Stress is a huge factor in managing your weight. Stress has one of two results: weight gain or weight loss. How can stress cause such opposite affects? It has a lot to do with how we handle it, the amount of stress and the length of time it takes to eliminate or counter the stress. Before we can know who to deal with our stress and it’s affect on our diet, we need to be able to define it.
Today I am going to talk about the small daily stresses that can build up and become overwhelming. Everyone deals with stress of one kind or another on a daily basis. Just getting through each day can be challenging. We all have busy schedules. Have you ever looked at your calendar and/or ToDo list and gotten a feeling over overwhelming anxiety?
Life’s Little Stressors
Stupid people are everywhere. Occasionally we are even one of them. (Now be honest, we all have our moments.) Most often people are stupid for one reason, their brain is currently not functioning properly. Just take a deep breath, smile and nod. Occasionally you can shake your head just to break up the monotony. For some people this is a permanent state but for many it is just temporary. Be patient, it will pass.
Then there are those of us with children. Each child is a full-time job by themselves. I have six children and run two businesses. That means I have eight jobs. There are activities to get them to: baseball, soccor, dance, debate, youth activites, etc. Don’t forget that each child will need their own time to talk to you. Some can’t seem to stop talking. Homework, chores, friends, food and many other things need your time and attention. Sprinkle that with whining, complaining, stubbornness and LOTS of questions and there will be days that you will understand why some animals eat their young. Just remember, you DO love your children and they WILL grow up and leave home. Enjoy each day as it comes and focus on those small moments the bring joy. (More on this topic later.)
Feeling stressed yet?
Listed like this it seems like we have nothing but stress in our lives. These little every day things can be so overwhelming. We often don’t make the time to eat properly because we are just trying to keep up. We run through the drive thru. We live on what is in the vending machine. We keep snacks in our purse or car. We go all day without eating. We get home and make a quick dinner or eat whatever is in the fridge. We snack through the evening and then fall into bed exhausted. Only to start the whole thing over again the next day.
What To Do
Build “you time” into your morning and evening routine. Take time to eat breakfast sitting down at a table or kitchen counter. Eat one meal a day as a family and talk about what is going on. By making time for meals you will eat better and be less likely to piece through the day. Allow yourself an extra five minutes in the shower. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, just something that gives you a pick-me-up.
Have regular fun time. I have a motto, “Cause a little trouble, have a lot of fun and laugh until it hurts.” There are many kinds of trouble that are not serious, this is called fun trouble. Feed your family desert before dinner. Decide that this Saturday is a pajama and movie day for everyone. Start a spontaneous snowball fight. Throw M&Ms down your wife’s shirt and then offer to get them out. Stand at the entrance to a building and ask people if they have seen your brain. Play in the sprinklers fully dressed. Don’t be afraid to act a little silly. Silliness will start the laughter. The longer and harder you laugh, the better you will feel. The best abdominal work out I ever had was when I spent an evening playing games with some of my siblings and we laughed until the tears ran, we couldn’t breath, our heads ached and our muscles were sore.
Laugh at the Ridiculous. Accept that you will make mistakes, have stupid moments and embarass yourself. How many things can go wrong in a single day before nobody will belive it? Was this the stupidest thing you have done? Can you die from embarassment? (No, unfortunately.) Find something about it that was funny and laugh at it. Due to back problems and nerve damage my mother falls. A lot. Occasionally she would break but most often she was just bruised. It got to the point that we began teasing her that falling was not an olympic sport. Then (after making sure that she had not been seriously hurt) we would give it a score. Something like 8.5 out of 10. She was very graceful during the actual fall, but the landing could have used some work. We would also tell her that even though she did not believe in gravity, it still exhisted. We were not making light of the seriousness of my mother falling. We were just coping with the worry with humor. How many people can fall up the stairs going down?
Check your perspective. This is a very difficult one, mostly because we like pity parties and want sympathy. However, this can backfire and be the beginning of a depressive slide. I usually ask myself four questions:
- Will it matter tomorrow?
- Will it matter next week?
- Will it matter next month?
- Will it matter next year?
If the answer to all of these questions is “No” then accept the embarassment, the consequences and find the rediculous. If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes” then pinpoint the consequence and do what is necessary to fix it.
Get Out the Whipping Cream
Everything tastes better with whipping cream. You can even put a cherry on top if you want. I’m talking about the whipping cream of life. Laughter. Have some every day. Share it with others. Make it a point to make someone laugh each day.
Don’t have a little laughter with your life. Have a little life with your laughter.