3 Ways Our Physical And Mental Clutter Affect Our Health

1. Stress is a number one factor in your health. If you are stressed, your body will put mechanisms in place to keep your body safe. It will hold onto fat, increase cortisol, decrease nutrient absorption, increase inflammation and mess with metabolism. Your body cannot differentiate you in a life threatening situation or you worrying about your weight. Any stress gives your body the same biological response. So whether you are stressed about loosing 5 pounds or your laundry is trickling down your hallway, its going to affect your health in more ways than you probably think.

77% of people experience physical symptoms that are caused by stress. 

2. Safety, Belonging and Love are basic human needs. Most often these needs are met at home. If we walk into our home looking for relaxation, safety, a sense of peace, calm and love and instead we find clutter, chaos, laundry, messes, and overwhelm, we will quickly start feeling stressed and anxious, often causing an internal self sabotage in the way we eat, exercise or feel about ourselves. Ever heard of stress eating? Ever feel overwhelmed or like something isn't going perfect in one area of your life so you just "give up" on doing anything positive? This will directly affect our health and happiness. If we can create a safe, relaxing and welcoming environment, we will suddenly feel like we have room to breathe, it will dramatically change our well-being and put us in a more relaxed, stress free space, and fill us with positive vibes that will spill over to how we internally feel.  

3. Relaxation is a huge factor in relieving stress. If you spend all day working a stressful job, then you have kids and a family to care for, make dinner, do laundry, run errands and a million other things to do, plus get your workout in, make sure you are eating right and still obsessing over that pint of ice cream you ate last night, you are in a state of chronic stress. This alone will cause your body to physically feel stressed. Then you walk into your cluttered house and you feel overwhelmed and stress immediately rises, causing your body to cause more stress induced physical symptoms. You MUST have a place in your house where you can relax, breathe and take care of yourself. An inviting space that doesn't feel overwhelming or stressful. This will then allow you to SLOW DOWN. A crucial part to improving health. 

Stress relief is a skill that you must learn in order to live Healthy & Happy life. 

Finding Your Hunger and Fullness

The Hunger Scale is a general guideline when beginning intuitive eating. The goal is to start to recognize your natural hunger signals and honoring them. You want to begin thinking about eating at a 4. The lower you get from a 4, you'll start to feel more ravenous and eat in a rushed desperation. Eat slowly and finish when you get to a 7. Over a 7 is when you'll start to feel full and uncomfortable. **Remember this is a learning experiment. There is no shame, guilt, do-over, disappointment or failing with this. Sometimes you'll want to eat over a 7. That's ok. Sometimes life happens and you get below a 4. That's ok too. If you have a long history of dieting, this takes time and even some coaching and support. 

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Comparison is the thief of Joy. 3 ways to stop the comparison trap

1. Don't Compare your Insides to someone's Outsides.

This is very easy to do. We often scroll through social media or people watch when we go out. We immediately get engrossed in wishing we had what they had or looked how they look. But the truth is, we have no idea what their feelings are. We have no idea what got them to the place they are and we have no idea if they are truly happy. Chances are they are doing the exact same thing you are and wishing for something else. For example: Lets say, you see a woman at a party who is just beautiful, she is skinny yet toned and she's eating a piece of cake. "God I wish I looked like her and could eat whatever I want".  That woman's story is: she is completely obsessed with counting calories, she spends most of her day over exercising and hates every minute of it.  She usually has to avoid social situations for fear of certain foods and she has been anxious all day and hasn't eaten a thing because she knew she'd have to eat a piece of cake because her husband confronted her about being to obsessed with clean eating. Her marriage has lost its lust and she has no self esteem.

If you knew all that, you probably wouldn't trade your life for hers just to look like her.  

2. Be Grateful for what you have

Ya, ya we've heard this before. I know I'm lucky because I have an awesome family and I'm financially stable, etc. But dig deeper. You have shelter, you live in a place where food is of abundance. You are safe. You have a working body. You have choices, you have freedom. You have sight and hearing. You are able to experience the world. You can eat and drink on your own. You have friends, you have people who love you. Be grateful you are alive. Be grateful for all the small things that we very easily take for granted because the truth is, we don't know if it could be taken away at any minute. There are plenty of people in the world who just wish they had one day of those small things. 

3. Admiration and Envy show us what we value the most.

When you start comparing, ask yourself what it is that attracts you to that person. What value do you think they bring to the world that you don't? How can I bring that same value into my life. What can you learn about yourself through that person. If you admire their confidence, then start building up yours. If you think they have the perfect body type, ask yourself why you think its perfect and what would change in your life if you looked like that. Use the person in comparison as a mirror into how you can add those same qualities into your life without changing who you are.

Tips For Building A Better Body Image:

Building a better body image and working on self & body acceptance is just like working a muscle. If you want it to get stronger, then take care of it, pay attention and put the work in.

  1. Filter your social media. Too many times we are following people who “trigger” our negative thoughts. Whether someone posts a picture and we start comparing our body to theirs or they say something promoting diets or weight loss or those awful before and after transformation pictures. Sometimes we forget that we can literally unfollow people and then fill our feed with body positive profiles and messages. Even if you have to unfollow a friend, you can kindly explain that you don’t want to hurt their feelings but you are on a body positive journey and you need to block some things that are triggering and right now you have to #doyou. Believe me, your true friends will understand. Follow profiles of people in similar or larger bodies as you. Fill your eyes with different images then our Diet culture provides.
  2. Accept the things that you can. Maybe you have bigger legs then you’d like or your stomach isn’t as flat as you’d like. We all have these thoughts.. and when they come up, you can catch them. Stop. And change your train of thought. Tell yourself, my legs may be bigger, but they can function. Wouldn’t it be worse if I couldn’t walk? Or my stomach may not be what I want it to be, but I can put my hand on it and remind myself that I am breathing and am literally able to enjoy life. Or it gave me beautiful kids that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
  3. Appreciate where you came from. Think about your mom, aunts, grandmothers, cousins.. what body shape do they have? Is yours similar? We all have different and unique genes and family lineage. So it’s nearly impossible to look at a celebrity, or friend or any other image of a woman and wish we looked like them. Think about the people and family traits that make you unique and start to appreciate that!
  4. Wear Clothes that you feel good in. We all have that one dress, that one pair of jeans that when we look in the mirror, we think damn girl, lookin' good. And if you don't, go out and buy one or two items that you feel good in. If you are having a bad body image day, pull those clothes out, put them on, fix your hair or makeup and feel good however you can. carry yourself with confidence and you will start to believe it. This is one place that Fake it till you make it can really help.