Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and at Seattle Hypnosis with Roger Moore I’ve been getting lots of requests for stress management for the Holidays. Monday night was my free stress management class and I had many requests for the recording from people who could not attend. I’ve decided to post it for everyone. Just click on the link below.
You can make this Holiday season relaxed, fun and filed with laughter, love and joy even while living through the stressors of family, parties, traffic, parking, shopping and budget constraints.
How stressed are you?
Now for the other big category of problem eating. We live in a fast-paced, high anxiety world. It’s as if we are constantly being chased by tigers. Our tigers can be spouses, children, career, finances, relatives, school, politics, the national economy, global warming and man’s inhumanity to man. It’s rare for me to see a client who does not indulge in stress eating. The vast majority of overweight people use food to deal with stress. Once in a while, I do come across a client who will go through a time of stress, eating very little. When stressed, they are preoccupied with the stressful events. But once the stress event is resolved, they eat . . . and eat . . . and eat.
For stress eaters, the story goes something like this: The stuff starts hitting the fan at work and it’s off to the vending machine for a Snickers bar, bag of chips or that liquid candy known as a soda. Or perhaps it’s a trip to the coffee cart for a double venti latte and a scone. (A venti latte is equivalent to 340 calories; 160 from fat.)
For some women the story plays out like this: She’s Wonder Mom, fighting traffic after work to pick her children up at school, taking one to soccer practice and the other to dance lessons; then to the grocery store; then home to make dinner and get it on the table. After cleaning up dinner, helping with homework and starting a load of laundry, she sees that the kids get to bed. Then finally, the house is quiet, and Mom sits down with a bowl of ice cream, a bag of cookies, chips or her cheese and crackers. And so to bed with a heavy stomach, to grab a few hours of sleep before doing it all over again.
Stress is, in and of itself, addicting. Your body becomes addicted to the rush of adrenalin poured into your bloodstream by the fight-or-flight response. You become addicted to the sheer intensity of it all. The stress may not trigger pleasant feelings, but at least they’re not boring. But to soothe the unpleasant feelings, many of us depend on empty foods that we think make us feel better, which as we shall see in Chapter Five, actually have the opposite effect.
Chocolate, cheese and today’s processed high-fat, high-sugar foods provide immediate feel-good satisfaction mixed with pleasurable tastes. During an exhausting stress-filled day, we often consume a candy bar at work, or cheese, crackers and wine while preparing dinner, or that late-night pint of Cherry Garcia—all without conscious acknowledgment.
Plus, the act of dieting is itself a stressful experience for most people. On top of everything else going on in their lives, my weight loss clients are adding in sessions with me, listening to hypnosis CDs, exercising, figuring out what besides lettuce there is to eat, and buying and preparing healthy meals and snacks. Then the copier runs out of paper, the cell phone is racking up urgent messages, and the boss wants that report in ten minutes—just a typical 21st century day. It’s clear to me why some people just give in, go get a mochachino and a muffin and give up.
In 1973, Canadian researcher Hans Selye proved that stress always attacks the weakest link of the body first. Actually, unabated stress weakens the body’s ability to protect itself, so that it’s more vulnerable to its weaknesses. Stressed people have higher incidences of heart disease, cancer, bad backs, strained muscles, headaches and other illnesses.
And yet stress was meant to be a life saver. Millennia ago, saber-toothed tigers would chase us across the grassy plains. Naturally, that caused stress and adrenalin would kick in so we could outrun the tiger. (Or else the tiger might sneak up behind us and bite into us.) On those occasions the stress sent us into shock and we therefore died a fairly painless death.
Today, we have our own tigers, both real and imagined. Some people feel chased—they are nervous, tense and anxious—while others go into the death mode of shock, shutting down and becoming depressed. But today, stress triggers different results. Historically, outrunning the tiger used up the toxins created by the stress. If a person is literally being eaten by a tiger, death comes quickly. Now, instead, stress builds up in the body and becomes toxic, allowing for the vulnerability of disease. In our world today, cardio activity is an even more essential element for healthy living than it was for our ancestors because it helps dissipate any built-up toxins in our bodies.
Make this Holiday season the best one yet. Relax, have fun. Share your love with your family, friends and to complete strangers.
Be especially kind to yourself. Create time to relax. Give yourself a moment at your Thanksgiving dinner to pause and give thanks for your food. Allow your body to switch from fight and flight mode so that you are grounded and centered. Doing this will allow the blood to flow to your digestive tract so that you receive the maximum benefit from the nutrients in the food you are eating. Give yourself the gift of enjoying your meal and stop eating when your body tells you that have have enough fuel for your body.
I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
May I always be thankful for what I am given.
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