Do you want to respond or react to stress?

Jun 15, 2022

Stress is one of the biggest obstacles to people's fat loss.

Not because it plays havoc with their hormones, meaning they magically store the calories from all that nutritious food they are eating (this may well be true by the way, but it's not my knowledge on the subject.).

Stress impacts behaviour and people use food to manage that. Most people have an inability to sit with discomfort and so they use food to navigate that.

Most people are also very unaware of this sequence of events. They know they eat when stressed but ask them what happens when they don't eat when they are stressed and there is always a long pause....

people state and ask in equal measure.

Of course it does, we just have to be able to let it pass which is THE skill a lot of people are missing. That ability to outlast their discomfort without using a coping mechanism that steals their health and happiness longer term.

Most people REACT to stress. They don't respond. They are just flying off in whatever way they have historically done for the last 2,3, 4 or more decades.

They don't know how to respond.

There are 2 parts to this. First of all, we have to become more AWARE. If we don't know what triggers us or how we react then we miss all the vital warning signs.

If the locals have their coats on, the cows are all lying down, it's cloudy overhead and you've got your shorts and factor 50 on (just me!?) then you've missed a trick.

And you may smile but this is how people approach stress, nutrition, health and fat loss.

They have almost zero idea of the various factors that exaggerate or placate their stress. They never use any tools or tactics to manage this. They continue day after day, letting their boss, kids, partner, colleagues wind them up and either wait days to let it pass or eat their way through it.

Which most would agree isn't the best coping mechanism. To put it lightly.

Secondly, we need the skills to manage this when we do recognise it. We need to learn to reframe different situations, we need to learn how to let difficult thoughts and feelings go. We need to learn how to change our food to ensure we are more resilient. We need to communicate our needs and desires with others in ways that they will listen and hear us, and then support rather than hinder us.

The issue is that people look at this like a hugo boss aftershave advert. If I buy this 1 bottle of smelly then I'll have the fast car, nice suit, hot girl, chiselled good looks and success I dream of.

SPOILER ALERT - That's not how it works. There isn't one single skill or action that is going to make you better at this. "Going for a walk" or "do some meditation" is not the single switch that will turn this on its head for you.

This is going to take TIME and EFFORT. You are going to have to put in both, in large amounts, to change the way you act but it is possible. These changes are within anyone's grasp if they are willing to do the work.

Inspired by Diary of a CEO Episode 117 - Founder of Calm - Michael Acton Smith
The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett: E117: Calm App Founder: From $0 To $2 Billion By Making The World Meditate: Michael Acton Smith on Spotify