Posted by Pamela Malo on Feb 26, 2013
In my last post I discussed how kindness and love are essential ingredients for creating effective, lasting change in our life. Being hard on ourself may work at first, but after initial the excitement wears off, we find that a ‘no pain no gain’ mentality is not sustainable. Nor is it any fun!
In yoga, the word metta means “loving kindness.”
Before we talk about kindness though, we must first talk about the place from which most of us are operating our daily lives from – stress.
How many people do you know whose lives aren’t hectic busy and stressed? Perhaps this is why stress is still the number one proxy killer in the United States.
The classic, textbook definition of stress is “any real or imagined threat and the body’s response to that threat.”
Real or imagined. Did you catch that?
This means it does not matter if you are being chased by a lion or you imagine you are being chased by a lion. It doesn’t matter if you actually lose your job or are constantly worrying about losing your job. Internally, the body’s physiologic response is the same.
The effects of stress have been well documented for decades. I have highlighted just a few below that are most relevant to overall health and nutrition.
This is why over time, stress can lead to inflammatory diseases, heart disease, diabetes, hormonal dysreguation, mitochondrial dysfunction, weight gain, digestive disorders and more.
In other words, kindness is the first step in setting ourself up for success for achieving our health goals.
A lack of relaxation and metta (loving kindness) is the most common way I see individuals undermining their own efforts to get healthier.
This is where we get confused. Kindness is not about throwing in the towel and ceasing to care what we do. Kindness is about caring a lot!
It has nothing to do with whether or not we eat a cookie.
Moving into that place of self-love can feel a little challenging when we have spent years being not-so-kind to ourself.
In my work with individuals, I help people identify the ways they are working against themself, and identify simple straightforward strategies to get to where they want to go.
With wishes for a diet of pure kindness and a life full of love,
PS The second round of my Yoga & Peaceful Eating Course will being in late March and I also have openings for two new private clients. Please contact me if you are interested or would like more information. It would be my honor to serve you.