Through The Looking Glass

In April 2013 I addressed the downfall of having unrealistic or rigid expectations on the people in your life (Great Expectations). What appears to need a little more driving home today is that many of you set unrealistic expectations upon yourself, causing serious detriment to your fitness goals.

expectations31

While most people seeking to make a change to their body due to health or appearance issues lean towards a half-hearted approach to their goals, a significant demographic errs with an expectation-driven approach that only truly tenacious athletes can “win” with. In simple terms, you set your mind on an expectation (goal) that your body can be changed in a specific amount of time and into a specific shape that is usually unrealistic and therefore unachievably.

SONY DSC

Now some of you might be saying without these self-imposed “rigid” expectations, I won’t push myself or hold myself accountable. While that might be true to some extent, more often then not there are more cons than pros to this approach. Having too high expectations on yourself results in problems ranging from weight/fat increase instead of loss, to injuries, and most notably emotional stress, exhaustion, and depression.

84d0212deb51576c7d8a309a0dc057a1

As an example, I once had a client who was scheduled to be married one month from when I met her. She was obese and had no muscle tone to speak of. She wanted lean toned arms, and to lose 3-4 inches from her mid-section. She said “I will do whatever it takes, I’ve made a commitment to myself to achieve these goals.” The problem was clear, her goals were impossible to achieve in the time allotted. I told her so. I told her that we could make headway, but that 30-days was not enough time to achieve her specific goals.

While we started out strong as the half-way point loomed large she fell into a funk, started cancelling sessions, and even considered cancelling her wedding, all because her goals could not be achieved. She finally came to talk with me, tearfully sharing that she felt she’d disappointed everyone and let herself down.

exercice-regularly-1-e1421058839812

I know this is a very extreme example, but I really want you to look at what expectations you place upon yourself, even in a subtle everyday manner, that can cause you to feel self-doubt or disappointment all because of an imposed “need” to make something happen.

unrealistic-weight-loss-goals-will-mess-you-up

But good news, there is a simple solution – I call it The Looking Glass perspective. When you create an expectation upon yourself, imagine placing that expectation upon someone else – someone that matters to you, like a daughter, son, sibling, or parent. Whether the goal is to get a better job, find a mate, or just be in a different shape for summer or an event, it’s always easier to ascertain if your desires are too much by imagining someone else trying to achieve them. See those goals through the eyes of someone else and you’ll very quickly know if the expectations are too high.  Then all you have to do is think about what you’d advise them to do. How you would modify those goals to fit into the realistic shape of their (and your) life.

d23399fb5c8f363e12c7c5f9b4644194

Give it a try, you’ve nothing to lose but stress and disappointment. As for keeping a fire lit under your butt, that’s what I’m here for. Anytime you need a little kick to stay on track, drop me a line.

4983ca3f528039b5970c4fb11df7f242

Summer’s Commin’

The month of May is three days away and there’s something about that month every year that triggers people into frantic action to get into bathing suit shape.  Perhaps it’s because Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer to so many of us, but sadly 30-days is not enough for most people to achieve their fitness goals. In fact, the biggest road block to fitness success is unrealistic goals. It took you more than 30-days to get out of shape, and the hard truth is that it takes twice as long to get that fat off or tone up unused muscles.

nextdesk-get-in-shape

With that said, here’s a few tips that can help tremendously in improving your physical state and appearance in the next month:

Stop drinking sodas, smoothies, and even alcohol! This significantly lowers your sugars which will stop your body from conversion and storage into fat. (Don’t panic about the alcohol, we’re just talking about one month here!)

9751645_orig

Reduce and/or watch your sodium (salt) intake. Salty snack foods, frozen, canned and overly processed foods are very high in sodium and this causes water retention and bloat.

salty_foods_image_title_bvohp

low sodium foods

Start the day with a large glass of water – this jump starts the metabolism and then keep water flowing throughout the day to flush out toxins, and simultaneously allow a slight feeling of being full which will keep you from over-eating.

beautiful woman drinks water from a glass and shows delicious

Eat five to six small meals/snacks all day, being sure to stop once you’re in that evening sedentary mode (no noshing while watching TV).

7d080754b77feeedc93fa8bff0172306

DO NOT avoid carbs! DO avoid processed carbs!

80ddabb942a578bc016edec74dd71cbb

Perform 30-minutes of medium-high intensity cardio 3-5 times a week, along with 30-minutes of total-body high intensity resistance training.

Cardio-Vs-Strength-Training-800x360

Honestly, if you make and follow these few changes to your nutrition and daily routines between now and Memorial Day, you will see a difference in your body. If you commit NOW to consistent hard work and sustain it past May 31st, you can be outrageously fit and swim suit gorgeous by mid-summer for sure.

Get-Bikini-ready-new-1

What is Time Taking From You, Part 2

In July 2013 I posted this article and it has become very relevant again due to many of my clients and friends feeling overwhelmed by time management. I’ve added on to it, and I hope this helps anyone out there who feels time is their enemy.

To most of us, the passage of time is always changing. While time flies when you’re having run, it also ticks by with excruciating slowness when we are impatient for the future to arrive. Which begs the question: do we manipulate time with our perspectives, or does time manipulate our emotional state? There’s no correct answer to that except to say (as all scientifically minded people will tell you) time is a constant – it does not change in speed or value.

time-management

There are those who strongly control time. They manage time in precise increments, being never late, always aware of how long they’ve spent at any chore or event, and place high value on how much they can get done within time.

Then there are others who allow time to float in and out of their consciousness. They use it when they need it, begrudgingly follow it when it is imposed upon them, but in general, prefer to be blissfully unaware of time. These are the types that are chronically late, and despite their good intentions, rarely get all their desired goals/chores done.

Free-Spirits-ghosts-spirits-demons-30737747-1024-768

Which ever time-personality type you are, you might want to consider what is time taking from you? If you have such a tight (and restrictive) grip on your time, you’re likely not open to the joys of spontaneity. A lot of wonderful life moments happen in between planned situations, and those are little jewels you don’t want to miss. Being flexible enough to go with the flow when life says hey, go this way will often reward you with positive “ah-ha” experiences.

Conversely, if you are so resistant to managing your time with a little more structure, you will find a lot of events and moments are missed because you were late, or too far behind in achieving things you truly wanted to achieve/see/experience. Being a touch more organized with your day will allow you more time in the long run – time to enjoy being fully lost in the moment, and enjoying every non-minute of it!

2016-02-18-1455812867-4596987-time

Time is a constant, but it is also tool we can use to get the most out of our time in this life. So here are a few tips you can utilize to either manage your time more effectively or loosen up on your fierce grip of every minutia:

Prioritize no more than three must do’s for each day (i.e., eating at regular intervals, 30-minutes of exercise, and an hour of game play with the children)

Set your clocks five minutes fast, and set your alarm 5 minutes earlier than normal. You’d be surprised at how these little manipulations of time will allow you to possibly be on time, while still padding for the habitual “delaying distractions” that plague the more free spirited types.

Time-Management-1

Plan for (schedule) at least one period of time per week (an hour or an afternoon, etc.) where you have nothing planned except to play, or be with a loved one, or hit the great outdoors for the purposes of just being.

If more structure is needed in your time management: make a chart of the must-do’s, have-to’s and want-to’s and once they are placed in an outline form that you feel is follow-able – follow it!

Over-planning

If less structure is your desire: make a commitment to yourself that once a day you’ll do something completely spontaneous and even frivolous. It can be five minutes or an hour, but telling your overly-compartmentalized brain that there’s a time period with nothing to do but go with the flow will actually rejuvenate your energy for the rest of your jam-packed day/week.

635928227975717571-132532823_tumblr_niyiz9pFub1rrozsko1_1280

Play around with these concepts, and please let me know what works for you and what discoveries come from these experiments. Remember, time is not against you, but it can take away a lot from your life if you let it.

Why Am I Still Fat?

In the last couple of weeks, at least three people (ranging from acquaintances to friends) have shared their frustrations with me about still “being fat” despite strictness of diets and/or hours of cardio and resistance-based workouts, wearing Fitbits, parking further away, taking the stairs, etc.

hqdefault

I too would be frustrated if I was that diligent with my nutrition and exercise and didn’t see a difference.  But (no pun intended) what I know that they do not is that there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to successful reduction of body fat. Further, there’s more to it in many cases than just restricting and/or burning more calories. One must factor in emotional stress, sleep-deprivation, physical stress, illnesses, food allergies (that you may not be aware of), thyroid malfunctions, etc. etc. etc.

Attractive Frustrated Hispanic Woman Tied Up With Tape Measure Against a White Background.

A more important concept to me is that our society on the whole needs to look at fat differently. The World, and especially America, considers FAT unattractive. However, a huge majority of our population is visually fat and many have successful careers, happy marriages, are physically active, and live long lives despite their physical condition so what does that tell us?

Fat in foods is still widely misunderstood by most people – if avocado and peanut butter is okay, what’s wrong with butter and cheese? Sugar is still not really acknowledged as being one of the largest culprits in epidemic obesity, yet it is. Carbs are considered evil, yet I challenge you to get through a workout without them.

Good-Fats-Vs-Bad-Fats

Internally, there are obese people who do not have high blood pressure or diabetes. Conversely there are “skinny” people who have dangerously high cholesterol or digestive issues that cause them to not absorb essential vitamins and minerals from their nutrition.

0515fd9b4ad2148343882159bf88df8d52e9b7-wm

So in answer to everyone who has ever lamented why am I still fat I say look at your life as a whole entity, one in which every nuance plays a part in your physical health and body composition. There are so many negative “life” aspects that can affect your body:

  • High stress levels at work
  • Emotional stress at home
  • Illnesses, injuries, digestive or auto-immune disorders, cancer
  • Lack of sleep
  • Eating too fast
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Over-exercising (yes that’s a thing)
  • Not exercising enough or effectively
  • Eating out too much
  • Yo-yo dieting
  • Worries about money

and the list goes on!  Take stock of what’s going on in your life that might truly be sabotaging your efforts to be healthy inside and out. Then try to improve as many of these aspects as you can, or at least improve your perspective.

Stress-alimentazione-food-

What ultimately should be your focus is: (1) are you able to do what you want physically (strength and endurance)? and (2) are you surrounded by people who love you and find you beautiful from the inside out? If the answer to both is yes, then who gives a hoot about the fat?! If they’re no, then work on fixing that (i.e., focus on building strength and endurance, not fat loss, and surround yourself with more appreciative and quality people).

yogapose-1236

In the end you’ll either successfully reduce your fat levels because your life isn’t fighting you on that goal, or at least you’ll realize that you’re healthy and happy so who cares about the rest.

overweightcoupleicecream

 

Fretting over Feet

On the whole, people who are concerned with fitness and their bodies care about their heart, joints, muscles, bones, flexibility, strength, and body fat levels. Almost every body part is fretted over, toned, built, and stretched – every body part that is except the feet. Yet the feet are the gateway to everything we do except for sitting and sleeping.

Non-Swollen-Feet-Atlanta-Podiatry

One of the first things I noticed back when I obtained my first PT certification was the rampant postural distortions of peoples’ feet and how they walked. Millions of people walk in an unstable manner, using only a portion of their feet which results in painful or harmful ramifications throughout their bodies. For example:

supination-neutral-pronatio

If you walk on the outside rim of your feet (supinated) you put strain on the already thin muscles of the ankles which can transfer up into your hips and back.

If you walk tilting your feet inward (pronated) onto the inside or large ball of the big toe, you again can suffer from ankle strain and also can cause series knee pain.

Those who walk almost exclusively up on the balls of their feet (heels rarely touching or bouncing as they walk) can experience tightening of the calves and hamstrings which in turn pull on the lower back as well as painful ball-joint tenderness and swelling.

Sesamoiditis

Finally there is the duck walk or pigeon-toed options (toes pointing at 10 and 2 or inward with heels at 5 and 7) both of which misaligns the hips and can cause sciatic nerve pain and other hip, back and knee issues.  (Women in particular tend to duck-walk when wearing super high heels as it eases some of the toe pain.)

outtoeing

For women obsessed with high heels, the ramifications of years of putting all your weight on your toes can result in irreversible foot pain, hammer toes, bunions, and serious knee and back strain. We weren’t meant to have our feet chronically (if ever) in the same position as Barbie dolls – it’s just not good for the body.

jg84e3-l-610x610-shoes-heels-platform-pink-glittery-belt-baby+pink+high+heels-sequins-high+heels-fashion-pumps-did+u-diamonds-nude-nude+high+heels-silve

$_1

So take a look at how you walk. Try to notice if your feet are turned out or in, or where you feel pressure when you take a step. An easy assessment to make is to look at the heels of your shoes – are they worn evenly or on the outer or inner portions only.

image.jpg

If you suffer from foot pain and/or pain radiating up from your feet (ankles, knees, etc.), you might want to spend some time diligently working on walking straight and even – stepping from heel through to toes, feet pointed forward. I would also suggest spending at least 65% of your week in comfortable, arch-supportive, flat (or no more than a 2″ heel) shoes.

2010-06-06 14_51_47

In the evening you should kneed your feet with your knuckles massaging your heels, arches, balls of the feet, and even your toes (or get a loved one to give you a well-deserved foot massage). Then spend a few minutes seated while holding your legs out and pointing your toes into a tight stretch (like ballerina feet) and then alternating with flexed feet (heels down toes up) again holding for a tight stretch.

collagedorsi.jpg

The feet are really the most essential body part to daily living aside from your brain and heart. Do not neglect or abuse them. You’ve only got two and if they get ruined, you’re chair-bound!

Be Nice & Work Hard

When I was growing there were two principles that my mother instilled in me. One was that all adults were to be addressed by a title – either Mr Blank and Miss So and So, or Aunt X and Uncle Y (if related, or a very close family friend). She told me that adults were not my peers and deserved the respect of a title and not just a first name. The second principle was a strong work ethic that was based on the simple rule that work/chores were to be done first and completed prior to playing. What I see currently with many kids and young adults is a lack of both of these ideals, resulting in a ruder and less accomplished society.

Quotation-Sam-Ewing-Hard-work-spotlights-the-character-of-people-some-turn-up-9-18-72

Now while my soapbox preaching today may seem righteous and judgmental this is not my intent. I am actually sharing these opinions because, as demonstrated by the horrifying societal appeal of idiot-savant Donald Trump, we clearly need to raise our current and future generations to be less self-focused and self-entitled (mob mentality) and more diligent, polite, and village-supportive.

1305299

To do this we must start with the kids. I am NOT raising my child without these ideals firmly in place. I’ve had to instruct many of my child’s friends and cousins that I am not Ariana, but Ms. Ariana, or Aunt Ariana. I insist that she address all her friend’s parents by Mr. or Miss (and their name), and all Aunts and Uncles are to be titled thusly.  She routinely grumbles when I hand her a stack of thank you cards each year after her birthday, but do them she must!

I’ve also had to deal with my child saying her friends “play first and do homework when they feel like it,” so she wants to do her homework after dinner, etc.  Despite the fact that she is a very good student, I continue to insist that homework and chores are completed prior to playing or socializing.  I want this work ethic firmly instilled by the time she’s in high school when the demands are higher and routines get fully ingrained.

Jan12_2015_teach_your_kids_to_be_polite_featured

Even removing the “societal improvement” argument, I feel this is important because the key to achieving your life goals in a timely fashion is through discipline and personal networking. Remembering someone’s name when you meet them; referring to them with a respectful title; following up meetings with a thank you note; or completing a task or request in a timely fashion are all ways to up your value as you climb the career or education ladder.

motivationaldontbesupset

So when I hear people unhappy with their lives (or “life in America”), yet they do nothing to improve their own situations or teach their children to work hard for that obligatory “more” – I say look at your work ethic. Then stand up, treat those around you with respect, conduct yourself with respect and reliability, and with a little elbow-grease (hard work) and you’ll find things can and will improve.

1431981800159

Understanding Fat

Fat has a bad rap. Yes, American’s are overall too fat, with over 34% (78 million) of adults being clinically obese (a BMI of over 30), but our response to this epidemic is to say all fat is bad. This is not true.

12-obese-adults-full

Body fat exists to help us have energy when we’ve run out of food in our systems, it keeps our temperature and circulation level, it gives us healthy skin and hair, and transports essential vitamins and minerals throughout our body.

Good-Fats-Vs-Bad-Fats1

Fat in foods helps us maintain healthy levels of body fat – provided, that the fats you are consuming are natural vs. animal based, and kept to a healthy minimum. Good nutritional fats are avocado, certain nuts, olives and their oil, and fatty fish (wild caught salmon, etc.). But with our tendency to lump everything into a “bad” or “good” column, most American’s see all fats as bad and when they’re focused on lowering their fat percentage of weight, they eliminate these essential fats.

bigstock-Food-fish-Unsaturated-Fats-52226848

Another misunderstood aspect of “fat” is that sugar has no fats and therefore it’s okay to eat – especially demonstrated by fat free snack foods (cookies, etc.) that are high in sugar to compensate for the lack of creamy additives from animal fats (butter, cream). But what many adults fail to realize is that excessive sugar in their bodies (and their children’s bodies) will convert to fat for later use – said later use usually not happening because of so many American’s put exercise and activity on the non-priority list in their lives.

ct-snackwells-brotman-aj-jpg-20150710

Same thing has happened to carbohydrates. The fad-fitness industry decided to label all carbs as bad, and Atkins type “diets” became the rage. But ask any of my clients who come to me declaring they eat no carbs, carbs ARE essential. They usually learn this lesson after I push them just enough in a workout to cause their carb-lite systems to flip into hypoglycemia and they are reduced to a weak sweating pile on the floor. You NEED carbs – you just don’t need processed, man-manipulated carbs (i.e., white bread, white rice, crackers, cookies, mashed potatoes, etc.

good-vs-bad-carbohydrates

So here’s the bottom line – you’ve got to understand that fat is important and essential to a healthy body. If you keep your healthy fats, sugars (non-refined), and carbs (unprocessed), you will be able to reduce and manage your body fat percentages. Keep eating animal facts, sugar-laden goodies, and nutrition-void breads and crackers and you’ll have more fat than your body can deal with. As I always say, do NOT diet (that implies temporary) – change your nutrition to a moderate and balanced six meals/snacks per day, and enjoy an indulgent periodically (from wine to ice cream or fried chicken), and of course, exercise effectively at least 3-4 times a week.

body-fat-1

One Week at a Time

Depending upon how jam-packed your life is, the old adage of take things one day at a time would be great advice to follow. However, for those of you whom time-management is not your best trait, I have found it a better practice to approach things one week at a time.

change-your-life_jpg-590x275

Whether you’re a person who likes to schedule and plan every nuance of your life, or fly by the seat of your pants, laying out an outline of each upcoming week is essential to achieving your goals (whether fitness or life-changing). A 7-day time chunk with a guideline of plans will help those of you whose focus is normally too scattered, while not overly-restraining those who can’t handle anything but a spontaneous, go with the flow, life.

GPS2

Without some planning, fitness goals go out the window. You cannot eat right, you consistently drop workouts for other, supposedly more important priorities, and you do not get enough rest. Without a plan for steps A-Z, directing your career path (i.e., getting a new/better job), improving your financial state, and/or strengthening relationships do not have a chance of truly changing.

RISYF

The best part is that seven days is a small enough chunk that you’re likely to not be intimidated or overwhelmed by the task of planning. I’m not talking about every single hour of every day planned either. You’re simply going to place a few non-negotiable key tasks for each day. Keep your perspective that these tasks are commitments/ appointments that you’ve paid for (money is always a great motivator) and only under dire circumstances can you cancel them. By the end of one week, you’ll be pleased and amazed at how much progress you’ve made towards your goals. The next week will be easier, and soon you can fill the days with even more goal-achieving steps.  (This is a great practice for kids and teens as well.)

abfm-exam-prep-image

So take a deep breath, and pull up a digital calendar on your computer or smart-phone and prepare to place 1-3 of these firm appointments on each of the upcoming seven days. If you’re wondering what qualifies as a “firm appointment” here’s a random, yet specific, list:

  • Workout (in home or at gym)
  • Grocery shopping (with a deliberate healthy list in hand)
  • Food prep (meals and snacks for several days)
  • Outdoor activities (exercise disguised as a play time)
  • Play time (down time where you enjoy a passion like movies or reading)
  • Connection Dates (time to re-connect with significant other and/or children)
  • Work enhancement (time spent on furthering your career via networking or studies)
  • Rest/Sleep (don’t disregard this one, it’s key to your mental and physical well-being)

homepage_phones_new

Once again I remind you that you only need to schedule 1-2 of these per day. In a 7-day period you should workout 2-4 times, while others things like grocery shopping and food prep might only need once a week.

You’ve nothing to lose except stress if you give this a try for the next seven days. I look forward to hearing your results, so be sure to schedule time to write me with your report!

Work Life Balance signpost

Heavy or Light?

I have been surprised lately to find that there’s still a bit of confusion surrounding how to properly choose and utilize weights when people engage in resistance training to tone muscles and lose body fat. On almost a weekly basis some woman will approach me and say that they only do cardio because they don’t want to bulk up, yet they’re frustrated at the lack of downward movement of the scale.

dumbbells

As I’ve stated many times here in my blog – resistance training (weight lifting) is the key to successful fat reduction. While cardio burns calories, unless you are a career marathon runner, or at the least pay close attention to stay in the fat-burning zone with your cardio as well as what, how, and when you eat, cardio will only trim off a small percentage of fat before you plateau.

Cardio-Best-Way-Lose-Weight

Now the confusion about resistance training is in the idea that if a woman lifts heavy weights she’ll turn into “he-man.” Well I’m here to tell you first hand, that it takes a lot of very heavy lifting, and ingesting a massive amount of protein, for most women to really bulk up muscularly.  However, if your frame is already large, and there’s a lot of fat surrounding your arm and leg muscles – heavy lifting could definitely make you appear bulky – but once again, its all about understanding how and what to lift.

weight training

Most people with any fitness awareness already know that heavy weight + low repetitions = increase in muscle size vs. light weight + high repetitions = toned and trimmed muscles. But there’s a bit more to it. First of all, using only one of these equations can still cause you to plateau (i.e., if you do not switch up your weight levels and lifting patterns you will cease to see results). Secondly, your specific body type and your body’s inherent muscle type (fast twitch or slow twitch) directly affects how your body responds to different types of lifting.

So at the risk of confusing anyone further, let me just state things simply:

Lifting heavy weights will NOT make you bulk up

Lifting light weights a lot of times does not always help you to loose more body fat

“Then what do I do” you ask? The answer is you can either consult a trainer (like ME), or do some experimenting. Change up your routine weekly: lift light, fast and repetitive for one week, followed by heavy, slow and lower in reps the next.

lift-like-a-man

The most important element that makes resistance training actually work is to fatigue and breakdown (not injure) your muscles on a regular basis. No matter how much weight you work with, you’ve got to find the right recipe of repetition vs. intensity vs. weight to successfully exhaust your muscles. Then feed them well (lots of water, protein, and rest), and do it all over again. This is truly the best and most efficient way to lean up your total body.

7nkt95_1_large

Please please please believe what I scream to the world almost every day — do not judge your goals by a scale!  (You could lose 2 lbs of fat and gain 3 lbs of muscle and if the scale is your focus, you’ll be discouraged at the 1 lb gain!)  Remember that muscle weighs more than fat.

Now go lift!

Are You Breathing?

Breathing, something we do automatically thousands of times each day. Even if we try to hold our breath, our brain takes over after just a few seconds and forces us to breathe. It’s so automatic that we take it for granted, But breathing is not just our body’s built-in function for staying alive, it’s also a tool that you can manipulate for the benefit of your body and brain.

just_breathe1

Yoga and meditation fans already understand that breathing is imperative to a successful stretching of muscles or relaxing of the mind, but there’s even more to it than that. Breath control can beneficially regulate your blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, and your body’s negative reaction to emotional stress. Specific breathing technics can also help control the brain’s release (or cessation) of chemicals and hormones that affect your organs and central nervous system. How’s that for something we ignore all day long?

Here’s the key, you must become more aware of your breathing. The easiest way to do this is by studying your breathing habits and keeping a mental or written diary. Over the course of the next few days, take note of your breathing many times throughout the day and especially during specific situations – like when exercising, arguing, driving in traffic, working, dealing with your children, watching TV, and even when eating. Pay attention to the speed you breath, the depth or shallowness of your breaths, and whether it’s from your nose or mouth.

deep-breathing-to-reduce-stress-and-depression

A lot can be learned from these days of study about how you handle stress and how your body is being affected by what you’re focusing on (or more likely fretting over). Set an hourly alarm on your watch or smart phone if you need help remembering to pay attention to your breathing.

Once you see where/when the most detrimental affects are occurring (i.e., rise in blood pressure or heart rate, stress headaches, tension throughout the body, etc.) the next time you find yourself in that situation(s) try this:

Stop what you’re doing

Close your eyes

Take 10 very slow, deep breaths.

stopandbreathe

The best technique for this is to breathe in through the nose to a count of 7, hold for 3, and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 10. It might take a little training to become comfortable with this count-and-breathe method, but it’s so worth it. If you want blatant proof of the positive affects of this, place your right fingers upon your left wrist (finding the pulse point) and feel it slow down as you breathe).

just-breathe-photo-ii

I cannot stress enough how important breathing is – and for reasons you might have never realized. Go ahead, take a moment and see for yourself. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.