Tag: listening to your body

When it Comes to Happiness, How Often is Often Enough?

How long do you truly stay happy for after you achieve a goal or something great happens to you? A few days; a few months? Then what happens? Probably routine sets back in, you become bored and set new goals. And this continues and is the cycle of life. The truth is we wouldn’t really know we were happy if we were never unhappy, so happiness cannot actually last forever or it would cease to exist. But the true opposite of happiness is not complacency or striving, it is sadness. And sadness is not something we can avoid. People are always going to be coming in and out of our lives and parting tends to brings sadness (especially when it is through death). So shouldn’t we be able to be happy at any point we are not sad? Except maybe for people currently experiencing depression, that would be a lot of happiness! So why aren’t we happy that often?

Is part of you afraid to be too happy? I think many of us believe that we need to be unhappy in order to grow and pursue our goals. That we wouldn’t have any drive if we weren’t striving for happiness. What if those are limiting beliefs and you don’t need an unending amount of will power to pursue growth while you are happy? I’m not talking about head over heals just fallen in love happiness, but a deep contentment and comfort with who you are and where you are in your life.

I believe that when we are truly happy with our life right now, it is actually easier to make our goals a reality. When we are content with things as they are, we let go of our fears and anxieties about the future. We will simply enjoy our lives, as is, even if nothing ever changes. We accept where we are with gratitude and still have dreams for the future. When we are in this calm, relaxed state, we attract positive things to ourselves because we have stopped getting in our own way. We can see the opportunities that present themselves to us because we are focused on the present instead of the future.

The truth is we don’t need to accomplish everything we have ever wanted to be happy now. We all have something in our lives that makes us happy, even if it is only briefly. It could be hugging or kissing a family member, or even petting a pet. Or perhaps just enjoying a glass of wine while you watch your favorite TV show. Sure, we all have frustrating moments and I am not advising that you fight against these negative emotions when they arise, but simply acknowledge them, determine if they are there to teach you something and let them go. As soon as the event is over, it is in the past, and our goal is focusing on the present. True happiness can never be achieved by living in the past, even if you were happy then. Because if you are not feeling happy now, it is just a reminder of how unpleasant you find your current situation. When we focus on happiness we had in the past, we are harping on something we have lost and have trouble moving forward.

Experiencing happiness in the present could even be a tool for weight loss. If you can find a way to be happy with your body the way it is (which EFT can help with), you will love your body and work with it instead of trying to punish it for being overweight. If we can accept our body now, we will start to listen to its needs and discover a weight loss technique that works for us. Think about it. The reason there are so many different diets and exercise routines out there is that everyone’s body is different. So how do we know which one is right for us? We have to learn to listen to our body; but it is very difficult to listen to someone you don’t respect.

Your body gives you messages every day of hunger or exhaustion. Are you truly listening without judgment? Even when your body tells you it wants carbs, while you are on a low-carb diet? Probably not, because we are told we need to learn to ignore our cravings in order to lose weight. So we stop trusting our body and start ignoring it all the time. But it just might be possible that the diet is wrong for us, instead of our body’s craving. As long as you practice moderation when fulfilling that craving. Imagine how much happier you would feel overall if you were happier with your body.

How amazing would it be to be happy 90% of the time; or even 50% of the time? So what’s stopping you? Wishing you love and light and happiness.

Could Stress be Behind Your Weight Loss Failures?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I can do everything right, eat healthy, portion control, go to the gym three times a week, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I have been interval training several times a week for over a year now and I have only lost six pounds. I eat a lot of fish, vegetables and whole grains, try to limit my carbs and never indulge in seconds, but none of it seems to matter. How can this be?

I went to the gym today to do my interval training and decided I was going to take it a little easier just to be on the safe side. I recently had the flu, which I think is usually a sign from your body that you need to slow down. Yesterday, I woke up with a lot of neck and back pain, which had improved today, but was far from gone. And I happened to read my horoscope for the day which said to be careful not to hurt yourself from too much physical activity. I took these things as a sign and let my body dictate how fast it wanted to go during the intense periods of the interval training.

When I was done, I realized how good I felt when I didn’t push my body to the breaking point. Then I realized how stressed I must normally be when I am forcing myself to keep going at the max speed possible. How my body yells at me that it is sore and tired and needs to stop and I tell it to keep going. If just activating the stress chemicals in our body can stimulate the fight or flight response of running from a predator, how much worse it must be when you are actually RUNNING and not allowing yourself to stop! It probably convinces your body you are in immediate danger and not just wary of a possible threat.

When we exercise because we want to get healthy or want to lose weight and are not just doing it out of sheer love and desire, it can be rather stressful. But we are told that we must force ourselves to do it and persevere. So when our body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, we remind ourselves that it is “mind over matter”, but what we really mean is “mind over body” and we want to prove that our brain is in charge and we have enough will power to push our body to continue.

Meanwhile, I wonder how with all of this exercise, my belly fat just will not go down. Probably because of all of the cortisol resulting from the stress of the exercise itself! I’m not saying that the answer is to stop going to the gym. But maybe if I allow my body to dictate how fast is fast enough, instead of just pushing it as far as it will go, time after time, I just might start seeing a better result.

With all that stress from simply exercising, image how much more stress dieting must cause. We all know that panicky feeling when our stomach starts growling and we don’t have immediate access to food. Our survival instincts kick in. Which obviously, is no way to live. But even if you are not on a starvation diet and don’t experience that constantly, it’s stressful if you do not allow yourself to eat what you want. You resist that donut at work and then stress so much about not eating it, that you might as well have just eaten it. Because all of that cortisol has now flooded your body and is at work creating more body fat.

I think EFT can be helpful for these things, as well. When I was reflecting on how much stress I was putting on my body all of the time with the interval training, I had a memory flash from my childhood. I pictured how awful it was when I had to run in a race on “field day” each year. Forget about always being last, but it took all of my strength even just to finish. My side would feel like someone was stabbing me and my legs wouldn’t want to move anymore, but the teachers would make me go the whole distance. There was nothing I hated more than running. And now I am voluntarily running on an elliptical, pushing myself to the limit. No wonder my stress is high and I can’t seem to rid myself of my belly fat. I will definitely have to do some “tapping” on those childhood experiences.