We are up to the third week, out of 6, in our Spring Cleaning for Body, Mind & Soul! This week we are focusing on Stress Management. There are a ton of ways to manage stress, but I’m going to narrow it down and give you just one suggestion, broken down into steps.

The thing is, we are unique creatures and while stress is a normal part of life, how we manage it successfully will vary from person to person. Some people run, some do yoga, some listen to music, call friends, meditate, go for a walk in nature, a mix of some of the above, or something else entirely.

If you do not find a way to process your stress in a healthy way, it will eat you up. What ends up happening is that when we don’t have a successful way to manage it, we try to hide from it. In other words, we try to numb ourselves so the effects won’t be as devastating. You can overdose on pretty much anything in an attempt to numb yourself out, and the result is that you end up feeling more stressed and feel you have to numb yourself even more to avoid the stressful feelings. Click the image below to watch this week’s video:

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Some ways that we numb ourselves out are  alcohol & drugs, which are the obvious ones. But you can also overdose on sleeping, eating, shopping, tv, sex, mindless internet surfing, video games, and even exercise. We do these things in excess because they do help us to temporarily escape from our feelings. However, when we land back in reality, we hit HARD, which results in having to go back into our numbing cycle a little further than the last time. It’s a downward spiral that can result in all sorts of damage that manifests itself anywhere from depression to cancer.

You can avoid this downward spiral that affects your body, mind and soul in  a negative way, by figuring out how to process your stress in a healthy way.

Last week we talked about spring cleaning your body, and the suggestions I gave are great for processing stress, but I am going to take it one step further and give you something to really sink your teeth into.

Let’s look at your goals. If you don’t have any, then it’s time to come up with one. Having a goal, taking action towards that goal, and then achieving it is a universal empowerment tool that will energize your life and build your confidence and enjoyment of your life overall. You can’t go wrong! Here’s how to set your goal and find your stress management process…

1- Your goal, to start with, should be something you believe you can do but also require that you push a little bit out of your comfort zone. It can be in any area of your life: finances, career, health, fitness, relationships, love, spiritual connection, community, anything! It can be something you consider easy, or it can be challenging. If you’ve been meaning to call the steam cleaners or go get a free trial membership at the gym down the street, make that your goal. If you are too caught up in your own drama, then make your goal something that focuses on helping others, like volunteering at a soup kitchen.

2- Once you have your goal, set a deadline for achieving the goal. Write it down. It should look something like this: “By June 16th I will have accomplished 30 straight days of doing 20 push ups a day”, or whatever your goal is.

3- If you have a larger goal that requires a few more steps, then it’s time to plan out the steps. For example, if your goal is “By September 29th, I will have a new website”, then you need to figure out what the first step is towards achieving that goal. Finding a web designer would be my suggestion- so that’s your mini goal. Write it down. You won’t know all the steps right away, so just focus on the first step. Once you take action and make that first move, the next step will show it’s face. You gotta have faith…

4- Whether your goal is big or small, once you have your completion date and steps planned, you need to actually take ACTION! You will feel some resistance, and perhaps you will want to numb out and escape with your vice of choice. Picture how you will feel if you don’t follow through. Now picture how you will feel once you have followed through and succeeded. Which picture looks better? If your goal is too big, go back and create a smaller more achievable one. Every little bit counts and will make you feel great. Now GO for it!!

If you missed Week’s 1 and 2 of the Spring Cleaning for Your Body, Mind & Soul Series:

Click HERE for Week 1: Diet

Click HERE for Week 2: Body

Have fun with this!!

Your Fitness Coach,

Miranda