Hi everyone! It’s me, Ralitza, your resident Holistic Nutrition Consultant. I know a lot of things about food, but I also know first-hand that stress can have a real impact on your life. Stress affects your body, mind, heart and spirit. It can lead to a myriad of effects, including but not limited to:
- Feeling anxious
- Overeating or under-eating
- Lack of sleep or sleeping too much
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Muscle Tension
The problem with our society is that we are under constant stress every day from things that don’t necessarily exist in concrete terms. We are no longer faced with daily struggles to escape from large predatory animals. Rather, our bosses or perhaps the endless pressure to fit into predetermined societal norms illicit the same bodily response. Often, we create stress with our own thoughts.
I consider myself a sensitive person. Sensitivity has it’s gifts, but it can quickly transform an unpleasant interaction to something that feels like the end of the world. It is so simple for me to get caught up in spirals of negative self-talk and much more difficult to hold the vibration of happiness or joy. Cue meditation.
I often tell my clients to meditate. By often, I mean pretty much every single client I see has a prescription for meditation. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve immune function and boost the ability to react to stressors in your life. But thinking back to my life, there hadn’t been a time where I was consistent in my meditation. I decided it was time to change that.
I wanted to see how I would feel and what changes I could see in my life if I meditated every single day for 30 days. I chose to tack it onto my morning routine – I think that to make something stick, you have to attach it to a task you already do, like brush your teeth. The method of meditation I chose was guided. My brain likes to follow-along with cues and visualize. I’m not quite at the point where I can sit in silence, and that’s okay. I have to accept that.
I struggled to start at first – even 5 minutes seemed like a colossal mountain to climb. But slowly, I got used to my daily routine. The changes I experienced through incorporating meditation were, quite frankly, profound. Here’s what I experienced:
- More even-keel personality. I allow the smallest things to push me off kilter. This has been the case since I was a little girl, and something that I’ve assigned as “natural”. Why is that the case? Does it make sense that I’m just naturally high-strung, or is there something more going on? Meditation allowed me to see how I was quickly getting caught up in a thought process that was filled with anxious and negative thoughts. When I focused on meditating and silencing the hamster-mind, I realized that I was, at my heart, a fairly balanced person. It came as a surprise to me, but somehow acknowledging that I was balanced helped me (in a roundabout way) become more balanced.
- I had more control over my emotional eating. This is a topic I’ve not shared much about online, but emotional eating can be a real drag. It can be very difficult to entangle the web of emotions from the web of shoving food in my mouth. Meditation helped me realize when I was using food as a crutch and gave me a tool to interrupt the spiral.
- I dealt with stress more effectively. During this process, I had my car totalled in the middle of the night. Normally, a traumatic event like that would completely throw me off kilter. I firmly believe my growing meditation practice supported me in handling the insurance, towing and demise of my car with such a calm and rational demeanour. I was able to see the process as an event that happened to me, that, while it sucked, was not the end of the world.
- I was happier. When I slowed down and saw so many positive changes around me every day, I felt a lot happier and more able to count my blessings. I was able to notice and appreciate the simple and beautiful things that life has to offer so much more.
- I was more in-tune with my body. I had significantly higher awareness of what my body was telling me in the moment, which gave me space to honour my cues more effectively. Was I frustrated because I was tired, or did I need a snack? Did I need to break from work and play a little more? Did I actually WANT to eat that coconut milk ice-cream or was I just bored? Tuning into my body gave me a sense of control.
- I made more money. This is kind of an odd one, but I tracked my finances over the past 8 months to give me a good understanding of what I was taking home over every pay period. I made 22% more money during the time I was meditating. Although I can’t prove causation, I certainly believe a correlation exists.
The day I’ve written this article, my meditation practice is 36 days strong practice holds strong. It’s created such positive changes in my life that I’m going to stick with it for the time being. I’d love to hear your meditation experiences! Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As your Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant at Naturmend, I am committed to creating healthy communities. I believe in honouring the unique biochemical individuality of each person who walks through my door and in the amazing benefits of a whole food diet. A healthy body and balanced mind are the cornerstones of a happy existence.