What amazes me most about the human body is how interconnected it is. One change, good or bad, can send a ripple throughout the entire system. When I began changing my eating, social, and day to day habits, I began to see tremendous effects in my overall happiness. My digestion and bowel movements were right on track and my acne breakouts seemed to stop. I began to realize that while my eating and exercise habits made a difference, it was also the other lifestyle changes that were equally important.
Here are some things you can begin thinking about today:
- What are the sources of stress in my day to day life?
The science: Your sympathetic nervous system housed within the autonomic nervous system is where the 'fight or flight' mode comes in. When you experience stress, you go into the fight or flight mode, and it can literally effect your body. It can wear out the tissues in the body and produce adrenaline. More protein and other nutrients will go into the cells and glucose and fat will hang out in the circulatory system longer. The brain also releases cortisol when you experience stress. When you brain marinates in cortisol for too long, you may experience fogginess. All of the above is often why sometimes people experience weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, and perhaps even backed up digestion.
What you can do: Take a look at your sources of stress - this can even be your workout schedule. Remember, everything is interconnected so if you are feeling off in one area of your life (say your body), chances are it is a message that something is not quite right in another part of your life. Write down these sources of stress and see where you can minimize them or create practices that help create time to decompress.
- What are your consuming?
We are always told to eat as healthy as possible, but understanding the science and effects of refined sugars, alcohol, and caffeine are important to know. In moderated amounts, none of the above are bad. However, our bodies interact with and respond to each of them very, very differently. What may work for your brother, sister, spouse, or parent is most likely different for you. In addition to food, pay special attention to the types of thoughts you are taking in. Are there negative or not so supportive people around you?
What you can do: Take a week to cut out certain foods (ex: one week without refined sugar, one week without alcohol, 3-5 days without caffeine) and see how you feel. Chances are, once you start listening to your body and finding what makes you feel crappy, you'll find there isn't much of a difference between how you feel and what you're putting in your body. The same goes for the not so healthy thoughts that you may be consuming. If you can, take some intentional time away from those people or minimize how much time you spend with them. Reflect honestly on how taking time away from them and their thoughts made you feel.
- What are you holding on to?
Limiting beliefs and narratives surprisingly can have a huge effect on your health in ways that are not spoken about enough. The release of certain pent up emotions can trigger the "happy" hormones in your body, allowing you to feel lighter and joyous. When you let go of certain emotions, it also allows you to be open up to others. You body drops oxytocin when you experience compassionate touch or feel genuine connection to others (mothers also release oxytocin when they are giving birth or breastfeeding!).
What you can do: Dig deep into even the smallest doubts and fears that might be holding you back. Is it failure, judgement, or not being good enough? Uncover one of those doubts or fears. You'd be surprised the power that one seemingly small fear has over your overall happiness.
Leave your comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts and questions!
Are you ready to take your health and lifestyle changes to the next level? Check out the 6 week Mastermind group I'm launching for those of you who are interested in starting the journey of balancing your hormones and designing a lifestyle that works for you. Interested? Check it out here.