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3 Tools (You’re Not Using) to Become the Happiest Healthiest Version of You

3 tools (you're not using) to become the happiest  healthiest version of you

 

The holidays can bring up a lot of funky feelings – from lack to fear of gaining weight (how many articles do we need to see about beating holiday weight gain?) to overwhelm.

Lack, fear, and overwhelm – a sure-fire mix to feel not good enough, not thin enough, and getting weird with our food – whether that be overeating, skipping meals and snacks, creating a bunch of food rules that keep us stuck, or eating for comfort.

 

I’ve been there. It’s painful. It hurts. And it leaves you feeling deeply sad and a little empty.

Because at a time of year like this – aren’t we all supposed to be brimming with joy??

Know that you’re not alone. And this time of year is hard for many. It’s just not the most popular thing to walk around discussing.

So … take a moment. Take a deep breath and know there is another way. There are practices to help you stay in a good space.

 

Here are 3 tools that you can start using today (to move beyond lack, fear, and overwhelm). {tweet it}

These tools will help you feel like your best healthiest happiest self – no matter what time of year.

 

Tool #1: To move beyond lack, focus on abundance

 

to move beyond lack, focus on abundance

 

What we focus on becomes our reality.

If you’re constantly thinking about what you don’t have, you’re constantly going to feel like you don’t have enough. And when we feel like we don’t have enough, we tend to feel like we’re not enough – in all capacities.

 

When we tend to feel “lack,” we also tend to play the victim – stuck in the “poor me” state; not in the “go me” place where we take action to move forward.

And when here, the “black and white, all or nothing” mentality is easy to stay paralyzed in.

I ate an entire bag of chips?! Oh well, who cares? It’s not going to matter if I go for a walk or what I eat now… The day is ruined anyway!

 

Instead of all of this, focus on what you do have.

Your accomplishments. What you give to the world. What your body does for you. What you love about you. What your friends and family love about you. If you can think of nothing – start with your breath.

 

AND write what you’re thankful for down- every morning or every night.

Make it a daily practice to change your brain, to shift your perspective – to start seeing the good (and beautiful) in you that’s so very there and waiting to come out. It doesn’t have to be a paragraph or journal entry- a simple bullet point or two will do. A (free) easy app to use that I love is Gratitude.

 

 

Tool #2: To move beyond (food) fear, focus on love

 

to move beyond fear, focus on love

 

Fear, especially around food, is normal this time of year.

It’s seemingly everywhere. And we’re simultaneously sent messages to indulge and messages on how to “drop 10.”

Holidays (well, almost any special event where lots of food was involved) were always full of food fears for me. I’d purposefully eat as little as possible during the day and then when I’d get to the event – I’d be starving and eat uncomfortably too much. I’d always eat all the things I never allowed myself to eat normally too – bread, rice, brownies – anything super “carby.”

Then, not surprisingly, guilt and shame would enter. And once here, you know the cycle – you deprive, get too hungry, eat too much, and repeat …

 

You don’t have to let this happen to you.

You have a choice (we always have a choice). Choose love over fear. Choose honoring your hunger and fullness. Choose loving your body. Choose your body’s want for health.

 

A simple strategy: eat something within an hour of waking and check-in with your hunger every 3-4 hours after.

When you’re hungry, eat, but tune-in (really tune-in) and stop when you’re full. And fill up on whole foods that nourish.

My guiding motto is protein and produce. Always shoot for a source of protein to keep you satisfied (think chicken, shrimp, buffalo, steak, beans/lentils, tofu, fish, eggs, yogurt, turkey) and produce to nourish (fruits and/or veggies) at every meal occasion.

 

Another tried and tested strategy: set intentions for your meals.

Take a minute before you eat (no one has to know you’re doing this) and in your mind, set your intention for your meal. To remain mindful? To honor your hunger and fullness? To enjoy your food guilt-free?

Set your intention and bring a whole new dimension of mindfulness (and love) to your food and see the possible.

 

 

Tool #3: To move beyond overwhelm, focus on the present

 

to move beyond overwhelm, focus on the present

 

When we’re overwhelmed, we’re stuck.

Our minds are spinning with everything to do, but we can’t really do anything. It feels awful and panicky.

 

Take a step back and breathe, literally.

Close your eyes. Inhale for 3 breaths, hold your breath for 3 seconds, and exhale for 3 seconds.

Repeat this breathing exercise for a total of 3 times and follow-up with a loving mantra:

 

I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be

 

I choose to see love over fear

 

Even though I feel overwhelmed, I know this will pass and that I can handle the present

 

Find (or craft) a mantra that feels right and speaks to you.

Create your own peace.


In the words of Lao Tzu, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past.  If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” 

 

What helps you stay in a peaceful place? And which tool here, will you start using more? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

With love,

Corinne