Hey, how are ya?
I mean really, how are you? How are you really feeling today? Sometimes we are too busy or distracted to connect with ourselves, listen to our body, and be honest about our emotions. People say, “how are ya?” in passing, but don’t always stick around for an answer. Do you ever feel like saying, “well, how much time do you have? Because actually, I’d love to share what’s going on in my life right now and how I’m feeling about it.” Most people are focused on their own concerns and challenges. While they mean well when they ask the question, they often aren’t able to take the time and support you, the way you might need to be supported. Have you ever had “Jacquie the hijacker” hijack your story? “oh, that happened to me.” Or “Emily with no empathy” assure you that “oh, I’m sure it will all work out and you’ll be fine.”? How does that make you feel?
I’m passionate about health coaching. As a Health Coach, I listen with compassion and curiosity, and without judgment. I hold a space for my clients as they share with me in confidence their concerns and challenges, how they are truly feeling, and where they are stuck. Together we dig deep, create awareness and get to the root cause, so they can make changes and begin to move forward toward their goals.
What happens when we don’t take the time to connect, create this awareness, and talk things through? Often we repress our feelings and they manifest into symptoms or behaviors that risk our wellbeing. Have you ever found yourself reaching for “comfort food” to make yourself feel better? If you have, you’re not alone. Many people “use” or “medicate” themselves with food. Do you remember being comforted or rewarded by food as a child? Do you still get caught in this cycle? If your eating routine is working for you and you feel healthy and happy, enjoy! But if you’re feeling “addicted” and out of control, and these feelings are affecting your health or preventing you from achieving your goals, here are four things you can do to start breaking the cycle and turning things around!
- Breathe! Go ahead, right now. Inhale deeply….. and exhale completely…. (repeat). What do you notice? The act of pausing to take a short moment for a deep breath is so important. When your mind starts to swirl, and you feel vulnerable, stressed or out of control, pause and take a few deep breaths. Feel your belly fill with air and slowly let it out. As you exhale, let go of whatever is on your mind. Say it to yourself while exhaling, “let go.” Feel it exit your body as you take another deep inhale. Image that you are inhaling peace, courage and strength, and exhaling what isn’t serving you.
- Write a “Letter to the Shredder.” What’s happening in your life right now and how are you feeing about it? A “Letter to the Shredder” is one of my favorite tools I use with my clients! It is similar to journaling in that it can help you vent, get in touch with your emotions, and work through struggles in your life. However, instead of being concerned about others reading your journal and having to edit yourself, the “Letter to the Shredder” allows you to write your honest, unedited thoughts, feelings and concerns, because you will immediately send that letter through the shredder! Just write it, shred it and move on!
- Be kind to yourself and reframe your thinking. We are often our own worst critic! When we are feeling down, those little voices in our head can start criticizing us, which amplifies the stress and anxiety we’re already feeling. Would you say these things to someone you care about? Show the same compassion that you would show for a friend for yourself as well. Ask yourself: Are these thoughts true? Is there another way of looking at this situation? How might you reframe things to see them in another perspective? What’s the evidence for and against these thoughts and beliefs? Make a list. What coping skills to you have to manage through this? What obstacles do you need to address? What actions can you take? Write them down. Be specific and concrete. Where are you stuck? What help do you need?
- 4. Talk it out with a friend or a coach! Often when dealing with a challenging situation, it is incredibly helpful to talk it out with someone you trust. Having someone really listen to you can be so relieving and liberating. The power of “saying it out loud” while feeling supported is amazing! The process of “talk therapy” promotes healing and creates “aha” moments that can change everything! Dr. Mark Hyman, founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, says that, “talk therapy has been found to not only alleviate symptoms during active treatment but it also has been shown to improve emotional balance after therapy has ended, thanks to the broad understanding and new perception that was gained.” After talking things through clients say that they “feel lighter, clearer and more optimistic” about moving forward towards achieving their goals.
- Small steps can make a big difference! How are you feeling?