“I’m trying to lose weight and I’m freaking out about all the food everywhere. I don’t know how I can handle this stress.”
Those are 3 examples of stress talks. What happens when you think about and talk about your stress? Yes! It creates more stress, so why do we give ourselves stress talks?
People talk about how “stressed out they are.” We may even actively searching for things to cause us stress without realizing it. Jobs, money, families and more are stressful, but we can learn to keep stress at manageable levels rather than allow stress to build up and overcome us.
Choosing to reduce stress starts with paying attention to how we talk to ourselves. Some of us get into a habit of saying, “I’m so stressed out about …” Simply talking about stress increases not only our stress levels, but also how the stress affects our bodies and weight.
All that stress does bad stuff to us. We can’t eliminate the things that cause us stress, but we can learn how to recognize when we’re dealing with stress in an unhealthy way and when we’re making things more stressful than they need to be.
We need to stop increasing the stress in our lives by learning how to give ourselves pep talks instead of stress talks.
Break down your life into manageable pieces. The famous AA saying is, “One Day at a Time.” That’s a start, but let’s face it, we know a lot of stuff can happen in 24 hours. Let’s break it down more than by a day. All we really need to attend to is, “what’s happening right now.” No need to worry about tonight or even later this afternoon.
Let others worry about their problems. It’s natural to worry about people for whom you care. Your care supports them, taking on their problems and stress hurts you and doesn’t help them. Let go of stress that’s not yours.
Sometimes we feel like we’re getting kicked while we’re down. Stressful events seem to keep piling up on us to the point where everything and anything has us, “so stressed out.” Turning to food can be a destructive stress management strategy, especially when it’s high-calorie foods. The stress makes eating such foods difficult to control. That’s when it’s smart to have non food stress relieving strategies to employ. Eat high-calorie foods when you’re feeling strong, not stressed.
Instead of turning to food give yourself clear instructions to restore feelings of control and relieve stress. When your stress level is low decide what actions you can take to reduce stress. Then when your feeling under pressure you have a plan to execute and it’s just a matter of giving yourself instructions to put it into action.