actions we take give us our results.  For example, if something we consider stressful occurs during our day triggers our conditioned thought that “when I am stressed, I eat everything in sight”, you may feel, for example, weak or disappointed in yourself.  And when you feel weak or disappointed in yourself, you may take the action of making yourself feel better by indulging in food.  The result you will get when you try to make yourself feel better with food is that you gain weight, or at the very least, you don’t lose weight.  
Above was an example of an “unintentional model”, and we want to replace the unintentional models we are currently operating under with “intentional models” that will lead us to our “intended” & desired results.  Using the above example of stress, if something we would ordinarily consider stressful occurs during our day, we can be conscious about it and decide in advance to think a more productive thought about it, such as “stress creates an opportunity for me to treat myself with extra care.”  Instead of generating a feeling of weakness or disappointment, your new thought may make you feel nurtured or strong, and those feelings can lead you to renewed dedication to your weight loss goals, which will ultimately result in losing weight versus gaining weight. 
If you are not achieving the results you desire, you must examine the results you are getting and track them back up to the thoughts you are thinking that are leading you to the undesirable result.  It always starts with a thought!  If stress and stress eating are interfering with your weight loss, try cleaning up your thoughts about your stress and life circumstances, which are actually neutral versus good or bad.
Thanks Brooke Castillo and the Life Coach School for developing such a powerful tool for change!
The Invitation….
I would love your feedback on this blog or any questions as a comment below!     

To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

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Ten Tips to Manage Stress

The Reality…
Stress hits us from many different directions in today’s world.  And some of our sources of stress are delivered to us non-stop via the Internet.  According to a recent study, American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media.  It’s no wonder we are more stressed than ever before.  
Aside from what’s going on “out there” that we read about online and otherwise, we have our own personal stressors.  Work-related stress is a major source of personal stress.  A recent Forbes article reported the following survey results for workplace trends in 2019:
  • 76% of respondents said workplace stress “had a negative impact on their personal relationships”
  • 66% have lost sleep due to work-related stress
  • 16% have quit jobs because stress became too overwhelming.
Add additional personal stressors such as relationship conflict and money challenges to the mix, and it’s no wonder so many people are suffering.  According to the Global Organization for Stress, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in month prior to the survey and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
Sadly, we don’t even need to see the statistics, watch the news or go online to know stress is on the rise.  We feel it in our own bodies.  In fact, stress may be one of the primary reasons we find ourselves living in an overweight body, and maybe even trying to medicate against health challenges such as high blood pressure. 
The Challenge…
If you allow stress to go unchecked, your mind and body may experience some undesirable side effects, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, premature aging, mood disorders, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  Stress can also lend itself to poor dietary choices, which contribute to unhealthy weight gain and obesity.
How do you cope with your stress?  Do you do anything proactive to manage it?  Or do you give it free reign to lessen the quality of your life and your health?  Does stress impact your relationships?  Does stress keep you up at night?  Have you wanted to your quit your job because you found it too stressful?  Can you look in the mirror and see it on your face?
The Solution…
The truth is that if you don’t manage stress, it will manage you.  And it will seriously impact the quality of your life, your health, and your efforts at weight loss.  Below are ten tips to reduce your level of stress.  Each one will be explored in more detail in upcoming blogs because I consider stress management to be key to maintaining a healthy body, and a happy life.  I recommend you incorporate some sort of stress relief into each day to counter balance the inevitability of stressful situations that will present themselves in your life.  A mindful daily practice of stress management will help avoid the accumulation of stress in your mind and body, which can lead you to chronic stress and put you at risk for significant health problems.  Try some of these and see which ones work for you.
  1. Meditation
  2. Yoga
  3. Exercise 
  4. Spend time in nature
  5. Plan your week in advance
  6. Work on improving your organization skills
  7.  Learn to say NO to too many commitments
  8. Optimize your sleeping environment for a good night’s sleep
  9. Examine how you spend your time and incorporate more life balance
  10. Examine, and work on, your thoughts about your life circumstance and stressors
The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into stress management and permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

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