Why lifestyle management impacts mood

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Someone asked me about why I love coaching last week, and my immediate reply surprised me. ‘Well,’ I said.  ‘I feel happier and healthier in my mid 50’s than I have felt at any point in my life previously.’ That response came without me forcing it or thinking about it, and it was the truth. ‘My intrigued colleague inquired, ‘so why is that?’

Here is where I had my ‘aha’ moment. I replied, ‘It’s because I have finally made some big connections between how my lifestyle i.e. what I choose to put in my body and how I live my life, impacts my mood and my ability to make good decisions.’

For me this is about managing my nutrition, sleep, hydration, and work life balance. I call these my basic pillars or foundations of life.  When I get all that right my anxiety is in control, my energy levels are great and I have clarity of thought. It sounds so simple, but so many of us don’t have the discipline or are too distracted by other issues in our life to get the basics right.

Dr Ellen Vora has written a whole book on this subject (The Anatomy of Anxiety) and she offers practical and actionable steps to help mitigate physical anxiety. I have learnt through working with my own clients that if we work on the basic foundations to help eradicate physical anxiety in the body first, we have more resilience and capacity to move on and sort the bigger emotional issues that hold us back.  To give yourself a fighting chance to evolve emotionally you need to put yourself physically in the right place.

For many clients I work with this means looking at their daily habits before delving deeper into other issues. This has also been transformational for me as getting my physical foundations strong has helped me unravel the issues from my past that have held me back and controlled my thoughts and actions and the way I showed up in the world.

In addition, I have more energy, my skin looks better, I don’t wake up every day with a niggling head ache, my sensitive stomach is happy, I have strong boundaries about when I need to rest or sleep, my body is stronger, I say no to stuff (so liberating), I prioritise getting outside and I have the head space to genuinely be there to listen to and care about the people who are important to me.

If you would like support to create the best physical and mental environment to manage your anxiety or overwhelm do message me. I will encourage you to start with just one thing to move you forwards. With every change you make your anxiety will incrementally improve, and then it just starts getting easier.

‘Self discipline means establishing an authority over one’s own habits, routines and priorities, and not being under their control.’ (Oleg Konovalov)