Summer Barbecues and – Stress Eating?

Summer is here after a long, grueling winter! For many of us, that might mean the chance to hit the beach, enjoy pool outings, and even summer barbecues with our friends! For many of us, that might feel like the toll of the long winter months might be there for all to see.

In fact, for many who rate “stress” or “emotional” eating as a struggle, the summer can feel like a downer! It might even feel like a double hit because you *want* to be enjoying your sunshine months and joining in on the fun but feel uncomfortable and even out of control with your eating habits. And then as it upsets you more, you might find yourself even reaching yet again for those comfort foods.

The cycle of stress eating CAN be stopped. My latest workshop was created out of this very struggle that I hear people go through every single day. The Food and Your Mood workshopcan help you get back on track —

You’ll learn

+how to end the cycle of stress eating and guilt

+create a more balanced relationship with food

+tune in to your body so you know WHAT you’re hungry FOR

+how food affects your body and mood

+WHAT to do to navigate the endless cycle of emotional eating

Enrollment is by application only. Be sure to get started on the application HERE so you can get access to the registration steps in this life changing workshop!

Your investment in yourself this summer can give you the opportunity to get yourself out there again to enjoy your life – whether it’s feeling your best at your neighbor’s pool party or hosting your own summer barbecue! Food cravings don’t have to stop you from celebrating our sunshine!

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTubepages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

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What Good Are Emotions?

You might have been feeling like your thoughts are running a mile a minute. Maybe you’ve even had an overwhelming sense that you can’t calm down. This overwhelming sense might make you feel like you really can’t help but just push your feelings aside and keep muscling through. Next thing you know, you find yourself numb, going through the motions, or like you’re just a bundle of raw nerves, frought with anxiety!

This might be just the time when you reach for that extra serving of your favorite “comfort food” or notice that you’ve not only eaten more of that bag of potato chips than you planned to – but that you’ve eaten the whole bag!

If this sounds like something you’ve encountered, you might have found yourself getting nervous at the thought of navigating emotions. You might have even wondered what that even means or what it would look like.  In fact, not only have many of the participants in my Mindfulness Matters group shared this cycle as one of the biggest obstacles they’ve had to shaking difficult feelings and building what they want in their lives, but it will be an important aspect of the upcoming Food and Your Mood Workshop.

Here’s the thing…

Emotions get a bad rap. They often leave us feeling overwhelmed, out of control, or even at their mercy. Yet, they really serve to protect and HELP us. We just need to learn to uncover their messages so that we can benefit from them. That way, we can not only tune in to our emotions to help us make decisions, but we can feel back in control and settled into ourselves.

So, let’s explore the question of what purpose emotions serve:

  • Emotions provide us with a signal that something is happening (e.g., “I feel nervous standing alone in this dark alley”).
  • Whether you realize it or not, your emotions— expressed by words, face, or body language— influence how other people respond to you.
  • Emotions save time in getting us to act in important situations. Our nervous system activates us (e.g., we instantly jump out of the way of an oncoming car). We don’t have to think everything through.
  • Strong emotions can help us overcome obstacles— in our mind and in the environment.

I encourage you to pick out an emotion this week that leaves you a bit frazzled – but just a bit because we want to first practice! Once you’ve identified an emotion, see if you can draw upon these four objectives and identify the way that this emotion might be trying to benefit you!

What did you notice about your feelings going through this activity? Leave a comment and share with me!

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTubepages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

How To Manage Overwhelming Emotions

For many of us, our mind is running on overdrive with a million thoughts a minute. Sometimes, we might even feel like we are constantly bracing ourselves for the next “hit” or that other shoe to drop. We might even try to slow down and catch our breath… but feel like we are just too overladen with overwhelming feelings to settle down. In fact, many of the participants in my Mindfulness Matters group have shared this cycle as one of the biggest obstacles they’ve had to shaking difficult feelings and building what they want in their lives.

Here’s the thing…

We CAN learn to quiet those incessant, overwhelming emotions so that we can feel more in control and get to the things that enervate us in our lives. While we may not be able to shuffle the situations we find ourselves in, we CAN learn to detach from the difficult, overwhelming feelings that paralyze us.

One exercise that can help with detaching from overwhelming or negative feelings is the “leaves on a stream” exercise.

Here are simple instructions:

Imagine you are sitting in the middle of a stream. The water is flowing away in front of you.

Notice if there is any sound from the running water. Notice if there are any trees on the banks of the stream.

Now see leaves floating down the stream away from you. They can be any shape, color, or size. As the negative thoughts come into your mind, be aware of what the thought is, and then place it on a leaf.

Now watch it float away down the stream. Do this with each thought as you notice it.

As you acknowledge each of your thoughts, you do not need to hang onto them. There is no need to become attached to the thought. Just acknowledge it and then place it on a leaf.

By watching it float away, it loses its hold on you and its intensity.

What did you discover going through this activity? Comment below and share with me!

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTubepages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

Do You Have an Inner Critic Berating You?

Give Yourself Permission to Show Up Fully In Your Life!

In my practice, I see many people in the office who struggle with depression and low self-esteem who also want to get “perfect” work evaluations and be liked by everyone.

They have the idea that keeping up the image of perfection on the outside will give them the validation and praise they need to feel good on the inside. But what happens is that this positive acknowledgement is being poured into a leaky cup.

And it’s never enough.

And the very concept of relying on outside sources to fuel inner confidence becomes dangerous because then any perceived criticism or rejection becomes one hundred times more harmful.

And then they start to feel like they’re falling apart.

You CAN quiet your inner critic!

One of the first tasks we work on in my Mindfulness groups is showing participants how to recognize their self-judgments and inner critic. I use concrete and creative techniques to teach members how to recognize these judgements as a story they’ve been telling themselves that’s untrue and unhelpful.

Then, we work on practical skills to challenge these judgements and rewrite the story as a more accurate and empowered one to create confidence and improve self-esteem so that they leave the office feeling better about themselves than when they walked through the door.

And they’ve let someone see behind the mask and help them, which is critical to the healing process.

How can you begin to notice and shift judgments to improve self-esteem?

There are three steps to helping improve your confidence by practicing a non-judgemental stance:

Notice self-judgments. Gently point out to yourself that statement like “I’m a failure” or “I’m an imposter” is a judgment and not a fact. Perhaps ask yourself: “Is that true or is it a judgment?” Just notice it and let it go. Don’t judge yourself for judging – this is a natural thing and you are learning how to change it.

Encourage yourself to track judgments. In my Mindfulness groups, we use a “judgment jar” and move a marble into the jar anytime we notice ourselves or each other using a judgment. Invite yourself and perhaps even your loved ones to count or track judgments to recognize how much they are coming up for you during the day. The very act of noticing is promoting Mindfulness and will automatically help you shift from judgemental to more aware and compassionate.

Restate your judgments in a factual way. When you evaluate people, emotions, or things as good or bad, restate them as facts when you repeat them back to yourself. For example, if you say “She looked so ridiculous at work today,” you might rephrase this as “She had a different style than I do.” Describe what you see without placing opinions or emotions in the observations.

Learning to take a look at ourselves and tune into our inner critic and learning how to be non-judgemental CAN be hard. And it takes time to learn how to be self-compassionate.

Start practicing today and begin to build up your non-judgemental and self-compassionate muscles because they are SO worth it… and you will believe that too! It is one of the reasons we begin this skill so early in our Mindfulness groups!

P.S. Groups are an amazing way to lean how to express oursevles and understand that we are not alone. The Mindfulness Matters Group will run on Tuesdays from 5:30pm t0 6:30pm beginning on July 11th and running through September 26th.

If this group looks like a good fit for you, contact me for more details.

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!