It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life. We tend to find ourselves racing from work to soccer games to volunteer events to dinner parties and back home. Phew! It becomes a sort of stressful robotic checking off of all the tasks for the day. This speed is usually accompanied by a complete lack of really enjoying being in the moment. You may find that you are caught in a wild and out of control momentum that is pulling you through each day. Wouldn’t it be better to actually enjoy that dinner party, without thinking about all the other things you should or would rather be doing? Wouldn’t you like to get in your workouts, and have time to cook a healthy meal?
We are quickly approaching the holiday season. This is typically when our lives are thrown into full force juggling mode. Is this what you want? Well just STOP! Before you find you are lost in a negative momentum, make a conscious decision to take on only what you can handle while balancing all the tasks and events that are truly important to you. Whether it means saving time for home cooked healthy meals, taking a nice walk or jog, or reading before bedtime, it will make all the difference in the world in your personal wellness, in your professional life, and in your physical health.
Stress can be beneficial in our lives. It can help us accomplish major achievements. But, chronic stress can also be harmful to our bodies and our minds. Chronic Stress increases cortisol (stress hormone) secretion. According to an article published in the Idea Fitness Journal, Cortisol along with increased insulin levels can also activate stress eating. The secretion of cortisol can also activate Lipoprotein lipase, which facilitates the deposition of fat. This means the promotion of fat storage which is usually accumulated in the abdomen. These effects of stress are real and dangerous. It’s important for everyone to find ways to fight back.
In 2008 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a report by the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee that states that “physical activity can protect against feelings of distress, defend against symptoms of anxiety, guard against depressive symptoms and the development of major depressive disorder and enhance psychological well-being.” Melissa Stoppler, MD recommends the following for managing stress: Exercise, Meditation, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Time Management, Support Systems, Healthy Food and Drink, Posture Check, Recharging, Speaking Slowly, and Visualization. You can read about each of these techniques in the Idea Fitness Journal.
I believe it is important to find mindfulness in your movement. It is essential to have some kind of a plan, and then follow it with the understanding that life will always throw a few curve balls. Take this crazy Momentum and turn it into a positive acceleration of meaningful actions and activities that you can truly put your heart into. I call this a positive momentum; full of good stress relieving habits. Say NO to events that are not really important to you. Save time for exercise, family, or a hobby that gives you satisfaction. Find a slower pace at some point during each day or at least each week where you can stop and reflect on how you have spent your time. Your family will thank you, and you will love the feeling of being in control. Most importantly, making time for all these things will improve your health too!