My Enlightened Delights

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To enjoy good health,
to bring true happiness to one’s family,
to bring peace to all,
one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.
If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment,
and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
— Buddha

The Mindful Diet Day 25

Week 4: Learn to Manage Obstacles

Day 25: Channel stress like an animal.

When we have no outlet for stress, we eat as a way to tame those emotions—and typical go-tos are carb- and sugar-rich foods that boost the feel-good hormone serotonin in our bodies. The solution, Kay suggests, is to shake off stress—literally. “When you look at animals, they shake their bodies, flick their heads, and generally move around a lot after a stressful situation,” says Kay. It helps them get rid of pent-up energy and those stress hormones their bodies produced. If we did the same thing, it would help us process our stress in a healthier way than stuffing it down with food. If shaking like your pup doesn’t seem appropriate, get up and go for a walk, recommends Kay. Any kind of movement will help you release the stress—and avoid overeating as a result.

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Now that we have targeted some of our bad habits and learned to reward ourselves appropriately, we have the opportunity to target our stress. Stress has become more common in recent years, and it affects everyone differently. How we deal with our stress also varies from person to person; there are a few tried and true methods that can help release some stress, but they're not always the healthiest or most productive options. When we're stressed the last thing we want to do is stress ourselves out more, so we usually retreat to our favorite bad habits or junk food to boost our mood. 

I love the comparison to animals in today's article excerpt! Sometimes we feel like we just need to SCREAM or "shake it off", but if we don't get to release that stress it builds up over time. Find something that will help you to channel your stress into a physical activity instead of indulging in junk food or retreating to bad habits. So, if "shaking it off" isn't exactly your thing, channel a more mellow animal. The article suggests taking a walk, but you may consider a quick meditation, yoga practice, or even a nice refreshing dip in the pool to help relieve some of your stress.

 

Namaste!