By helping others you’re helping yourself

This week I was enjoying a mid-morning break in the sun and as I sat there sipping my tea I started thinking about how to refocus on your own needs amid the uncertainty we are experiencing at this time. 

It’s easy to focus on what’s happening around us, and when your attention is drawn to worrisome events that are completely outside of your control, it’s normal to feel anxious. 

The level of anxiety that you experience is directly related to your perception of the gap between the level of control you want/need and the amount of control you perceive you have. This is why recent world events have created so much anxiety. 

For the past two plus years we have lived daily with news broadcasts that have eroded our sense of security beyond what most of us have previously experienced. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon. 

On-going or repetitive anxiety puts your physical, mental and emotional health at risk. And where focus goes, energy flows. If your mind is always filled with troubled thoughts, your body will produce stress hormones that erode your health and undermine your weight loss intentions.  

This is why weight gain is so common during times of stress. 

If your external world is not able to change, you must focus on the things you can influence – your thoughts, feelings and actions. The adage ‘If it’s going to be, it’s up to me,’ definitely applies here. 

Are you willing to develop the self mastery that will enable you to live a life that’s healthier and happier? I am not implying that this is always easy, but the truth is, it’s a more rewarding way to live, and you are the only one who can make this happen. 
Here are 7 easy things that can make quite a difference

Develop a daily mindfulness routine incorporating some time in nature.

Join us online at our regular interactive tutorials and discover effective mind/body skills and easy stress busting techniques.

Team up with a friend who has similar goals and help each other to stay accountable to your new habits.

Take a break from watching/reading the news. I mean it! If it’s super important someone will tell you about it. Most news broadcasts are designed to scare or shock you. Stats show that the more sensational or scary the higher the viewing rates, which means advertisers will pay more to advertise. Go figure!

Build enjoyable exercise into your lifestyle – it must be enjoyable if it’s to reduce stress!

Occupy your mind with positive projects that make a difference to your life, focusing on what you can change – your health, your diet, your lifestyle. Harness all that nervous energy and put it to good use. 

But the remedy that is most often overlooked and (in my opinion) is often the most effective is:

Volunteer to help someone else.

When you become genuinely aware of the needs of others your own desire to control outcomes becomes less imperative. When you lend a helping hand, offer a supportive shoulder, pass on handy tips, or share words of encouragement, you make someone else’s world a little brighter, and a funny thing happens. 
While you’re thinking about someone else’s needs instead of focusing on your own worries, your hormonal system gets a much needed break. And while your stress hormones are resting, your parasympathetic nervous system sends healing messages to the 30 trillion cells in your amazing body. It’s pure magic! By making someone else’s life brighter, you become healthier and happier too.