It. Was. So. Uncomfortable.
At a casual gathering, about fifteen or so were gathered around the kitchen – the place where everyone seems to linger, no matter how large the house. People wandered about, a glass of wine or a beer in one hand and a handful of mixed nuts or a chip with homemade guacamole or salsa in the other.
I was approached by man, mid-50s or so who said he wanted to talk to me. “Sure,” I said and he motioned toward a mostly empty formal dining room. I’d known him a long time, but not very well. It was a friendly, surface-level relationship and I was really curious what he had to say.
He was a man of strong opinion and jumped right in, without pause.
“I really like a lot of the posts you write, but I don’t get it when you write about things like worry and stress. That’s not who you are, that’s not what you do. You’re a health coach. You’re supposed to talk about food and exercise.”
I made a motion with my hand, and shifted my head in an attempt to speak.
But he continued. “Why do you talk about meditation? I need to lose weight, what does “zen” have to do with that?"
Fortunately, he must have felt some thirst kick in and went for gulp from his craft beer. I took it as a chance to get a word in edgewise.
Ahhh - deep breath (a fast deep breath, that is. Didn’t want to miss my chance).
I shared that I talk about things like stress, worry and meditation because all of those things affect health. I asked him if he thought about why someone would come home from work, plop down on the couch and gorge on a Costco-sized bag of chips and a 6-pack of beer or a bottle of wine night after night. Does that sound like someone who just doesn’t know what kind of food to eat?
He paused, shoving a tortilla with guacamole into his mouth, and shot me a sideways glance. He nodded his head knowingly.
Whew - he got the point!
I followed up with a brief discussion about Integrative Health. Everything in our life intertwines. Each facet does not exist in a vacuum.
By understanding what triggers our behaviors, we have the power to face them, acknowledge them and make a choice about how to respond. We can make a different choice which leads to a different outcome.
What it basically came down to was that he wanted a mechanical, simple solution – a set of rules to follow that would solve Problem A, without having to think about Problems B, C or D.
But he’s a smart guy (I have to say that – he might be reading this) and understood that it’s just not that simple.
My interaction with him reminded me of a great Real Subliminal article that someone had forwarded to me, Stress Is More Dangerous Than You Thought.
Here’s a quick summary or click through for the complete post (it’s brief and well worth a quick read).
While stress can be beneficial in some situations and can help us push forward, it is only productive when you know how to manage it and to restore the equilibrium.
If you let it elevate and accumulate and if you’ve come to believe that you don’t need or don’t have time to relax, it can lead to serious physiological and physical damages.
Stress accumulates in the body and bring out disease, both physical and mental illness, and it affects emotional health.
- When overwhelmed with stress, people usually choose a fight, flight or freeze response. Whatever the reaction, you’re not able to properly recognize the emotions and respond as you would hope.
- With so many things going on inside you, it’s easy to start feeling lost and out of control. Left unmanaged, stress can spiral you into an emotional chaos.
Stress can make you fat, ruin your immune system and make you look older.
- People in stressful situations tend to eat 40% more food than normal, with accumulated stress hormones causing you to indulge in comfort eating – often unconsciously.
- Stress demands so much from the body that it consumes the energy your body normally uses to support your immune system.
- Chronic stress is a major contributor to premature aging, with stress hormones affecting our chromosomes so the new cells can’t grow as quickly – which means more wrinkles, weak muscles, poor eyesight...
It’s normal for stress levels to go up and down, it’s an instinctive reaction of the body. But don’t let it creep up on you and accept it as something familiar.
Get into the habit of relaxing and releasing stress regularly. That’s something you can do for yourself consciously – and something you can do easily, if only you choose to.
Please pass this along to anyone you think would enjoy it, and of course, I always welcome your feedback.
Wishing you Zen,
P.S. Life’s stresses affect EVERYTHING. That’s why I work as an Integrative Health Coach, helping my clients sort through what’s going on around them, impacting the choices they make for their health, and their life. I can help you too figure out what’s getting in the way between you and better choices. Let’s have a chat about how coaching works and find out if working together is a good fit. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now
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