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by Pat Barone, CPCC, MCC
“America’s Weight Loss Catalyst”
For many people, we are living in frightening times. Doom and gloom pervade our news, our conversations and maybe even our dreams when we are sleeping.
Even those relatively unaffected by current economic trends are succumbing to the “F” word, F E A R. Just yesterday I overheard a woman in a coffee shop saying, “Well, I’m OK, I haven’t been affected much, but I’m afraid of what this economy will do to me.”
Like a vampire, fear about the unknown can drain us of energy, hope, power and even our dreams.
It’s true that we can’t control what happens around us, even though we might like to think we can!
What we can control, however, is our reaction to what happens in life.
This is an important distinction to make.
Tough times happen to everyone, and they happen several times in a lifetime. While challenging, they don’t have to be an excuse to panic or become a stress-making machine.
In fact, times like we are experiencing now are excellent opportunities to re-assess and re-evaluate our values, our dreams, and our long-term goals.
Just as you might be re-evaluating how you invest or save money, tough times are the perfect opportunity to learn a better way of doing things and determining what’s really important to us.
That’s the beauty of situations that cause us to “wake up” and really see what’s going on in our lives.
When we see money draining from our 401Ks, it’s an excellent time to say, “It looks like I’ll be working longer than I expected. Does my job still fit me? Am I happy here?”
When the stress builds, and we reach for more food than we need, or for foods that don’t promote health (i.e. “comfort food”), it’s time to ask “What am I doing to my body? How can I make choices that will benefit my health? How can I live a healthier life?”
After all, it’s no big comfort to gain MORE weight when you’re stressed!
When the credit card is over the limit, it’s an excellent time to ask, “What does money mean to me? How do I treat it? Is it serving me well?”
We have relationships with things like money, food, work, and our bodies that we often don’t readily recognize. Being aware of these relationships is a very important step towards peace with food, money, work, or whatever comprises the other half of the relationship.
When we feel fear creeping into our daily lives, it’s time to address emotions like stress, anxiety, and anger. Learning to work with emotions, instead of ignoring them, pushing them away (“I’ll deal with that later”), or pretending they don’t exist (denial), allows us to move through tough times positively.
We can all make the most of the current uncertain climate by learning the lessons it can teach us. That way, it ceases to be a burden, and becomes a gift.
Then, we are not lessened by “crisis”, but emboldened.
This is how we ensure the times don’t beat us, and we triumph instead!