How to Recognise and Conquer Emotional Eating in 6 Easy Steps

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Do you eat when you feel emotional and not only when you are hungry? If you’re someone who reaches for the biscuit cupboard when you’re feeling sad, stressed, lonely or bored then you have a tendency towards emotional eating. Whilst this doesn’t constitute a real problem if it’s an occasional thing, if your go-to way of coping with your emotions is eating then it’s worth considering the impact this may be having on your health and well-being. It’s certainly worth paying attention to your eating habits particularly when you’re bored, tired, lonely, stressed or angry, and if care is not taken you may end up feeding a never-ending problem. While eating can help address emotional hunger, it doesn’t necessarily address the root cause of the problem. If anything, the excess calorie intake only makes you feel even worse than before. The endless cycle continues.

1. How to Recognise Emotional Eating

While emotional eating often results from negative experiences and feelings, it can also result from happier times such as celebrations, rewarding yourself for goals achieved or holidays. The following are signs that you are guilty of emotional eating:

  • You are eating to silence shame, resentment, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, fear, and anger.
  • You are eating so that you can have something to do. People who feel empty or unfulfilled often eat to compensate for their emotional emptiness, to relieve boredom or to fill a void in their life. In the moment eating distracts you from feelings of purposelessness and dissatisfaction.
  • You relish eating unhealthy foods as a way of remembering some of your childhood experiences.
  • You overeat in the presence of others due to peer influence, being encouraged to celebrate etc.
  • You find yourself feeling hungrier when you are stressed, thus you seek comfort through eating. Due to high levels of cortisol in your body, you end up craving fried, sweet, and salty foods.

2. How to Stop Emotional Eating

Many people who are prone to emotional eating feel powerless when it comes to taking control over their food cravings and emotions. But do not despair because there is hope. With a little more effort, it is very easy to stop emotional eating. The key is to find other ways to fulfill yourself emotionally and to take practical steps to manage your stress levels.

Here are a few things you can try to help you regain control of your emotional eating habits:

3. Take a deep breath.

This helps relieve feelings of stress. Deep breathing also releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. It gives you time to think about the most appropriate response to the events taking place. Take five seconds to breathe in through your nose and hold for a similar length of time. Gradually, release the air through your mouth for another five seconds. Repeat it five times and you will begin to feel calmer, more at ease and in control.

4. Get more active.

Physical activity burns calories and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Consider combining cardiovascular activity with high-intensity interval training for a more effective way of combatting stress, making you feel great and improving the quality of your life overall.

5. Eat and enjoy a rainbow of healthy foods.

Adopting a diet full of whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meat, kefir, and yogurt helps to keep stress levels at bay, and boosts happiness. These are ‘feel good’ foods and will increase your motivation and zest for life. They contain essential nutrients such as calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and the B vitamins that help manage stress, fight illness, and boost strength. They also keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Ensure you are appreciating the foods you are consuming and be mindful of the amazing benefits these health foods have for your physical and mental health.

6. Plan your shopping ahead.

Plan your weekly shop in advance and take time and care when writing your shopping list. Research healthy recipes beforehand and add the ingredients to your list. Avoid impulse buying as much as possible and consider the health value of all items on your list.

You don’t have to be a victim of emotional eating. By taking control of your emotions and life, you can easily break out of the vicious cycle of stress and emotional eating. Start today!

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A Holistic Approach to Nourishment

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What comes to mind when you think of nourishment? ‘Holistic’ nourishment addresses the psychological, emotional, physical and social areas of our lives. While all these aspects may be fed separately, they are all interlinked. For some people, the loss of appetite may be replaced by stress eating. Still, the underlying concept is the same: an imbalance in our emotions disrupts our physical, social and psychological well-being.

How then do we find the perfect balance? Food is the number one answer for most of us. However, we forget that nutrition is not the only source of “nourishment” per se. This doesn’t mean that diet is not important in our lives. In fact, the importance of carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and so on cannot be emphasised enough. They provide our bodies with the necessary energy to run our day-to-day activities.

Nonetheless, the mind and body work together as a whole. The brain does not take up 20% of your blood just to think about food. Here are some great are all-rounded approaches to nourishment:

1. Connect with Mother Nature

This is a great way to nourish both our bodies and minds in addition to maintaining emotional, psychological and physical balance in our lives. On the surface, this can sound too theoretical. Introspect for a minute and try to remember the last time you simply enjoyed some sunshine, clean oxygen or a glass of water. Taking these things for granted does not mean they don’t add value to your life. They stand to be more valuable to your well-being if you consciously enjoy them.

2. Physical activity

This can encompass various physical engagements including yoga, jogging, walking, traditional strength training, and sports. Yoga is known to offer body and mind relaxation. Many people do not realise that these other types of physical activity also have the same effect. Try to reduce your TV time and engage in a 20-minute physical activity today. Don’t just do the action, the key is to enjoy it. You’ll love the effect.

3. Work on your relationships

It is easy to spend our days immersed in work or unhealthy relationships and fail to spend time with the truly special people in our lives. Appreciating the small gestures from people that add value to our lives not only improves our social life but also elevates our psychological health. Eliminating unhealthy relationships also helps to relieve stress and creates more time for valuable people and activities.

4. Explore interests and inspirations

These vary from one person to the other. Singing or listening to a song, reading a book, and art are popular hobbies and interests that nourish us. Did you know that reading a book has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s and reduce stress by 68%? Spend at least 45 minutes a day doing something that you love. It will give you something to look forward to every day.

5. Self-care and meditation

A peaceful mind is essential to your overall well-being. Taking time to meditate daily helps to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and develops clear personal and social structures. Simple self-care activities such as visiting a spa, getting a massage or dressing in clothes that make you feel great can help boost your confidence and happiness. This enhanced perception of ourselves is also reflected in the way we treat the people around us.

What are the Benefits of a holistic approach to nourishment?

1. Strength and endurance: A holistic approach to nourishment strengthens the body and mind and makes it easier to deal with physical and mental pressure.
2. Resistance to physical and psychological illness: Physical activity and a healthy diet in addition to social and psychological wellness techniques develops resistance to conditions such as memory loss, obesity, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and disease.
3. Improved relationships: Acknowledging the people in our lives and their value builds stronger and long-lasting relationships. We are capable of giving and receiving more love and support.
4. Finding purpose: Holistic nourishment advocates self-care, meditation and inner reflection, which are essential to understanding our life’s purpose and the path we are destined to take.

As humans, two of our primary objectives in life are finding pleasure and reducing or preventing pain. Adopting a holistic approach to nourishment is the key to a truly happy and fulfilling life. It feeds the body, mind and spirit, which ultimately improves the quality of life’s experiences.

If you’d like to know more please feel free to contact me.

8 Powerful Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

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A lack of self-confidence is something that affects many of us, and it can have a serious impact on our happiness. Self-doubt can prevent us from living the life of our dreams. The ‘Imposter syndrome’ is the name given to a cluster of commonly held thoughts and attitudes which encourage us to attribute our success to error, luck or charm rather than our ability. Here are eight techniques and processes that can help you break through them and eliminate self-doubt for good:

1. Dream from your heart

Take some time to really consider what it is you really want and write down the goals and priorities that are most important to you. When you give expression to your desires, you take the first step in bringing them out into the world.

2. Activate your imagination by following the path of your heart

Daydream, allow yourself to live favorable outcomes to the problems you are experiencing, and feel yourself truly enjoying your own life. Imagination is a powerful process that sets you on a new course to a happier life.

3. Make your dreams and goals a priority…

By taking positive action every day on the dreams that are most important to you, and on the forward moving steps that your imagination brought into your awareness.

4. Cultivate hope…

That you can have what you want. It’s easy to allow fear to creep in and doubt you’ll ever truly get what you want. Ensure you keep hope alive by envisioning your desires and the changes you want to make. Strive to protect and nurture that seed of hope until it grows into a beautiful new potential.

5. Be your own best friend…

When life is good, and when it is bad. When you are stressed, fearful, or doubtful, do whatever you need to regain mind, body, and spiritual balance. Talk to yourself kindly, take yourself for a walk, go swimming, take a bath, drink a lot of water, breathe deeply. The point is, don’t beat yourself up when you’re down, find new ways to lift your spirit.

6. Follow your intuition

Your conscience will never misguide you and you should always follow it. Continue to listen to your inner voice and let it guide you closer and closer to your dreams.

7. Accept reality

Acknowledge your emotions, feel what you feel, and allow your emotional energy to flow up and out. Then step out of the channel of heavy emotions and dare to bring yourself back into alignment with your vision and imagination of what is possible.

8. Take calculated risks

Step outside your comfort zone. The risks you take may not always bring the results you desire first time round, but each time you dare to step beyond the boundaries of your current limitations, you show yourself that failure is not the end of anything. It’s just a momentary setback. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and find a new way around your setback. Releasing self-doubt isn’t an all or nothing proposition, and it’s not overcome in one instant. You gain confidence as you look deep within, into your true feelings, and discover new ways to express your truths, values, and priorities.

By focusing on what is most important to you and using the tips above, you’ll soon be taking huge leaps towards a more confident you and the life you’ve always dreamed of.

As your take away from this blog, what baby step are taking TODAY – NOW towards eliminating self-doubt? If I can be of service to you, do please contact me.

Five Tips for Managing Stress

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Winston Churchill said: “If you are going through hell, keep going!”

Stress tends to creep up on us due to a perceived inability to manage the demands life throws at us. Sometimes it can be beneficial as it pushes us to achieve more, but higher levels of stress sustained over a long period of time can be harmful to our bodies and minds. Stress can have a damaging effect on our immune system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system and even mess with our emotions in a big way.

When we allow stress to continue unchecked and untreated, it can cause chronic anxiety, muscle pain, insomnia, high blood pressure and weakened immune system. Research has shown that stress can play a significant role in the development of diseases like depression, obesity, and heart disease.

These risks mean that we need to develop defence strategies and stress combating tactics to protect ourselves from the dangers that may arise if we don’t work to mitigate stress. There are many ways to self-manage stress and regain control of your full faculties and be healthy again. Here are just a few of the most effective stress combatting tips:

1. Step back from the stressor

Sometimes it is difficult to break away from the main cause of your stress, for example, increasing debt or an unhealthy relationship. However, when you take a step back, this could mean taking a couple of days away to yourself and allowing yourself time to think, you give yourself an opportunity to reflect. This may result in you noticing or feeling things you weren’t before, and in this more relaxed and reflective state you may find a solution that wasn’t obvious before. You will need to face up to the root of the stress at some point, but taking a short break in the interim can help you see more clearly and boost your strength.

2. Exercise

Regular exercise is vital for a strong body and mind and can significantly reduce stress levels. Just 30 minutes of exercise, 3 times a week will have you smiling and full of energy. Exercise needn’t be meaningless, it could be walking the dog or dancing with friends, it doesn’t have to be solitary either! Exercising with others is a great motivator. Take your pick, run, swim, play a sport, take a salsa dancing class, whichever form of exercise you choose will help you manage your stress levels better. Build up slowly, just 5 – 10 minutes a day will enhance your mood.

3. Meditate and practice mindfulness

Two of the most popular relaxation techniques around the world are meditation and mindfulness. Both help ease stress by releasing negative emotions and focusing on the present moment. They relieve stress by providing the space and clarity we need to alleviate the demands we imagine and which, in many cases aren’t valid.

4. Accept what you cannot control

One of the best ways of reducing stress levels is accepting the fact that you do not always have control over certain situations. Stressful events will occur, there is no avoiding them. We can however control how we react to a stressful situation, how we interpret our experiences is very much down to us.
As Viktor Frankl said, “The one absolute freedom a person has, is the power to choose in a given situation their attitude.”

5. Open up to people

Sharing our experiences both positive and negative can help ease the pressure we feel. It can bring huge relief to discover someone else is experiencing similar problems to us, or to listen to alternative solutions suggested by others.

Stress is a part of everyday life and there’s no way to avoid it completely. Without it, we wouldn’t experience the feeling of accomplishment that follows the overcoming of obstacles and challenges. Ensure you set achievable, realistic expectations for yourself and learn to keep things in perspective.

If you’d like to know more please feel free to contact me.

Living Your Intentions in Joy & Abundance

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“You attract and manifest whatever corresponds to your inner state.”

Eckhart Tolle

There is no need to keep waiting to live the life of joy and abundance you deserve, you can start living this way right now. The key to living in joy and abundance is developing the right mindset. Successful, happy people cultivate ‘success mindsets’ because it allows them to control their emotions, make the right decisions and achieve positive results in the face of bad (or sometimes overwhelming) odds.

Consider, for example, an entrepreneur who has encountered a string of losses, or an author whose book didn’t bring them the success they’d hoped. If they hadn’t developed the correct mindset, it’s likely they would have given up at that point. Successful people live in a world of abundance, don’t they? This is because they understand that with a little creativity, courage and an open mind there really is no limit to what can be accomplished.

Developing the right mindset enables us to control our thoughts and understand how our mind works. All of us face a constant stream of ups and downs in life, how we view and react to both good and bad depends on our mindset. Being in control of our thoughts equals being in control of our actions and this is what leads to the best possible outcomes. This empowers us to make the right decisions which will produce optimum results.

When we’re clear on what it is we want, we can begin to manifest the things we desire. If you’re not clear about what you want, you need to make time to determine what you do. Take yourself to a quiet place in an inspiring setting and write down a list of all the things you envision having in your ideal life. The universe can only start giving you what you want when you tell it. You can communicate your desires via meditation, visualisation or by creating a vision board. The energy you are putting into making your dreams loud and clear will help you to begin attracting these things into your life.

Now, you must begin working towards your goals. This starts with clarity, and is followed by action. Write down 3 things you can do today that will move you a little closer to your goals. All it takes is one baby step to get you going, every day and that consistency is what will ultimately make THE difference! Do this every day, take time to write daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals that are in line with your hopes and aspirations, then enjoy the process of accomplishing them. Take time to consider what is most important to you, what are your values? Are they wealth/security/happiness/honesty/passion/love/sharing? Act now to ensure that when you are older, you will look back and be satisfied knowing that you accomplished the things you were destined to do.

To manifest your dreams, start with a little soul searching. Gain deeper insight into your life purpose and the person you are supposed to be. So many of us walk through life so immersed in our daily routines, obligations and responsibilities, that we forget to step back and really consider why we’re here.

Our immersion in fast paced careers can distract us from devoting the time needed to determining the goals we need to set to achieve our dreams. Remind yourself of the importance of setting aside this time, and to working on adjusting your mindset.

Joy and abundance begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person, a successful person who dared to dream, to believe it was possible. Take some time to allow yourself to ask, what if? Think big. Don’t let negative thinking discourage you.

You want to be a “dreamer.” Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow old, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go.

Commit to living your dreams.

Once you commit to living your dreams, the lids blinding your eyes will be lifted. A completely new world will be opened to your view.

You will notice opportunities that have been in your reach all along, ones your conscious mind simply didn’t pay heed to. The fundamental change taking place is your self-identity. This is the point of no return. Once this shift has happened, your whole world changes.

Nothing becomes impossible for you.

Your only limitations are your consciousness, which is quickly expanding. Whatever you want quickly becomes yours because you see what most people don’t. Now that you can see it everywhere, you are sprinting!

If you’d like to know more please feel free to contact me.