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Losing Weight With Gratitude

Losing Weight With Gratitude

    Whenever we think about losing weight, a deliberate practice of gratitude is definitely not at the top of our action plan. In fact, with our national obsession about calories and exercise, the notion about being grateful as a weight loss strategy might even sound ridiculous. Besides, you might think you don’t have much to be grateful for, anyway – especially when it comes to your body. But investing a few minutes each day in simply indulging in warm feelings of appreciation will definitely pay off, and here’s why.

    Complaining Leads To ‘Cheating’

    What we focus in on one aspect of our lives, we can get consumed by that small part of ourselves. If you spend your day thinking about how fat you are, how much you hate yourself and how deprived you feel by your current diet, then you will amplify those miserable feelings. Complaining will inevitably create even more circumstances to resist and despise.

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    When that moment of temptation comes – and it always does – it will be harder to resist the afternoon pastries and soft drinks because, after all, you’re having a really tough day. You deserve a reward and what could be more welcome than a rich and sugary treat?

    On the other hand, if you’ve deliberately noticed how many blessings are in your life right now, even before you’ve reached your perfect weight, you will feel less sorry for yourself and be more inclined to feel peaceful and happy. Feelings of serenity and quiet joy make it easier to brew a cup of tea rather than guzzle a high-calorie chocolate shake and a couple of cookies.

    Gratitude Causes Confidence

    When you’re grateful, you feel more confident. How can you not feel more confident about yourself when you’re focused on all the wonders in your life?

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    One of the enemies of serious efforts to make changes in our bodies is a feeling of discouragement, especially when we hit the dreaded “plateau” when nothing much seems to be happening. There is always an initial weight loss – and there is always a time when our body stops dropping weight so that it can adjust to new realities before it resumes the weight loss.

    This is an extremely dangerous time and it’s easy to say, “What’s the use?” and return to the habits that made us fat. If we feel grateful and confident it’s much easier to remain peaceful and to stick to our weight loss plan.

    A Grateful Person Is A Powerful Person

    Gratitude helps us to feel more powerful. When we notice how ‘right’ our life circumstances are, we feel more in control and less like a helpless victim.

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    “What Do I Possibly Have To Feel Grateful About?”

    You might wonder what in the world you can possibly find to be grateful about. But the truth is that your world is full of blessings, whether you notice them or not. Bottom line: ingratitude is a habit and any habit can be changed. Here’s a question to consider:

    “If I wanted to be grateful about something, what would it be?”

    Begin with the very body that you want so desperately to change:

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    * If you wanted to, could you notice that you have a beautiful complexion?
    * If you wanted to, could you be aware that you have very thick hair that many people would love to have?
    * If you wanted to, could you be appreciative of your heart, your lungs, your liver, your kidneys and all the other organs that work so tirelessly to keep you alive?
    * If you wanted to, could you be grateful for your hands that perform so many necessary tasks?
    * If you wanted to, could you notice that you haven’t been sick in the last year?
    * If you wanted to, could you be grateful for your excellent hearing and vision?

    Five Minutes Every Once In A While Is A Useless Weight Loss Strategy

    A two minute “gratitude session” today is great, but it’s consistent effort that will pay huge dividends. There is nothing unpleasant about feeling grateful – in fact, it’s just the opposite. So find a way to remind yourself to spend a few minutes every day simply noticing the countless blessings in your life.

    The “Secret Sauce” For Gratitude Power

    Here is the most powerful ‘secret’ in harnessing gratitude power for weight loss: you absolutely MUST make your gratitude emotional, rather than rational. When brave Christopher Reeves was alive, I felt extremely grateful for my healthy legs and spine that could carry me wherever I wanted to go, rather than being paralyzed as he was. No matter how unattractive you may feel, there are always many people who are worse off than you. All you need to do is notice and feel genuine appreciation for how fortunate you are.

    So, yes, carefully read some diet reviews and choose an exercise plan that works for you. But don’t neglect an experiment in gratitude and discover for yourself that this simple practice will empower your weight loss efforts much more than attention to food and exercise alone can ever do.

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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