How to Manage your Emotions- An Excerpt from All Inclusive Diet
In this show, we explore health, fitness, nutrition, lifestyle and more importantly – YOUR FEELINGS!
Now, why do we need to explore our emotions in order to better ourselves and our lifestyles? Why can’t we just learn more about the science of food and fitness?
Listen to this Podcast
In this show, we explore Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Lifestyle and more importantly – YOU!!
That’s where I’m going to be taking you today as we explore our psychology and how that translates into the lifestyles we live.
Now, why do we need to explore ourselves to better ourselves and our lifestyles? Why can’t we just learn more about the science of food and fitness? Well, let’s face it, many times it wasn’t our bodies that let us down when we’re trying to make changes in our lifestyle, it was the thing that rests on our shoulders, our brain that makes all of our decisions, but our decisions are based on our emotions.
As a former competitive bodybuilder and health professional, I know plenty about food and fitness, but yet I still ended up with a disastrous lifestyle and health problem.
That’s why I wrote a chapter about emotional health in my book the All Inclusive Diet.
It’s one of what I call the five lifestyle facets and arguably, the most important one to be aware of, manage and balance.
Self-exploration, self-discovery, leading to more self-awareness and as my spiritual mentor sometimes says, just getting your head out of your butt, is a lifelong process similar to exploring space, there never seems to be an end.
Through exploring, you discover something that leads you to something else and so on and so on.
It’s not the easiest journey, but its one that I’ve never regretted starting.
In this episode, I’m going to share an excerpt from the chapter on the Emotional Facet of my book the All Inclusive Diet.
Thank-you for those that have read and rated this book on Amazon and helped it hit the #1 bestseller on Amazon.
While supplies last you can get it for free. I bought the book for you all you have to do is pay $4.97 for shipping and handling, and I will have it delivered to you within 7-10 days.
Go to www.krisjsimpson.com/books to pick up your free copy.
So listen now – hope you love it – if you do, please like, comment and share it.
On a final note, as my mentor told me when I was facing and overcame my life’s biggest challenges…
“Have the courage to take care of yourself, and everything else will take care of itself.”
Inspire to aspire,
Author & Life Coach
Like this episode? Please subscribe and share it! My blog, videos, and podcast are ad-free ONLY because you share my work!
“Awareness is getting out of the dark, shedding light, seeking truth and removing denial. It is the way out of Fear and the way into Freedom.”
It had been a little over three months since I had started coaching Josephine and things were going extremely well. She had already lost 25 of the 50 pounds that she wanted to lose and was now at the halfway mark, she informed me that she didn’t feel like she was dieting, and in fact, she loved her new lifestyle. It belts normal to her, and she imagined she could live this way permanently.
We were working on making small, but steady modifications in each of Josephine’s 5-Facets and they were beginning to compound into some incredible results. She had more awareness of her food choices, and she was no longer overeating. She was including an abundance of whole foods versus processed foods and her relationship with food was a harmonizing one. Her activity levels increased significantly as she was walking regularly. She was learning to relax by taking frequent work breaks, which included leaving the office for lunch instead of staying at the office. Her sleep had improved dramatically, and she was less stressed overall.
Although things were going really well up until this point, Josephine realized there were issues in her marriage. These issues were always there, but she had turned a blind eye toward them. She chose to suppress them for many years because she wasn’t able to deal with them. As much as she wanted these martial issues to disappear magically, Josephine knew she could no longer stay in the marriage. Within a few weeks, she and her husband decided it was best to go their separate ways. This was when the storm started, and it nearly destroyed Josephine emotionally.
Josephine went through waves of emotions as she went through her separation. She experienced a combination of anger, anxiety, hurt pride, envy, resentment, and depression. I recognized how her emotional imbalance affected the balance of her other facets. As I tracked her nutrition, activity, and sleep, I could see that she was over-eating, under-sleeping and had stopped exercising entirely. Her whole life seemed to be out of balance.
This chronic emotional disturbance was slowly destroying Josephine and all that she had accomplished over the last few months. She gained 10 pounds in only a month, and I believed it was only going to spiral into further mayhem if we didn’t discuss ways for her to move forward during this difficult time. I decided it was best to have a meaningful conversation.
I observed how Josephine seemed to lose herself in the emotional experience of her marriage ending. I had also gone through a similar experience, so I had a lot of empathy for her. I had taken a different approach to managing and balancing my emotions during my marriage breakup and this would be a life lesson that I would be able to share with Josephine.
I expressed to Josephine that there was only one way out, and that was to get into the eye of this emotional storm. She was confused as to what I meant, but I told her that there was the only way to find shelter and protection when the emotional storm engulfs us.
I voiced to Josephine the importance of being balanced and grounded during this emotional tempest via self-care practices. I told her that this was not the time to drown herself in her emotions. It was time for her to do something for herself. As hard as I knew that would be, I explained to her that she would need to focus on herself to feel strong and stable enough to push through this emotional storm.
This methodology would require her to invest even more into herself than she did in the past. She spent all of her time and energy worrying which left her feeling undeniably exhausted. Josephine and I worked out plans for each of her 5-Facets to get her back on track. She allowed herself time to deal with the marriage breakup, but she did not allow herself to waste time dwelling on it. She was too busy taking care of herself to be drawn into the incessant worry and insecurity that comes with not knowing what the future holds.
Josephine had a lot of pent-up anger, so we designed an exercise program that allowed her to routinely relieve her frustrations through her workouts. Although she felt resentment toward her ex-husband, we shifted her focus toward gratitude practices. These practices were incorporated into her morning rituals so she would start each day on a positive note.
The centering and calming practice that worked best to balance her emotions were the 3-minute breathing exercise that she would practice three times a day and would always resort to if she got emotionally triggered at any point of the day.
Of course, there were challenging episodes that ensued as she went through an extensive and treacherous separation process and a plethora of triggers that caused emotional upheaval. When these problems arose, I encouraged her to find answers to the cause of these triggers.
During our coaching calls, I noticed that if I brought her back to present, she could find liberation from all the fear-based emotions she was suffering from. I would continuously ask Josephine to bring her attention back to herself and away from the break-up and all the fear that it created for her, if even for a few moments; she would clear her mind and experience harmony. Occasionally, I would tell her to take a five-minute walk and call me back afterward. When she would call back, it was as if I was speaking to a different person. With a simple five-minute walk, she was a lot calmer, and her mind was clear, making it easier to work through the issue at hand.
Within four months of separation, Josephine not only got back on the path to wellness but had achieved her goal of losing 50 pounds as well. In hindsight, I knew this could have gone an entirely different direction as Josephine could have gained more weight as opposed to losing it. She may have never found the courage to face life’s predicaments and effectively deal with her negative emotions that she experienced during her separation. She may have ended up remaining overweight and relentlessly searching for happiness.
We are all human, and we suffer from a similar human condition. Our condition is that we possess emotions that are constantly running through us, sometimes dictating our life. For most of us, the way we act is based on the emotions we are feeling at that moment in time.
The emotions we feel are dependent upon the thoughts we are thinking. The thoughts that we are thinking are created by our belief system or essentially what we like or dislike. At times, it is perplexing, but we need to self-manage ourselves continuously to ensure our lives are in a peaceful state.
Given that our emotional facet is the most volatile and unsteady of the 5-Facets, it will also have the most impact on our ability to keep the weight off. Our emotions should not be dismissed or ignored; they are far too important to be evaded when we are losing weight and keeping it off. Foremost, we need to be conscious of our emotions.
The problem is that most of us do not have a healthy relationship with our emotions. We may be trying to conceal them or trying to push them onto someone else. Except for joy, bliss, and excitement, most of us would rather not feel the other fear-based emotions such as resentment, jealousy, anger, guilt, shame, and sadness.
At times, we may believe that our emotions were created by some external person, place or thing. The truth is that these emotions are created within us, and it is only US who make the decision to react and respond accordingly. We can try to entomb them, but they will resurface once they are triggered by a similar experience. When they emerge, they normally have even more power over us. Our emotions become such a priority, especially when keeping the weight off.
Sometimes our emotions are not in sight. They may be in our blind spots because we put them out of sight a very long time ago. These are the most disruptive emotions that create a self-sabotaging environment and persistently control any weight-loss success we achieve.
I frequently notice that when client’s emotions resurface, they sabotage their weight loss programs. I was once working with a client named Helen, and this cycle became very evident in her inability to keep the weight off. For every weight loss success high she would achieve, she would slip up which resulted in a failure to keep the weight off.
There were always reasons and justifications that she would use to explain why it happened again, but I knew there was more to it. I felt that there was something deeper that was the cause of this problem.
I decided to conduct an emotional inventory so we could investigate and see if there were any underlying emotions that were causing her 5-Facets to become symptomatic and ultimately out of balance. After completing an emotional inventory on Helen, I realized that she had a lot of emotions that she chose not to deal with.
Helen’s mother, whom she was very close to, had died from cancer two years earlier. After her mother had passed away, Helen felt she had to be strong for her family. She was so strong that she didn’t even allow herself to cry at the funeral. She bottled up all of the grief she experienced for the sake of being brave. Helen held a lot of pride in being strong for her family and felt that if she showed her grief that it would be seen as a sign of weakness. This grief appeared in her life as the feelings of depression and despair. When she felt this way, she became lethargic and inactive. She couldn’t control her hunger cravings, so she succumbed to eating more of the wrong type of foods.
As more time passed, Helen felt she couldn’t speak to anyone about how she truly felt, so she hid it until the day we had a conversation about it. It was a difficult conversation for Helen to have, but she felt a tremendous relief after disclosing what she was experiencing. Helen felt relieved after she expressed herself, but she knew she would feel even better after having a conversation with her siblings.
If our emotions are left unobserved, we may feel we are at their mercy. In Helen’s situation, the balance could only be achieved once emotional disturbances were dealt with. We feel disturbances when we feel out of control; this is why so many of us are chronically out of balance and why we continue to regain the weight once we spend so much time taking it off. Every time we are emotionally triggered from perhaps a disagreement with a family member, friend or co-worker, our 5-Facets will become symptomatic. If you don’t strive for an emotional equilibrium, it won’t be long before this imbalance negatively affects the number on the scale.
Fortunately, there are simple solutions that if continually practiced, will bring great peace and serenity into your life. It will require strength and courage that you may have never known you had.