You can't avoid stress, that's a fact. Welcome to this week's edition of Motivate Me.
First a story from the past. I once had a friend who was always horizontal – nothing ever stressed or worried her. She always seemed calm and serene, no matter the circumstances. Many years later I attended her grandmother's funeral and yes, of course she was upset, but when I offered my condolences I noticed her calm demeanor.
She told me that as a young girl, her "grandmother" would always remind her of some basic basics of dealing with stress. This was based on simple breathing exercises and as she got older, Gran added more layers of study so that by the time she reached her late teens, my friend was a master at dealing with stress.
Her grandmother had driven an ambulance in North Africa for the Red Cross during World War II and had some remarkable adventures. She, in turn, had benefited from the clever guidance of a fellow sister who taught her everything she knew about stress. It turns out that her co-sister's father was a leading French psychologist specializing in stress disorders.
I carry this story with me; It's one of many and it's packed away, but I've had many reasons to remember it over the past few months.
So many people open up to me that stress is an issue they struggle with.
Welcome to Stress city!
It took me some time to internalize the customer feedback and it is pretty obvious that the lockdowns have increased the pre-existing stress to an unbearable level.
You see, stress is a naturally occurring phenomenon and with most everyday stress we have coping mechanisms built in, but there is a limit and beyond that, stress can manifest itself in a number of dangerous ways – both mentally and physically.
In our clinics, we use CBT methods to equip clients with the coping skills to deal with the uniquely specific and personal reasons that have led to overeating. In my short video, I present a simple coping mechanism for dealing with stress. This is a learned behavior that you need to practice. It's a great start, I can assure you.
Like my childhood friend, she unwittingly started doing simple exercises, just like in my video above.
You can't avoid stress, but you can learn to deal with it.