My assistant Kate and I both felt sick to our stomachs. We were sweating profusely and were both experiencing heart palpitations. It was easily the most tense either of us had felt in a long time.
Needless to say, our stress hormones were flowing! This happened the day we planned to launch the second cookbook, when our website crashed just 15 minutes before we were planning to hit “send” to announce it was ready for purchase.
We were furiously texting back and forth while on hold with our programmer and our hosting company and it was SO DIFFICULT not to be wallowing in anger, anxiety and fear over things not working right. We had only worked our fannies off while simultaneously chasing little people around for the past 6 months and on the day when our hard work was to finally pay off, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. To say we were frustrated is to put it very, very lightly.
Have you ever felt that rage of stress hormones flowing through your body? For some of us it may be more familiar than others, but chances are you’ve had that feeling at some point in your life.
What exactly do stress hormones have to do with weight loss and looking/feeling your best? A lot, actually. This might surprise you, but if your thoughts are constantly in a state of hopelessness, despair, anxiety, anger or fear, it actually 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, living in a sea of toxic thoughts and feelings can actually throw you into a constant state of fight or flight. So what was meant to be an acute or short-term response to a harmful attack or threat can unknowingly become an unfortunate way of life. 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 does this matter? Well to put it simply: Trying to lose weight in this kind of scenario is like attempting to canoe up a creek without a paddle. Constantly thinking negative or toxic thoughts doesn’t give your body the 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.
Back to the day of the launch email. Our stress hormones were racing through our bodies and then Kate remembered 3 letters we now try to live by. She simply texted me FWP, which stands for “First World Problem!” (See the LIFE CHANGING video below.)
In essence, we made ourselves STOP in the midst of the chaos. We called each other and decided we were not going to let technology get the best of us, no matter how bad things got. We CHOSE to put the situation into perspective and decided the fear and the anxiety just weren’t worth it…because in reality, if we’re being honest, most of the so-called “problems” the majority of us experience are really FWPs!
In addition to sharing the video below, I’ve also been having a lot of my clients fill out the Bridge Page. It can help change your focus by posing the following question: What is one thing you will commit to changing your perspective on right now? Consider hanging it on the bulletin board in your office or on your refrigerator as a super easy way to remind yourself to move forward and get over it, whatever “It” may be.
Keeping things in perspective helps you take a step back and 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 is a really important step towards stopping negative thinking and turning complaints into feelings of gratitude.
So remember: Controlling your thought life and keeping things in perspective really can decrease your stress hormones and really can begin to change your body chemistry. And when things begin to shift internally, you will be well on your way to outwardly looking your very best. You never know…keeping things real and not focusing on FWPs just might change your life!
ps Would you be willing to share in the comments below what you are going to commit to changing your perspective on? I’ve learned over the years that sometimes it helps to see what others are working on too…since we’re all still a work in progress! 🙂