The holidays can be a joyous time. However for people that have been struggling all year with their weight and to feel good in their body’s, it poses some anxiety. For many, the holidays are filled with stress about spending too much time with “challenging” family members, eating excessive amounts of food, and insecurities about putting on weight. Of course, there is also the stress about money! I so get this because I used to stress to the max about these things, too. I’m happy to say that I don’t anymore and I’m going to give you some tips so you don’t have to either.
Tips to thrive during the holidays:
1. Send love. I don’t know any family that doesn’t have at least one “challenging” family member. You know the one who points out in a room full of other family members and friends that you’ve gained weight. Remember your secret weapon when dealing with these people is always love. So, instead of diving into the nearest chocolate cake because you’re feeling embarrassed, ashamed and angry, pause before “defending” yourself and then send them love. Believe it or not, they think they’re helping you by pointing out what you likely already know. Sending love can diffuse negative emotions within seconds.
2. Stop controlling. Instead of trying to control your food, give yourself permission. I know it sounds crazy, but restricting is what is making you want the food even more. When we think that something is off limits, this intensifies our desire to have it. So, stop with the rules and restricting. There are no prizes given out at the end of the year for how often you restricted food only to binge later! Also, understand that 99% of the population overeats during the holidays, so know that you’re not alone. That’s not an excuse, but it’s important to understand this so you don’t feel isolated.
3. Focus on the insides. If you have gained weight this year or since you last saw your family, understand that your awesomeness, authenticity and lovely personality are not defined by your weight. In fact, this is true for everyone. So rather than focusing on how much weight a person lost or gained since you last saw them, instead focus on how much you’ve missed them, how good they make you feel when you’re around them, and being mindful about your time together so you can intensify your experience.
I hope that these tips help to ease some of the stress you may be feeling about the holidays. If you need more support and tips like this, hop on over to my Facebook group Intuitive Eating & Body Loving Rockstars.
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Let’s talk about emotional triggers for a few minutes.
Emotional triggers are things that make you react or behave in negative ways. It could be that something that someone says to you or to someone else that triggers a negative response in you. For example, it could be how you react when someone talks to you, directs you or even criticizes you. Or, it could be something you experience when you watch a movie or listen carefully to the lyrics of a song. So many things can make us react in ways that we might not necessarily be happy about.
I’ve worked super hard in the last few months at recognizing some of my emotional triggers and while I’ve come so far, I still have a long way to go. In fact, I’m learning that there will always be triggers around for me and for most people. However, how easily we are able to recognize when we are triggered and how we react to the triggers and is what really matters is what I believe is key in overcoming them. At least that has been my experience.
When I used to stuff my face at the simplest little things, I would feel so awful afterwards. NOT so much because I emotionally ate or even binged (although that was quite upsetting), I would be more upset at the fact that I wasn’t able to recognize when I was begin triggered. Or, even when I knew I was triggered, I didn’t take the time to take a step back, collect my thoughts and think about my behavior before I actually responded. Instead, I would react from a place of anger, hurt, frustration, loneliness or abandonment and this never made me happy. While it’s perfectly normal to feel those types of emotions, for me, it wasn’t okay to react in negative ways around them every single time I was triggered. It was exhausting and I often felt like I should know better not to react in such a manner, but nothing ever seemed to change. Reacting so often also made me feel OUT OF CONTROL and I loathed feeling that way! So, you know what, when I felt that way, I would eat more to numb those feelings!
As my dear friend, Elysha Maughan, says, “One way to reframe emotional triggers is to see them as opportunities for growth.” When we are emotionally triggered, this is an indication that we need healing in a particular area of our lives. So, it’s really our body’s way of telling us to look more closely at something. It’s telling us to dig a little deeper.
Isn’t it just amazing how are bodies are always looking out for us?
It is possible to heal from being over reactive. I used to get so pissed off when people used to tell me that I was over reacting to things! In fact, that was an emotional trigger for me!
After having done so much work in this area with my own personal development coach, and discovering what the source was for so many of these triggers, it’s getting easier for to me to heal from them.
However, the first step in doing this was acknowledging that these emotional triggers existed in my life in the first place!
Some questions to ponder:
What kinds of emotional triggers are you struggling with?
Are you able to recognize your emotional triggers?
How do you react when you’re emotionally triggered?
I’d love to hear form you! It would be so great and much appreciated if you’d leave a comment below.
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I was surprised to see that this image was shared 723 times (and it increases by the minute) on Facebook this week. That’s a lot of sharing! I think that’s an all time record for an image that I’ve created. Obviously, this quote from Buddha is very powerful and resonated with many people, including myself.
Have you found this to be true in your own life? Do you believe that ‘we become what we think’? I will be honest, I didn’t always believe this was true. I used to believe that talk like that was kinda ‘woo-wooish’ and didn’t think that my thoughts affected me on such a profound level. I used to believe that whatever was going to happen would happen despite my thoughts. I’ve learned over the years that it does matter…in fact, our thoughts can be life changing. (more…)
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