In todays society we are surrounded by stress, not just the angry hurtful stress, but the need to be constantly stimulated. Stimulated by foods, drink, work, people, fun. We are always searching for that high where ever we go. And if we can’t get an instant high through food, or people we then try and buy things to make us happier. And if they don’t make us happy we have to go on facebook, or twitter or snap chat- always plugged in, always stimulated.
The problem with this instant high, this need to be charged up is that we stop apreciating the beauty around us. We then only desire big things, the sparkliest thing, the strongest tasting food, the high sugar or salt- we lose our taste buds for food and we lose our taste buds for life. We not only stop apreciating simple things, but we actually stop feeling this through our senses. Our senses are so overloaded, that simple beauty, and transient feelings become awashed with a flood of adrenilin.
So why is that a problem?
Well for one thing with adrenalin- comes cortisol- a stress hormone that can make us gain weight, particulalry around the middle. Adrenalin also affects our sleep, our energy levels, our skin, our heart rate, our digestion- to name but a few.
So how can we start feeling things again, how can we stop the need to always be plugged in and switched on, on a high dial?
We start becoming mindful.
Mindfulness has become a buzz word in the last few years, mindful meditation, books and mindful apps, have increased 100 fold in their sales, and as we become a more crowded, polluted, stressed nation, we are starting to search for a way out of having to be available 24 hrs a day 7 days a week.
Being Mindful essentially just means apreciating, showing gratitude, feeling the moment, not living in the past or future but being present. Of course this is nothing new, many religions have been practising this through prayer and meditation for centuries, but its invented a new word in ”Mindfulness” because of the rising decay in our society from being ever present.
Sugar and Caffeine are a dominant metaphor for our lives- they represent everything we are evolving into and what issues that represents for us.
Sugar and caffeine give you an energy boost, they lure you in with their promise of a high, a quick and gratifying high, and with in a few minutes you are bouncing off the ceiling, in the high zone. With in an hour your energy starts to come down again, but you don’t just go down to the energy you were at initially, you sink lower, so then you need another energy boost, maybe even alcohol this time, and so the cycle begins, for another day.
Its really a bi-polar existance, a high and a low, erratic energy. And thats how we live these days, up and down, the roller- coaster of life. Always needing the next kick.
Whats interesting about sugar is that the body gets used to it, so eventually you need even more sugar to get the high again. And coupled with that caffeine and sugar are of course highly addictive, so your body not only craves them but needs more and more to meet your energy needs.
So, how do we get out of this cycle?
I meet so many clients who come to me energyless/fatigued, its like I am their last hope. They feel their helpless bodies have packed up on them, they have exsausted themselves on the food, drink, drug, and lifes highs and now they need help.
And I start all my clients with a good old bout of mindfulness.
Actually I rarely use that word even, but I start with teaching them to apreciate their breath and building from their. Our breath is so beautiful and powerful for us, and equally if we stop breathing, or shallow breathe, as most of us do, particulary when stressed, its very detrimental for our health.
The next thing I get them to do is become mindful of how amazing their bodies are, their bodies are fighting for them to live, and will do anything to try and help.
But we also need to help ourselves, we need to inject the first step, to jump off the madness train and SLOW DOWN!
With the foods its really quite simple, just for 1 week, have as much fruit, vegetable, eggs, white meat and fish as you like, or if you are veggie pulses, loads of water, herbal teas. Many call this a detox, clean eating- but with this clean eating comes mindful eating.
If you jump on a detox, the first thing you will naturally do is think about all the foods you are missing out on- chocolate, coffee, tea, bread, biscuits, crisps etc..
And then there is booze- oh no but I am missing out on my wine, Oh no but I am going to a party and everyone will think I am boring, NEWS FLASH alcohol does not make you interesting, you are intersting without it, you have courage without it, you are fun without it.
We are a spoilt nation- if you gave these bountiful ingredients that you have on a detox to half the world who do not have access to it, they would see it as a feast, we see it as a punishment.
So with detoxing comes mindful eating- apreciating every mouthful- going into a supermarket and thinking how lucky you are to have access to the incredible gifts that are offered to you. Someone, somewhere, grew that for you, picked that for you, packaged it for you, sold it to you. And then what about the vegetable or fruit itself. Packed full of hundreds of vitamins, minerals, nutrients that can fight cancer, that can heal your gut, that can give you energy- not high energy, real energy, that can cleanse your blood, that can increase your focus, do you every just stop and think- WOW how amazing is that. And why is it that we only associate hippies, and people who are high, that focus and tune into these miracles we experience every day?
Its us that need this, we need it for our health, and we need it for our soul. Our life line depends on this.
So the next time you think you are somehow missing out because you cant have these foods for a few weeks or a few months, the next time you feel sorry for your self because its not fair- the next time you feel deprived. Give yourself a slap around the face and say-
I AM MISSING OUT RIGHT NOW!
I am missing out on feeling good energy, I am missing out on a good night sleep, I am missing out on being happy, I am missing out on good health, I am missing out on feeling attractive, I am missing out on having good skin, I am missing out on being able to wear the clothes I love- I am missing out on all my senses working…