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Open It Now! It’s For You

How are you? It certainly feels like we’re being tested on so many levels in these changeable times.

I’m sure you know that among other things,  stress is a feeling of not being in control which can trigger all kinds of emotional, psychological and behavioural problems.

But how to deal with it? One of the main keys to dealing with stress is to develop flexibility so that we improve our bounce-ability factor and become resilient.

Dare I say the most flexible tree is the bamboo because of it’s ability to bend easily in the wind and then stand tall again.

How can we become more flexibile? Well I could say take up yoga, develop new hobbies, improve your way of thinking by listening to hypnotherapy programmes. But better still, find your own ways. 

Write down 10 things you could do to become more flexible mentally and physically.

Along with sending you my good wishes for the holiday period I want to offer a couple of approaches to help manage stress, anxiety and any other difficult feelings.

A Christmas Gift For You
 
Please do the exercise, as it’s experiential, it will only that will take about 7 minutes of your life and it may prove valuable. Try it now.

1. Sit somewhere away from distractions and close your eyes.
2. Repeat the following words to yourself silently and mentally.
“Be” “Just Be” repeat this periodically until you find your breathing slowing and a sense of quietness beginning to emerge.

You might find the next bit challenging and counter intuitive on one level but just go with it.

3. Invite the negative thought/feeling/emotion into the quieter space by simply saying “I welcome…       (anxiety, frustration, sadness, headache, stomach churning or whatever.)

4. Imagine them as an unexpected, slightly unwanted guest who’s arrived at your door but your good  manners dictate that you’re going to invite them in anyway!

5. When you’ve repeated ” I welcome” let’s say anxiety in, notice where it lives. Do you feel it in your chest? Or stomach for example.

Don’t get lost in the thought or feeling and don’t get too involved, stay mildly detached, you’re merely observing it.

6. After a few minutes of this, welcome in the opposite feeling/emotion/thought. So you might then say silently “I welcome peace and calmness” again repeating it several times.

Notice what peace and calmness feel like and where these feelings sit in your body.

Another odd thing to suggest but do it anyway…

7. Begin to move back and forth between the words  “I welcome anxiety and tension” then “I welcome peace, calmness and tranquility”

8. Finally after doing that for a couple of minutes, imagine you can step back away from the opposites and repeat silently “Be” “Just Be”

Let me know how that works for you.

The second gift I would like to offer is a free mind/body training that will lead to a more relaxed in control you.Download it and practise it until you’re able to do it anywhere anytime on your own. It’s my gift to you along with my fervent wishes that you be well and happy.

It’s a tried and tested method that with repetition will give you a greater sense of control in your world.

https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/relax-autogenic-relaxation-response-program/

Oh and if you fancy listening to an interview I gave earlier in the year about finding your purpose check it out here:

https://www.hotflushrebels.com/optin1597304230526

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5 Great Ways To Get Through Lockdown

If you are going to get through the 2nd lockdown with your mind intact and with a stronger bounce-ability factor it may well be down to you and you only!

Grow Up

Before you read this, grab a notebook… this could be your most valuable resource as the weeks go by.

I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, DON’T text or type, WRITE. There’s something about engaging your mind and handwriting simultaneously that makes these exercises much more powerful.

What if it’s true that no-one knows what you need better than you?

Then all you need to do is answer these questions and take your own advice and follow your own prescription.

1. Stop Scaring Yourself!

How do you do this? Write down 7 or more things that you think that make you feel worried, anxious and scared.

Include any pictures, images or past memories that you constantly revisit, you know, those things that help keep you in a state of fear.

Now write down as many ways that you could stop yourself from doing this, for example “I could choose different thoughts” (write down those different thoughts).

Choose different images, find pictures in magazines that are uplifting and positive. Put them where you’ll see them regularly, if that’s not possible stick them inside a cupboard or wardrobe door.  Look at them a lot.

Create New Movies: Re-run any memories or flashbacks that are negative but this time with a positive outcome. For example if you have pictures in your mind in which you are the victim, now see the perpetrator(s) being disempowered in as many ways as possible.

Keep running the new images with brighter colours for example  seeing a bully as smaller, insignificant and dis-abled from their bullying ways. Regularly revisit this new ‘memory’ until you feel bored with it.

When you do this exercise always leave yourself looking bigger or taller stronger, more empowered and assertive.

2. Pull Yourself Together

Look again at the image of the Russian Dolls above and remember that you carry all of you inside. This means that more often than not your scary thoughts have nothing to do with the here-and-now!

It’s true; you may be having “What if” thoughts that have no bearing on your current situation. They could be coming from a younger you. Equally so you may be constantly spending time in the future worrying about what could happen tomorrow, next week or even a year from now.

When we consider that truly the only bit that’s real is now, why are you spending your valuable energy roaming back into the past and forwards into the future?

If you really stop and think about this, it means that you’re constantly cheating yourself out of  time and the ‘now’!

The chances are that every anxiety provoking thought is either about something that’s already happened or something that might happen. Practice being here now more frequently and one way to do this is to link something to a scary thought.

For example you’re thinking “ What if I can’t pay the next heating bill”

Shout inside your head “Get Up And Shake Off” Now stand up, feet apart and shake your hands and arms. Quickly! Shake each foot and leg … just like swimmers do before a race, shake off the excess adrenalin. Do this for a minute then take a deep breath and as you breathe out make a loud “Haaaaa” sound repeat twice.

That’s it! Do it every time you have an anxious thought, this way you’re changing your ‘state’ empowering yourself and getting back to the present.

3. Laughter Is The Best Medicine.

Remember who and what makes you laugh. Find as many films, jokes and books that make you laugh. Be sure you talk to the friend who makes you laugh (the one you have that chemistry with) regularly.

4. Exercise More

You must be sick of hearing this by now but someone has gone to the trouble of researching this and there’s tons of evidence to show that a brisk half an hours walk does wonders for the mind and body.

If you need a goal see how quickly you can reach a destination each time you  walk.

If you need motivation buddy up (at a distance) or meet your walking buddy a location for incentive.

See what the NHS has to say about the benefits of exercise.

5. Forgiveness

Forgiveness

If you’re beating yourself up for something you did in the past that was wrong perhaps it’s time to forgive.

Mistakes are valuable ways of growing and learning, just ask a Scientist, they constantly get it wrong, until they find the right way.

What I’m saying is, it’s normal to screw up you’re not perfect and never will be!

If you hurt others by screwing up and you feel brave enough and it’s appropriate, then contact them and tell them how sorry you are for the pain or trouble you caused. Don’t look for forgiveness from them, that’s your business but aim to make amends if and where you can.

With that done, if you can be sure you will not repeat that behaviour then forgive yourself and practice forgiving yourself until your wrongs sit more easily with you. You do that by saying “your name… I forgive you, you are forgiven now.”

It’s remarkable how many people beat themselves up for years for things they’ve done. I’m obviously not condoning bad behaviour but if you’re genuinely remorseful, would never do that thing again… then be kind and gentle to yourself and forgive.

If you need to take a short break  away from the family or just to reset remember to help yourself to my 7 Minutes of Zen download…this is what one person said “It’s fabulous!”

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3 MINDFUL WEIGHT LOSS Secrets You Never Knew

I know the issue of weight loss isn’t for everyone but I’m  making an effort to avoid using the C and ‘L…down’ words as I figured you’ve read enough of that elsewhere.

We’ve had a macrocosmic shift which means there’s been a lot of microcosmic shifts i.e inner changes for everyone in the way that we work, play, think, feel and behave. And nowhere more than in eating habits.

After reading about the misery that so any people are experiencing, (not just from feeling isolated or homeschooling! ) but more around their increasing weight I thought it was time to share some weight loss tips.

These simple tips will help you to get back on track and help you to feel better

  1. As business guru Brian Tracy says “If You Fail To Plan You Plan To Fail” so have a light meal and sit down with a pen and paper.  Do this now, write out your breakfast, lunch and dinner menu for 14 days. It’s OK if you repeat certain meals.
  2. Be sure to include protein for breakfast, think nuts, cheese, meats. Lots of high fibre fruit and veg. You can eat celery, tomatoes, radishes, cucumber for breakfast with a couple of slices of cheese you know.
  3. Before each meal drink a large glass of room temperature water.
  4. NEVER SHOP on an empty stomach
  5. NEVER SHOP without a plan (that’s your list)

This should start to help you get on track again. There are many more tried and tested tips and suggestions Mindful Weight Loss can be practised by anyone.

If you want to join the Mindful Weight Loss course for an unbelievably great price, buddy up. Bring a friend and you both pay £49.50 bring three friends and you all pay £33 bring four … and you all pay £24.75 contact me now.  Although this is an exclusive offer just for my lovely Stresshacker subscribers  please  feel free to forward to your friends if  you’d like them to enjoy the offer too. 

It’s not even about being able to lose weight  so much much as the horrible beating up that most of us do about putting on a few pounds.  Trust me we will never get the best out of ourselves if we’re listening to  the negative head trash. A daily diet of criticism, judgement and blame bring feelings of frustration,guilt and shame. Stop that!

Self-love and kindness that’s the key

Start By Loving Yourself

For some the word mindfulness has begun to feature more largely in life. The slower pace (for some) has enabled us to become mindful and present in our daily activities such as walking, shopping and cooking.

If you haven’t got time to read catch up with one of 3 podcast episodes about mindful weight loss here https://anchor.fm/stresshacker/episodes/Mindfulness-special–Part-13-What-is-Mindfulness-efjbdv

This has got to be a good thing no? I wrote about different ways to apply mindful eating  here. https://www.thestresshacker.com/how-to-lose-weight-while-you-eat/  What about trying this though. How would it be if the next meal you prepare for yourself  was made like this.

First take a breath, consider the meal that  you’re making.  Secondly consciously, that means ONLY  thinking about what you’re doing in the moment, take out all the ingredients – even if it’s just a snack.

Thirdly set about preparing this meal in a loving way.  Approach this as if it is the last meal you will ever make for someone you love dearly. That could be your cat, child or lover, it could be someone from the past  or someone who has passed, find that person/pet and generate feelings of warmth and love that you have/had for them. Approach the making of that meal with the most loving feeling that you can pull up  in your heart and mind.

The entire time you’re preparing it, imagine sending thoughts of love. Wish them peace, protection, good health, joy. Wish them freedom from stress, anxiety or danger. Now imagine them sending that back to you… receive those feelings back from them, do your best to feel them. All the while making the meal.  That’s it!

This will be one of the tastiest meals you’ve ever eaten. Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.

Meanwhile you might want to see what the NHS recommend for weight control https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/12-tips-to-help-you-lose-weight/

For general podcasts on mental health, mind and body topics you can catch my regular podcasts here https://anchor.fm/stresshacker

Oh and I almost forgot to mention I’ve got a small piece in Psychologies Magazine this month.

No More Anxiety
Anxiety, Thestresshacker and Psychologies Magazine

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How To Take Part In Today’s Global Meditation

To Spread Peace

Chaos and unrest are necessary ingredients for change and I doubt that any of us have escaped change so far this year.

Working as a psychotherapist, coach and yoga teacher I’ve learned that there is a time of turmoil and confusion when we learn something new. It stirs up and unsettles what we thought we knew.

Space is required whilst new neurological pathways are carved out adjoining new learning with old. Updating the software if you like.

الحياة مكس

We can see this as a macrocosm and a microcosm in the world right now. The quicker we learn and understand that things need to change, the more quickly life can settle down again as a recalibrated, refined and improved version.

What easier way to create the space needed than to meditate. It is a simple yet powerful tool that can facilitate our growth and development mentally, physically and spiritually and there is now a plethora of scientific evidence to back this up. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/

There are huge benefits to meditating and here are some of the experiences that others have https://outwittrade.com/meditation-benefits-and-stories

Please Accept My Invitation And  Join Me Today In A Global Mediation For World Peace And Healing.

Here’s how.

  • At 16:10 today (ten past four) today clear a space, in your home, garden or out somewhere in nature.
  • Sit upright (laying down may encourage you to sleep!)
  • Either keep your eyes open with a soft gaze or gently close them.
  • Allow your mind to quieten. Try this way… imagine an expansive blue sky with soft white fluffy clouds passing by… constantly imagine yourself as the blue sky and the thoughts, the clouds, you can’t stop them but you don’t have to hang onto them or investigate them in any way. Just observe each thought as it passes.
  • Periodically bring your awareness to your inhalation and exhalation.
  • Stay quietly meditating like this for 15minutes.

Know that you and I are sitting together with thousands of other like-minded souls around the world at exactly this time to co-create peace and healing in individuals and mother earth.

You may wonder why this time? Well there are powerful astrological reasons for meditating today at exactly this time … reasons that I do not profess to fully understand here’s a link to get you started if that’s of interest though.

https://www.lunarplanner.com/2020/index.html I do hope you’re able to find 15 minutes to join me today.

If you are interested in listening to my podcasts please follow this link to listen https://anchor.fm/stresshacker the next few episodes are all about mindfulness. Please feel free to share them with your loved ones and anyone else who will enjoy them.

Also if you fancy joining my online yoga classes drop me a line or follow this link for more information.https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/online-hatha-yoga-class-pass/

Oh and check  out my new book all put together with the help of my friend, thanks Shelby https://www.thestresshacker.com/product/guide-to-kicking-anxietys-butt/

Sue x

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Stresshacker Podcast Ep4: Beat Anxiety, Depression And Burnout With Balance

Subscribe to the Stresshacker today!

So many people I see in my practice are lacking energy; they feel tired, anxious and lethargic especially during wintertime. Never before have so many people and, dare I say, particularly women, been so exhausted and frazzled!

That’s the subject for my latest podcast.

Episode 4 of The Stresshacker Podcast offers some valuable ways to re-connect with yourself and others.

I talk about how you can bring much needed balance back into your life and, in the process, counter some of the struggles that we face – such as depression, anxiety and exhaustion.

The pressure is constantly on and our lives are more demanding than they have ever been.

Think about it, are you constantly doing?

In the absence of a nice smattering of being (or certainly doing much less), there’s an imbalance. The more doing we do the more that imbalance will show up in our everyday lives.

Listen to this episode for ways you can regain your sense of balance.

I’ve been so blown away by the response to my adventures into podcasting. It’s a new experience for me and I’m learning as I go.

If you’ve enjoyed these recent episodes, please do like them on iTunes and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. It really does make a difference to how many people find the podcast!

As a special thank you for those who listen to the end, I’d like to offer you half price access to my Wellbeing In A Week short course. Listen to the podcast to find out how to claim it!

I’ll be back soon to bring more peace into your life.


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Episode page:  (let me know if this isn’t available on your favourite podcast app)

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The Stresshacker Podcast Episode 3: Eight moments of mindfulness – guided meditation

Many of you are telling me how stressed you’re feeling and whether that’s due to a heavy work load, the demands of family, illness, life events or just those winter blues, only you can change the way that you feel.
That said I would like to help and want to give you this gift. It’s only eight minutes out of your life and it’s a gift that will keep on giving… if you listen to it regularly!
Episode three of the Stresshacker podcast is an eight-minute recharge for anyone feeling run down, in need of energy – or just need a moment for yourself!
You probably know by now that the nature of the mind is that it likes to be on the move. As such your thoughts will drag you back into the past and you can end up feeling stuck.
Conversely your thoughts can propel you into the future at an alarming rate and then you end up feeling pressured and anxious.

Use this guided meditation to gently pull you back into the present.

Find a time when you won’t be disturbed and settle into a comfortable position. Bedtime is an ideal time. For best results use earphones and lie down. You can sit in a comfy chair, but make sure your head is supported.

I want to stress that your mind WILL wander and that’s absolutely OK! It’s part of the hypnotic process. You do not have to be listening intently. In fact, if you drift off into what feels like a deep sleep that’s also good: it’s just your own way of relaxing!

DON’T listen to this whilst driving or operating any machinery, that would be highly dangerous!

NB. This program is NOT suitable for you if you have ever been diagnosed with depression or any other mental illness. This program is not suitable if you have suffered long-term neglect or abuse and have never worked with a therapist before.

For more tips and advice, please subscribe to my Stresshacker Podcast! 


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Episode page:  (let me know if this isn’t available on your favourite podcast app)

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Depression. How I Coped

Sorry I haven’t been in touch for ages…there is no excuse.

There was a bout of depression that nearly got me, but I will tell you about that later.

I have just returned from a holiday in Thailand that included bathing and feeding Elephants. Seeing the process of their “poo” being turned into paper.

Learning the secrets of Thai cooking at a cookery school in Chiang Mai. Then travelling further south to explore some of the islands and their beautiful beaches. Experiencing the healing effects of Thai massage.

Why would I now feel depressed?

I became very aware of the negative internal chatter in my mind. Part of me was imploring another part of me to stay upbeat. But I couldn’t. In fact, feelings of negativity had me sinking fast!

I was feeling depressed. Why?

Was it that my wonderful holiday was over? That I’m still grieving? Maybe I was just overwhelmed by my workload? Or perhaps it’s Brexit?

What soon became clear is that the WHY does not matter. Continually exploring the ‘whys’ only brings more negative thoughts to the surface. Changing my state became my priority and doing this quickly, my goal.

Here is what I did to fight the depression

The first and most important thing was to change the “internal chatter.”

At the risk of this sounding like a plug for one of my self-help downloads, I started to listen to Stress Free With Confidence. This is a hypnosis program I made almost thirty years ago. After just two days I noticed my thinking had changed quite dramatically and as a result, found myself smiling again.

My thoughts were brighter. When a negative thought arose it quickly switched to a positive one. The change was automatic and the good thoughts began to flow again.

More importantly was the shift in my feelings and I felt more upbeat.

This helped me to get moving.

Exercise helped me move forward and invigorated me. Walking activates the heart and lungs and changes the way you breathe. When you change the breath it will often change the way you think and feel. A couple of walks in my local park and surrounding streets really helped.

So did reaching out for support from loved ones and close friends whom I was able to share my feelings with. It’s so important, in fact essential, to reach out. Call someone. Talk about it.

Yoga always gives me the space to gain insight into my feelings and this awareness helps me to “catch” myself before I fall too far. I did a slightly longer practice each day.

Having re-booted the stress free programme in the back of my mind, I also started juicing again which boosted my energy.

I applied a great Ayurvedic treatment and gave myself a top-to-toe sesame oil massage before languishing in a bath. This felt nurturing and nourishing.

Sometimes just one small change can make a huge difference to the way you think and feel.

For example if your job requires sitting at a desk all day, get up regularly and move a round. Take the stairs rather than the lift where possible.

Every journey starts with one small step.

 

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Judging Ourselves and Others: How To Break The Habit

Pointing Finger of Judgement

Are You Sick Of Judging?

Judging ourselves and others can become a habit.

When Louisa was younger she used to love people watching with her sister when they were in the car. They would take it in turns to pick out a stranger who they would judge and criticise for something, each trying to out-do the other with insults.

When she was older Louisa felt more and more uncomfortable indulging in what had once felt like harmless fun.

She’d reasoned as a teenager that it didn’t hurt anyone because the strangers couldn’t hear them and it eased their boredom.

Years later however Louisa recognised that the discomfort she felt stemmed, not only from being mean to innocent strangers, but also because of what it told her about herself and her attitudes.

What our judgements say about us

If you can be unkind about a stranger, how mean are you to yourself? Do you spend a lot of  time criticising the way your friends and colleagues behave? Then you’re probably  harsh and critical about yourself.

Judging others means you’re judging yourself. When we point the finger of blame or judgment at another, you’ll notice three fingers pointing back at yourself. We levy a much heavier burden of judgment on ourselves when we judge others.

In life we tend to attract mirrors of ourselves, in our partners, friends and colleagues.

Look at the things in others that you like or dislike, love or hate, you’ll discover that they are aspects about yourself that you are not owning.

Consider the one thing that you find most abhorrent, something you believe you would NEVER do – be very careful, because you almost certainly house some aspect of that deep within your psyche!

So the next time your inner Judge starts pointing, be kinder to yourself and curl those fingers into a yoga mudra (gesture). Bring your thumb and index finger together and slowly repeat the words ‘I am peace, you are peace, there is peace’

Judging takes up a lot of psychic energy and takes us away from the here and now. Next time you catch yourself judging, distract your mind by singing the lyrics to a favourite tune.

Constant judgements mean that we are not accepting what is, which creates conflict and  creates mental turmoil.

Sack the Judge and treat yourself a to a mental holiday. Discover more peace and positivity when you retrain your brain with my positive thinking book and audio.

Enjoy!

 

 

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How Can I Make Changes In My Life?

Ever felt stuck in a rut ?How Can I Make Changes In My Life - The Stresshacker Blog

Making one simple change could be enough to boost your wellbeing

Wellbeing is said to be a state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. A measurement might be how contented you are from one day to the next with your life.

But have you ever had the thought “Oh no,  what am I doing, how have I ended up here again!”  You know, those times when you find yourself repeating negative behaviours and habits or when you just can’t seem to stop those repetitive, rubbish thought patterns that bring you down? Sound familiar?

The cause is usually down to old conditioning and programming, time for a software update perhaps?

The daft thing is, on our journey through life and at any given moment in time, we have an abundance of choices,  yet we still tread the same old path, trotting out the same old excuses that keep us feeling stuck.

Using the metaphor of a car to illustrate, imagine you drive a car through a field one day, carving out a set of tracks and then tomorrow you drive the car down the same tracks you would only have to do it a few times before  the car would automatically slot into the tracks because they’re there and it’s the path of least resistance.

How Can I Make Changes In My Life - The Stresshacker Blog
Robot

It’s the same with our thinking. It’s far easier to run the same old thoughts each morning rather than make the effort it takes to create new healthier thought pathways. Most people robotically repeat the same routines and patterns each day without even knowing why they are doing so.

This is like a weird amnesia in which we forget that of course it’s possible to change your mind.  You can choose a different thought. You can change a behaviour. You can choose a different course of action. There are always other pathways that can be carved out so that you can drive the car to a different destination.

If you fancy a boost to your wellbeing, here’s 5 steps to help;

  1. Think of it as waking up and becoming more present. Move into a space where you can observe the choices you’re making in each moment. Instead of allowing every thought and action to be generated by you at an unconscious level, learn to become a witness to your thoughts so that you can make decisions  more consciously.
  2. How? I hear you ask. Slow down! Slow your thoughts down, you can train yourself to do this by slowing your breathing down. Breathing is an unconscious activity, we don’t usually say “oh okay I’ll take a breath now” it happens automatically. We can have anything between 17’000 and 30’000 breaths a day, so naturally you cannot observe every breath or you’d go bonkers! However when we gradually become more conscious of our breathing, watching it, listening to it and feeling the simple rise and fall of the chest or diaphragm,  we can begin to slow it down. When our breath is slower our thoughts will also slow down leaving us with an improved sense of wellbeing.
  3. In this space of  feeling calmer and more in control, ask yourself “What will the consequences be if I make this choice? Will it make me feel happy and fulfilled? How will it affect others around me?”
  4. To get the answer,  listen within and sense the response from your body. Does it feel bright, light, expansive and uplifting? Or is there a sense of heaviness, darkness, tightness and gloom? Develop patience, stop hurrying everything and really tune in.
  5. Are you in touch with your gut instinct? Can you sense what your heart really wants. It’s easier to listen to your body’s wisdom for the answers because the mind carries programme after programme of early conditioning such as people pleasing, resisting, putting other’s first or constantly asking the opinion of others out of habit rather than trusting your own innate knowledge. Put simply, does this choice feel good or bad. Keep repeating this process until you arrive at the choices that sit more comfortably with you.

One of the quickest ways to update your mental and emotional software and create new positive programmes to boost your wellbeing, is the regular use of simple hypnotherapy programmes, check out the range of programmes on offer in my shop here.

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How To Lose Weight While You Eat?

Rather smugly I thought I had swerved all the colds and flu’s quite successfully this year but finally a bug got me! After a recent unpleasant chest infection it’s been a joy to rediscover my taste buds and the pleasure of mindful eating once again.

So, how do you lose weight while you eat?

Lose Weight While You Eat? Mindful Weightloss - The Stresshacker - Sue SmithMindful eating isn’t just for yoga retreats and it’s not restricted simply to the actual eating of a meal either. You can start mindful eating anytime. From the moment you plan your next meal to the shopping, selection and preparation of a dish. All of it can be done mindfully.

The reality is we can only think of one thing at a time and when we so-call multi-task, we’re really just diluting the other thing(s) that we’re aiming to do. So have a shot at being mindful of your next meal.

Mindful Eating… here’s how:

Slow down. Breathe and focus your attention inward for a moment and ask yourself

“What do I want, what do I need to eat that is healthy and will satisfy all my taste buds?” 

Keep repeating this question slowly to yourself until the answers begin to bubble up. You can also add… “that is easy and quick to prepare” or… “ that will give me lots of energy and vitality”

Trust your mind and what it knows.

At a deeper level your mind is processing millions of bits of information every second, you absolutely have some good quality answers to these pertinent questions so trust your mind and it will serve you well.  As the thoughts surface you might find it’s often the first two or three ideas that are the most helpful.

Shopping for food:

Aim to spend a few moments really looking at the produce, touch it if possible, check in and sense if you’re choosing well for yourself or are you making a hasty choice because you’ve left it until you’re hungry? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

When preparing the food:

Think of cooking something simple like an omelette, take a moment to feel the eggs between your fingers, notice how it feels to break the shells, observe the colour of the yolk. Now spend a moment thinking about the chicken that laid it and the people involved in the food chain that brought it to you.

Notice the movement of your hand as you whisk the eggs  catching air into the mixture and how it feels to slowly pour it into the pan. Can you see the moment when the colour change?  Watch how it slides out of the pan onto the plate. Catch the aroma in your nostrils and as you breathe it in, does it create a reaction in your mouth or your stomach?

This might sound a bit time consuming but the fact is you’re probably thinking something whilst you’re cooking anyway, so why not think about what you’re doing to the exclusion of all else?

You might just notice something of importance to you.  You might decide to buy different eggs next time because the yolk looked too pale for example and the source of your eggs might be something for you to re-consider.

Eat peacefully:

Finally, when actually eating your meal even if it’s a just a sandwich, aim to do so peacefully, eat in silence, free from distractions, so no radio, TV, phone or computer.  Smell your food and notice any physiological reactions, such as the increase of saliva in your mouth before you start eating. As you take the first mouthful how does your gut react?

This may sound laborious but it’s just different, it actually increases the pleasure of eating and the possibility of weight loss!

After a silent meal during one of my yoga days a student told me “I noticed how fast I was eating and slowed myself down, usually I would have eaten a lot more but strangely I felt as if I’d had enough to eat even before I’d finished!”

According to the World Health Organisation in 2016 almost 40% of men and women were overweight. Along with a plethora of other reasons mindless eating has to play a part in this epidemic. It’s probably no surprise to know that many people start losing weight when eating mindfully. Give it a go and share your story with us here at thestresshacker.com to inspire others.

We’ve given thestresshacker homepage a new look and as part of launching that we’re offering a 25% discount to the unique online course Mindful Weight Loss the code NEWYOU will only be active until 1st May 2020 so grab yours while it lasts.

Thanks for reading.