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Eating For Energy Or For Stress Relief?

Eating For Energy Or For Stress Relief?
Tibetan Food

About a year ago I had a major shift in the way I thought about eating, and it has improved my health ever since.

The way I used to eat: I associated unhealthy food with pleasure, and healthy foods with pain.

I would think about that burger, fries, and milkshake all day. About how juicy and tasty it would be, how satisfied I would be afterwards, and how good it make me feel.

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Isn’t this what most people do? They ‘reward’ themselves with chocolate cake when they have ‘been good’ or ‘deserve a break’, where the salad feels like punishment.
Sometimes after an especially hard day at work, when I was stressed out and exhausted, I would reward myself with some junk food. In a sense, I was using food like medication. The food was a drug I took to relieve stress!

That’s the fundamental problem. If you associate unhealthy foods with pleasure and healthy foods with pain, then eating right will always be difficult. Mentally, you are telling yourself that eating healthy food is a burden and hard to do, so what do you expect? Eventually, you will lose that battle of will power.

But then one day I was watching a Tony Robbins video, and he helped me make this shift in thinking…

The way I eat now: I associate unhealthy food with pain and healthy food with pleasure.

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Have you ever noticed that after gorging yourself on that burger, fries, and shake…you feel a little bit tired? Have you ever had indigestion, and felt like a brick was lodged in your stomach?

These are the sort of feelings you can begin to associate with unhealthy food.

Tony Robbins took it a step further. He asked you to vividly imagine your heart and arteries being clogged, and showed you graphic images to imprint it in your brain.

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Warning, clicking the links below can be disturbing if you have a weak stomach!

The next time you are thinking about eating that slice of pizza, with all the oil and fat dripping off of it, picture your arteries filling up with that fat like this. Picture a surgeon having to cut open your chest and putting a stint in your heart so that the blood can keep flowing. Try to find a picture that actually makes you feel a little bit sick.

If you vividly imagine these things, you can train yourself to actually feel pain (in the form of nausea or disgust) at the idea of eating unhealthy foods.

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Similarly, you can train yourself to associate positive images with healthy food. Imagine yourself with tons of energy, ready to take on the world, and achieving high levels of productivity (making more money).

Start to think of your body like it was a super-sonic airplane that you fill with high-energy jet fuel. You wouldn’t pour sugar in the gas tank of such a marvelous machine, so why put it into your body?

Use whatever is motivating to you in particular and train yourself to recall that image any time you need it. Eventually, just bringing up that picture in your mind can cause the same emotions to flood your body. This will help you make the right decisions when eating.

Instead of using food to make you feel better, use it as a way to get energy, and you’ll see dramatic changes in your health over time!

Brian Armstrong is an entrepreneur who achieved financial freedom working for himself by age 23. You can learn how to start your own business, transition out of the 9-to-5 rat race, and get other life-hack tips on his website.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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