While I don’t know the validity of this statistic (although I believe it to be true) it got me thinking about how clearly stressed out we are as a society.
So I’m going to pulse check you real quick this morning, and maybe this will be too “hard hitting” for a new week for you or maybe it’ll be exactly what you need.
- On a scale of 1-10, how stressed are you, right now
- On a scale of 1-10, how stressed did you feel last week, on average?
- On a scale of 1-10, how stressed did you feel last year, on average?
And if the thought of trying to figure out where you fall on that scale is stressing you out, I’d be willing to bet that means you are already on the higher end of that stress scale.
- Stress has a direct impact on our weight loss efforts (or weight gain)
- Stress has a direct impact on our mental health
- Stress has a direct impact on our sleep quality
- Stress has a direct, and indirect impact on our relationships
- Stress has a direct, and indirect impact on our longevity.
In a world of all of these “quick fixes” and diet fads to finally get to the new year’s resolution we want, or to get down to the “weight of our dreams”, we forget about one of the most important things….
If we are constantly stressed, or moving at the speed of light, our bodies never get time to recover. And by association, things falter: our work, our sleep, our health, our relationships, and so on.
I see people try to lose weight all the time and blame other external factors – they don’t have time, they chose to eat an unhealthy meal over the weekend, they’re aging, they’re going through menopause…. the list could go on.
But what we fail to pinpoint as a potential factor in all of this, is the stress we are under.
By large, I feel that people don’t want to change their stress levels, because doing so means they have to slow down, stop, and plan for how to do that. It means cutting things out and saying no to people and tasks, it means potentially eating better, or heck eating slower.
We are reluctant to change. But i tell you this, a few moments, hours, or weeks of discomfort in figuring out HOW to reduce your stress can have enormous impacts in the future days, weeks, months and years.
So what do I suggest?
*and i suggest this from a place of personal experience, everything I’m suggesting, I’ve done:
- Wake up earlier, on purpose, and use that extra time for yourself (not your work)
- Try cold water therapy – this could be in the form of a full fledged ice bath, or a 60-second burst at the end of your shower with cold water
- Opt for reading before bed instead of phone scrolling
- Get comfortable saying no to things – and this will only come from practice
- Learn how to control your breathing, and then learn to assess when your breathing is labored, or your heart rate gets faster (indicators of stress)
- Slow down when you eat, and then sit there and enjoy the meal for a few extra minutes after you’ve finished before rushing on
- Heck, take your lunch break, and any other breaks you are given at work
- Use your vacation time. ALL OF IT.
- Listen to music instead of watching TV.
- Go for daily walks (download my FREE walk tracker here)
- Hug people daily.
- See the sunrise, and the sunset.
- Go outside more.
Goodness, the list could go on. But by choosing to do any of the above, you are choosing something for YOURSELF.
That’s the whole point of the current challenge I’m hosting with 11 other people: to commit to choosing to do something for ourselves, daily, for 30 days. And then, once it’s a habit, to keep choosing something for ourselves daily
Do you want to try? Email me at email@example.com “30-DAY COMMIT” and I’ll give you a snippet of examples of what we are doing.
So, let me ask you this again…..
On a scale of 1-10, how stressed are you?