A few weeks ago we sent out the first part of our most helpful Inside Out Wellness Tips to help you start the new year out right. After writing articles and blogging for 8+ years, we received more positive feedback and comments on this post than almost anything we’ve written in the past!
So as promised, here’s part 2 of our (now 3 part series) 🙂 to help you focus on making your health a priority in 2018!
Inside Out Wellness Tip #6: Are You Suffering from Hurry Sickness?
Review the following statements in “true or false” fashion. Do any of these situations describe aspects of your daily life?
- I have no problem typing on the computer or my phone while people are trying to talk to me. I totally get the gist of what they are saying and I’m sure I hear most of whatever it is they are trying to tell me.
- I am a super fast reader. When I read the newspaper, articles online etc., I don’t have to read it verbatim. I pride myself on being able to “skim” what I’m reading, so as to only focus on the important words.
- The speed limit is really a suggestion, more or less. I usually “have” to drive over the speed limit to make up for lost time; if I didn’t, I’d be late to almost everything. So, speeding is really a necessity more than anything else.
- I have trouble getting my mind to shut off, especially at night. I desperately want my mind to be quiet, but I’m so overdone by the end of the day. Even though I’m exhausted, I frequently find myself going over the day’s events—and the following’s—in my mind.
Sound familiar? Nowadays, most of us pride ourselves on being “multitaskers.” While checking everything off on our to-do list sounds great, there’s a problem; chronic multitasking can have serious consequences.
In fact, there’s an actual medical term for this is called “hurry sickness.” One online medical dictionary defines this as, “A malaise in which a person feels chronically short of time, and so tends to perform every task faster and to get flustered when encountering any kind of delay.” Here’s another definition, “A behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.”
According to Brent W. Bost, MD, 30 million American women are likely suffering from a condition he refers to as “The Hurried Woman Syndrome” and it’s caused by constantly living in over-drive, attempting to get more and more done.
Some of the more obvious symptoms this syndrome can cause are fatigue or low mood, weight gain, and low libido, just to name a few.
Remember the old “fight or flight” response we learned about in 8th grade? Well, most of us should have paid a bit more attention because constantly trying to multitask quickly—rushing—can put us in a state of chronic overdrive.
During this response, adrenaline causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Its counterpart, cortisol, causes an increase in blood sugar, alters the immune system and suppresses the digestive and reproductive systems.
Through a series of chemical reactions, those hormones that were meant to save us from an immediate threat get chronically turned on and eventually go haywire. So you see, that which was meant to “save” us can actually do the opposite and begin to deteriorate us.
So if hurry sickness is causing you to feel like you’re just barely surviving versus joyfully thriving, then perhaps it’s time to consider changing your plate and what’s on it as well.
Inside Out Wellness Tip #7: Change Your Perspective and Lose Weight
We’ve said that chronically rushing can cause your hormones to go haywire…but so can failing to control the thoughts that randomly float through your mind over the course of your day.
This might surprise you, but if your thoughts are constantly in a state of hopelessness, despair, anxiety, anger or fear, this also increases the stress hormones in your body, thus making weight loss extremely difficult, if not almost impossible.
Consider this: According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones!
To experience the occasional, stressful situation is one thing. But when you fail to stop toxic thoughts right in their tracks and don’t allow your hormones to return to “normal” levels, it can be a recipe for disaster…no pun intended.
In other words, chronically rushing can put you in a constant state of flight or fight, but so can living in a sea of toxic thoughts and feelings. Because again, when your stress hormones are consistently elevated, it causes breakdown in the body leading to lower metabolism, inflammation AND a host of health issues.
Why are we hammering this home? Well to put it simply: Trying to lose weight when your stress hormones are chronically in overdrive is like attempting to canoe up a creek without a paddle.
Constantly thinking negative or toxic thoughts doesn’t give your body an opportunity to lose weight because it’s simply thinking of how to survive and make it to the next day. What this means is that one of the key elements to weight loss—if not the most important one!—is thinking about what you are thinking about. So if you find yourself in a place where your thoughts feel like they are spiraling out of control, a great way to shift away from toxic thinking is to simply start keeping things in perspective.
Because when you stop and think about what you’re thinking about, you begin to realize YOU get to choose how YOU ARE processing the things that are happening in YOUR life. Taking 2 minutes to watch this life-changing video can be a really helpful step towards stopping negative thinking and turning complaints into feelings of gratitude.
Inside Out Wellness Tip #8: How Consistent with This Are You?
When most of us think of ways to get the scale to be a little nicer to us, it usually equates to adding more to our already overdone/overscheduled to do list: Exercise more/longer; change up the diet or hop on the newest food bandwagon; have more down time; think positively and so on.
But what if I told you that while these things are all good and well, they may not necessarily be in the right order?
Oddly enough, one of the most important things you can do to help your body shed unwanted weight is develop a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed at a decent time at about the same time nightly really and truly does do a body good.
According to research—and these types of studies have been done over and over again, essentially showing the same results—changing your sleep habits so that you develop a regular sleep schedule can actually equate to a lower percentage of body fat.
Going through this process solidified what I already knew to be true: If you’re not well “nourished” mentally and physically or well rested, most attempts at intense exercise are going to backfire. In fact I’ll even go out on a limb here and say that getting just a few chaotic hours of sleep nightly and then expecting your body to go 90 miles an hour at the gym is not only ridiculously hard on your body, but pretty counterproductive as well.
What exactly am I suggesting then? Well for starters, it’s probably high time for a reality check with your daily routine to see what kind of shape it’s in. If you’re not sleeping well at night but trying to force your body to workout every day, you might need to take a step back and evaluate if you’re even benefiting from your efforts. I know from past experience that being overweight is no fun at all. However there comes a time when you need to take a good, long look at the season of life you’re currently in and evaluate whether or not your schedule/routine is working for or against you.
So if I had to give some kind of order as to how things should get prioritized, it would look something like this:
- Get rid of negative/toxic thinking and change your perspective
- Eat real, nourishing food you can pronounce and that your great grandmother would have eaten
- Get somewhere between 7-8 hours of “patterned” sleep nightly
- Work out in a manner that is feasible for the current season of life you’re in
Take some time to evaluate where you’re currently at. Do you feel vibrant and full of life or are you barely dragging yourself out of bed each morning? If it’s the latter, is it due to the fact that your body isn’t getting the kind of quality rest it so desperately needs? Start treating your body right and it will give you what you want in return: A sound mind, great health and plenty of energy to reach your fullest potential.
Inside Out Wellness Tip #9: Holding Onto Secrets Might Be Holding You Back
Of all the weight loss tips I’ve given thus far, this one might be the most surprising. One you maybe have never ever even given a thought to.
In fact in the 10+ years I’ve been doing this, I have seen this happen time and time again. In some cases, I’d been working with a client for years and years and then one day, they decided they finally felt safe enough to admit all kinds of things from the past they’d been holding onto for decades.
Why is this important? Because keeping a secret can wreak havoc on your health.
In fact, we are physiologically “wired” to tell the truth. Without trying to get too “sciencey,” there’s a part of your brain (the cingulate cortex) that is negatively affected when you keep a secret locked inside.
Stated very simply, keeping a secret can actually interfere with your brain’s normal functions and causes different areas of your brain (between the cingulate cortex and the prefrontal cortex) to miscommunicate, leading to pressure in the cingulate cortex.
Brain function…Cortex…Huh? Why should you care even a little bit about any of this?
Because pressure in the cingulate cortex = an increase in the production of stress hormones. And this, as we’ve stated multiple times in just this article alone = bad news for your body.
In fact each and every time you think about the secret you are keeping, your cortisol levels can surge and negatively impact your:
- Blood pressure
- GI tract and digestion
- Sleep patterns
- And leads to feelings of anxiety and fear
Our brains are so intelligent that the bigger the secret or the perceived risk to anyone finding out, the higher the anxiety and the level of cortisol that is released.
As if the effects mentioned above weren’t bad enough, prolonged spikes in cortisol can also lead to mood swings, the propensity to lose your temper, difficulty with memory and learning, a weakened immune system and loss of collagen in your skin.
I can’t tell you how many times I have run into situations with clients where they appear to be doing everything right. They’re eating clean as a whistle. Sleeping well. They’re moving and getting a decent amount of exercise.
In other words, everything on the outside looks good.
And yet they can’t relax, their guts are a mess and the battle with anxiety is raging. On top of this, their weight is higher than they want it to be and no matter how much tweaking we do, nothing seems to matter.
So I started asking questions and gently digging a little deeper…and you can guess what was uncovered: Secrets. Deep, painful secrets that were hidden away for years and years.
You see the mind–body connection is alive and well. Our brains are so intelligent that they’re nothing short of miraculous.
But troubles can and will arise when the truth is hidden. Our health can deteriorate quickly as our body’s check engine lights start going off with the hopes of us realizing there is a problem…So we can do something about it.
Perhaps you are reading this and experiencing some of the aforementioned side effects. You thought you were doing everything right and yet the mention of keeping a secret is speaking directly to you.
Take some time to evaluate what you may be hiding so you can start working towards releasing the secrets that could in fact be making you sick.
Consider talking with a close friend, pastor or counselor. Telling the truth can release the burden from your mind and can stop the miscommunication in your brain, effectively decreasing cortisol and the negative effects on your body.
While I don’t know all of the answers, I do know that this life is s-h-o-r-t. Making mistakes is part of it, but hiding them and attempting to push them out of your mind (which as we’ve seen, doesn’t work anyway) physically ends up doing more harm than good and can effectively rob you of your peace and joy.
Then take heart and realize that the truth really can and will set you FREE.
Stay tuned for Part 3, with our 10th and final tip on how to achieve Inside Out Wellness. You never know…it just might change your life!