Knowing your body and what triggers poor decision-making — including food and alcohol consumption — is key to meeting resolution goals. (Courtesy photo)
Knowing your body and what triggers poor decision-making — including food and alcohol consumption — is key to meeting resolution goals. (Courtesy photo)

Remember that episode of “The Cosby Show” when Olivia had Dr. Huxtable remeasure her height 16 hours after he first measured her height. Dr. Huxtable kept explaining to Olivia that no one grew that fast and he would just tell her how she was the same height as yesterday. Still, Olivia persisted. Dr. Huxtable remeasured Olivia and to his surprise she grew a few inches. He did not understand what he was recording and retook the measurements. Olivia proudly shouted “I know my body. I know my body.” You need to know your body. What clues are your body telling you about its condition?

Your body provides clues in various ways. Two of these ways are stress and temptation. Stress is when the body reacts to any demand. Demands are in every fashion of our lives and can arise from work, school, relationships, danger. Thus, you can never be stress free. The flight or fight response is a perfect example of stress. We don’t think of it as stress but it’s your body’s reaction to stress. Its function is to remove you from perceived danger. So, not all stress is bad. Some stress invokes reactions to save your life. However, stress needs to be limited or controlled. Even too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Take the flight or fight response. Prolonged exposure to your body’s reaction to flight or flight response can cause sleep and digestion suppression due to the amount of adrenaline flowing through your body. Therefore, don’t let stress become a routine. When stress becomes a routine, your body does not react in a dramatic swing from a normal to heightened reaction. This makes it hard to manage stress since everything seems normal.

Stress management can be simple but time-consuming. You must know your body.

Understand what situations cause your body not to respond in a normal way;

Identify what daily, weekly, or monthly occurrences cause your body to not function properly. Some situations on your list can be eliminated while others would have to be changed to lessen the stressful impact to your body; and

Eliminate unnecessary calendar events or commitments in your life. You only control yourself
not the situation nor other people. When the situation does not go as planned or if someone does not do what you would like, you should not become stressed. You only control yourself. Work on controlling your reaction to situations.

Another clue your body provides is through temptations. What makes you want? It is really a mental process. Your thoughts are drawn to focus on one thing. The way you rationalize information is geared towards one goal — obtaining temporary immediate satisfaction. Many people want to know when or if it is okay to yield to temptation. It depends. Sometimes our temptation is an alert from our body saying that it is in need of something. For example, chocolate cravings are connected to magnesium deficiency. This does not mean that every time you crave chocolate that you are deficient in magnesium.

The best ways to manage temptation will sound like a recovery rehab ad. Truly this is the most common method.

• Identify the trigger and determine if it is a medical issue. If it is a medical issue, you can stop the temptations by getting your body back in balance. If it is not a medial issue, then the remaining steps may help you.
• Take your attention away from the urge and try to eliminate your exposure to situations with that trigger. Don’t put yourself in the situation where you will face the temptation.
• If you encounter the trigger, have a plan of action. For example, what can you substitute physically and/or mentally for that trigger?

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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