In my last post, I shared what happens in your body when you're stressed. Read it here if you haven't already. This week, I'm writing about the potential results of what happens in your body AND how you can change it for the positive.
When you learn exactly how your body responds to stress, it can be a HUGE “a-ha” moment.
It helps you understand what you can do to calm your body so you feel instantly more balanced and more in control – and why that’s so important!
It’s tempting to think we can power through stress, but over time it takes a real toll.
Here are just some of the ways stress change your body:
We're headed into. a busy time of year with new schedules, etc... and I know that as women, we often try to toughen up and push through.
Spoiler alert: you can't do it. That’s because stress isn’t all “in your mind.” It’s also in your body.
Your stress response system is a primal reaction... it’s hardwired into your system to keep you safe and alive.
Today, I'm going to outline some important things you need to know about stress and how it affects you – info that also will help you:
When your ancestors were under threat – whether it was fighting off a predator or dealing with everyday problems like feeding a growing family – their bodies responded with energy to keep them out of harm’s way.
Our culture has changed a lot since then, but our body’s wiring hasn’t. We react to stress the same way, except our stressors don’t require us to outrun a bear or worry about where our next meal is coming from.
And that can have a major impact on your health!
I want to walk you through what happens to your body during a typical stressful situation. Hang in there with me, because it’s pretty eye-opening.
Do you get enough sleep every night?
Some surveys are showing that people are sleeping less than ever, with some only getting five to six hours of sleep per night.
"Powering through" on too little sleep is not a good idea for the long-term health of your body.
There are two major hormone "pathways" that take a big hit when you don't get enough sleep -- including hormones that handle things like your sex drive, stress, hunger, and blood sugar ... and (ironically enough) your ability to fall asleep.
And...it only takes a night or two for them to get out of balance.
One pathway is governed by your pituitary gland and the other is your autonomic nervous system. But they are intertwined, and they have a hand in virtually every function of your body. Keeping your hormones in balance is a huge part of feeling strong, focused, and vital.
Three Ways Sleep Affects Your Hormones
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." -- Lewis Carrol
Before I start work with a client, whether it's one-on-one or in an online program, the very first thing we do is figure out is "why do you want to do this program or work on yourself?"
Without Clarity, you'll likely find yourself lacking energy, productivity, courage, and influence. These five were shown to be key traits of the most successful people in the world and maybe you don't aim to be among the most successful people in the world, but you probably have your own success you'd like to achieve.
We're midway through the year, and you may have lost track of your goals completely, or they've shifted through the year.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Do you slouch because you're stressed or are you stressed because you slouch?
Scientists are uncovering links between your mood and your posture, and it turns out the two are tied together in powerful ways.
For most of us, that stress-posture question probably works in both directions. But there's a surprising amount of research that shows that how you sit and stand has a pretty big impact on your stress level, self-confidence, and your mood!
Not only does your posture impact how others see you (happy and confident vs. depressed and guarded), it can play a role in how YOU see the world!
Do you feel like your cravings are a force that needs to be ignored. Or do you feel like your ability or inability to conquer cravings is a result of your willpower or lack thereof?
It's not that simple...and it's not your fault! Cravings are simply your body's way of trying to communicate what it needs. Your body is amazing, listen to it!
Instead of feeling bad about your cravings, try deciphering what your body's trying to tell you and try taking action based on what you learn. Take the guilt and self-judgement out of it!
7 Common Sources of Cravings
Lack of Primary Food
Consider that the food you eat is secondary to all of the other parts of your life that feed you, for example, your relationships, career, spirituality, hobbies, and exercise routine. These parts of your life are considered Primary Foods in the Integrative Nutrition world.
Integrative Nutrition bridges the gap between nutrition, or the food you eat, and personal growth and development. Both of these work together to create a healthy lifestyle. As I like to say, you could eat the most perfect diet in the world, but if you're unhappy in the rest of your life, you probably won't feel that healthy.
What is a habit?
A habit is a behavior that's performed automatically. Obviously, habits can be good or bad. This week I'll focus on developing good habits, but note that good habits can replace "bad" habits.
In fact, making small, continuous changes create habits that actually stick! That's because they don't require you to completely change everything about your life. They're built up over a longer period of time, which means you learn to manage and maintain them along the way.
In Deepak Chopra's book "Super Genes," he breaks down the lifestyle choices for increasing well-being into easy choices, harder choices, and experimental choices.
How much exercise do you *actually* need to get in shape?
Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day?
And how much is too much?
Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day?
Let’s go over the (sometimes) mysterious amount of exercise that is ideal. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape.
Starting with the minimum.
What's the Minimum Amount of Exercise You Need?
This might seem strange that your skills would have anything to do with your well-being, but hang in here with me. It's important for several reasons.
Learning and practicing skills adds excitement to your life. When you're excited, you automatically have more energy without changing anything else. Your life satisfaction will increase when you're actively involved in learning and looking towards your future.
Do you remember when you were a teenager or young adult and people were always asking you about what your plans were and the future seemed exciting and limitless?
Why shouldn't it be the same now, no matter what your age?
Not only that, adding new skills or practices into your life works your brain muscle! Did you know that the more educated you are, the more information your brain stores, and the better it accesses what it's learned. In fact, the build up of information results in what neuroscientists refer to as "cognitive reserve," meaning that added connections and pathways between neurons give a boost to the brain which can counteract dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease.
Step 1: Determine your primary field of interest.
Last week I wrote about clarifying who you want your future self to be and how that future self interacts with the people in your life. This week, we'll delve further into how to bring your future self into being.
Did you know that research shows that people who feel loved are more likely to enjoy healthier hearts than those who feel unloved? Love is the healthiest of all emotions, yet it takes effort to stay in love once the infatuation stage ends.
In fact studies in positive psychology show that the quality of your relationships can make you happier, perform better, and feel better.
So how do you make that a reality in both your intimate relationships, friendships, and family relationships?
When you interact with others are you intentional? The most successful people make a conscious choice on who they're going to be and how they are going to interact with people.
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Women's Wellness Circle: Create Your Extraordinary Life
Hi, I’m Crystal!