schedule to really take care of you.
In fact, stress comes from anything that knocks you off balance:
- not exercising enough--sitting too long
- overdoing it and exercising too much
- not getting enough quality nutrition
- eating foods that are toxic or are not right for your body
- exposure to chemicals
- not being your optimal weight
- doing too much
- not getting enough or good quality sleep
- working in a job you don't like
- having unsupportive relationships
- watching the news
- health issues
- financial difficulties
- the list goes on....
An important key to managing stress is empowerment. Empowerment gives you options and choices and puts the ball into your own court.
The first step is to remind yourself that you are an adult and as such you have choices that you did not have when you were a child. Many unhealthy food and lifestyle patterns began in your childhood and you keep repeating them because subconsciously you don't realize that you have other choices. Heck, I ate twinkles for dessert at lunch everyday in high school and frequently drank iced tea with saccharine and kool-aid.
One of the most stressful energies is to feel like you are stuck in the situation that you are in without any other choice. Health challenges are particularly tricky to address because, I believe, that we are in between heath care models. Our traditional health care system--the one that is for the most part limited to drugs and surgery--is changing out of necessity as both knowledge and our needs are changing. We didn't used to live in a world that was full of chemicals, microbial imbalance, parasites, sugar and unhealthy fat-laden junk foods and seemly healthy foods lacking nutrition.
I recently heard this statistic from an MD:
exposed to as many chemicals in their entire lifetime
as we are exposed to in a month!
For the most part, our tradtional doctors are not even testing us for nutrition levels, microbial imbalances, toxic load, food sensitivities and parasites nor do most have access to the array of tests that are available that give us tremendous insight into these areas. If you are nutritionally deficient or toxic, our current healthcare system does not have a comprehensive way to address it. They may give you an individual vitamin but these vitamins frequently work synergistically.
Back then, I was diagnosed with diabetes and hypoglycemia both at the same time and put on a diet by a registered dietitian that included drinking milk 3 times a day, eating cold cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread or tuna as snacks and all of it just seemed wrong but I didn't know what right was! And because my anxiety was mounting, I was prescribed anti-depressants--even though I was not depressed, just terrified that the medical establishment did not know what my extreme symptoms were coming from. These drugs did not feel right in my body.
From experience I will tell you that if you decide to make changes to your health and lifestyle that are different from that of your family and friends that they will probably criticize you because it challenges their own mental constructs of what they feel they need to be safe, which is why it is so important to have a strong support system.
You may possibly have symptoms, like so many other people, and you don't know why you have these symptoms. The good news is that paths now exist, but there are few sign posts to get to them. I am not saying that all of these symptoms come from something like mercury--for many of you there is not one thing, but a conglomeration of things. Most of you are used to a medical system that diagnoses you with one thing. That is what I was used to 25 years ago, too.
If you are looking for that magic word, your diagnosis, that will tell you what's wrong with you, you may eventually discover that many times the main thing that is wrong is that you are not taking care of your body in a way that is nurturing and nourishing for your particular needs. So why not start there?
Although nutritional deficiencies and toxicities, etc. are beginning to be addressed in the growing field of functional medicine, many functional medicine practitioners have health coaches as important members of their team due to their recognition that healthy dietary and lifestyle is critical to overall wellness.
It is so important that you empower yourself so that rather than experiencing stress and feeling like there is nothing you can do about it, you can create a safe environment, and nourishing food and lifestyle so that you can take back your power and your wellness.
Many symptoms and complications come from living a chemicalized, nutrient deficient, stress-filled lifestyle. And much of what you believe to be healthy may not be. You may have become confused by all of the mixed messages in the media and food marketing. However, your body strives to be well. Your symptoms are asking you to pay attention to them. Your body can make dramatic improvements given the right support and, as a health coach, I can support you along the way. You have choices. You have options. Where will you be 6 months from now? Doing the same thing? Or making different choices?
What are you willing to do to become empowered over your life?
What are you waiting for?