Healthy Mind

How to cope when feeling overwhelmed

When living above the line, you empower yourself to take ownership of all aspects of your life, you are accountable for your actions, and you act responsible.

Living above the line is not always easy and can sometimes feel overwhelming. In moments of stress, it’s important to take a step back and follow these steps to help re-center yourself.

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  • Breathe. Breathing is essential to life. Steady breaths can help you relax your body and ease your mind. Inhale for five seconds. Hold your breath for an additional five seconds. Finally, exhale for another five seconds. Repeat this practice for as long as you wish.
  • Stop and Visualize. When negative thoughts seem to fill your head, picture a ginormous traffic stop sign to help guide your mind to positive thinking.
  • Find Your Mantra. “I can do this!” When times are tough, it is important to have your own personal mantra to help guide you. Find your affirming phrases and keep it close.
  • Body Scan. Lay down and focus your attention on your body. Do a mental body check from head to toe. This self-realization will help to center you and make you more self-aware.
  • Sensory. Check in with your senses: taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing. Name a handful of things you see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. Relax your mind by focusing on your immediate surroundings.

It’s time to take ownership and empower yourself. Ask me how you can use the above tactics to help center yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Beating Stress with Optimal Wellbeing

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Stress is something we all face on a daily basis, and it has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.

What you do with your stress is what's important. Your journey to lifelong transformation is one way to counteract stress, but you can also beat it and achieve Optimal Wellbeing with these healthy activities.

  • Get a massage. Try to find 30 minutes to an hour per month and indulge yourself in a massage. There is nothing like human touch to get your blood flowing and promote feelings of well-being.
  • Practice yoga. With yoga you'll take away ways to overcome stress by building skills like deep breathing, stretching, and slowing down your mind, which you can practice during mini-breaks scheduled throughout your busy work day.
  • Disconnect with a warm bath. Step away from the hectic pace of life and relax for 20 minutes in a hot bath. A bath gives you built in time away from phone calls and emails, and you can make it more lavish with essential oils or scented Epsom salts.
  • Laugh. Go see or watch your favorite comedian, tell jokes around the dinner table, meet with friends and reminisce. There are many ways to find ways to laugh, and studies show that this is a verified way to reduce stress in the process!
  • Create a comfy and inviting home. Make small adjustments to de-stress your home such as playing relaxing music, placing plants and other fragrant flowers, hanging artwork, finding a place for meditation. You can also add a wind chime to your porch to relax yourself to sleep in the evenings.

Ask me for more details on how to de-stress your life, and achieve Optimal Wellbeing.

Control Of Your Portions

Part of this dynamic are the habits you have built and strengthened over years and years of repetition, and your body naturally prefers those familiar loops over something new. The other part of this dynamic is our caveman programming, which are hardwired survival behaviors that made a lot of sense when we were hunting and gathering to survive but are less practical in a world where food isn’t hard to find and where technology makes our lives easier with each passing day.

This leads to us answering questions from the field that follow a similar theme: How do I stick to healthy portions instead of overeating?

Click here to read the full article from my mentor, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen.

Visualization . . . .

Visualization | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

. . . . is imagining yourself, looking out at the ideal result. It is the practice of envisioning your dreams as if they were already complete. As part of your health journey, it can be an invaluable tool in reaching your goal weight. Here are some visualization techniques that can help:

•    Create a visual picture. Find a photo of yourself at your goal weight if you have one. Or select a picture of someone or something that represents a target weight for you. Try posting that photo where you'll see it frequently throughout the day. This is an excellent way to visualize your "why" and keep focused on your goal.

•    Index cards. Your journey towards lifelong transformation is a series of small steps. You can use index cards to write down the steps you need to focus on.  Try reviewing your stack of cards every morning and evening. Visualize yourself completing each step. This will keep your transformation journey in the forefront of your mind as you go through each day.

•    Use affirmations to support your visualization. An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of achieving that goal. An example: "I'm attending my wedding and people are telling me how beautiful I look!" Repeat it frequently as you continue your health journey, and look for small victories to celebrate on your way to a healthier life.

•    Expect results. Through writing down your goals, using the power of visualization, and repeating your daily affirmations, you will make great things happen. All of these techniques allow you to change your beliefs and opinions about yourself, which is essential for a successful health journey.

 

Visualization | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

Retrain Your Brain

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Many of us use food as a centerpiece. Break the cycle and find foodless activities to help retrain your brain. Be mindful when cravings hit and try fun alternatives without food. Here are some ways to expand your toolbox.

  • Get outside. Free yourself of temptation and spend time in the great outdoors. Go for a walk, run, or hike to get your heart rate pumping. Tend to your garden or take a seat and let your senses soar.
  • Start a hobby. Knitting, reading, woodworking, photography. YouTube is filled with countless videos of fun activities to learn. Find a hobby that interests you and refocus your mind on learning.
  • Join a gym or exercise class. What better way to retrain your brain than focusing on healthy motion. Join a local gym or studio and get moving to help improve your mood and relieve stress.
  • Challenge your brain. Mind games are a great way to strengthen your brain. Dust off your puzzles and games or play a card game like Solitaire to distract your mind for a bit.
  • Support yourself with good self-care. Make time for relaxation to help decompress from the day and recharge. Treat yourself to a spa visit or weekend getaway. Or, spend time with friends and connect with others to buffer the effects of stress.

Pop on the Habits of Health call tonight, March 1st, and embrace the opportunities you have and redirect your focus. Cultivating healthy lifestyle habits can help you cope with obstacles that stand in your way. Retrain your brain during emotional times and enjoy foodless fun!

Brain Exercise

Just like exercise is important for your body, so is exercise for your BRAIN!  Brain exercises can help increase your brain’s cognitive reserve. Here are some ideas to keep it sharp.

•    Test your recall. Make a list of grocery items, things to do, or anything else you can think of. Then memorize it. Later in the day, test yourself to see how many items you can recall. Make items on the list as challenging as possible for the greatest mental stimulation.

•    Do math in your head. Figure out problems without using pencil, paper, or a calculator. Add difficulty by trying to walk at the same time...you'll get some healthy motion in too!

•    Take a cooking class. Learn to cook a new, healthy dish. Cooking uses a number of senses: smell, touch, sight, and taste, which all involve using different parts of the brain.

•    Create word pictures. Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, then try to think of other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.

•    Refine your hand-eye abilities. Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, such as knitting, drawing, painting, or doing a puzzle.

These are just a few ways to keep your brain working and refreshed. Healthy habits are rooted in the way you think. Strengthening your mental health goes a long way towards making your entire health journey a success!

Exercise-your-brain | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

Defining Your WHY

Defining-your-why.png | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

It's important to define your WHY when working towards specific objectives like lifelong transformation - one healthy habit at a time.™

Knowing your WHY will give you resolution, help you to stay driven, and can move your life onto an entirely new, more rewarding path.

To make progress in achieving your goals you will want to understand the reasons WHY you want to meet important milestones that you will encounter along your journey.

  • Ask WHY until you feel the answer. Reflect deeply on your WHY - get emotionally charged and establish the confidence you need to conquer your goals.
  • Develop a strong WHY. If you have an important goal, like lifelong transformation, it needs a big WHY so you can see your journey through from beginning until end.
  • Think about all the benefits your WHY will achieve. In addition to becoming healthy again, your WHY can lead to new habits like establishing fit finances and a strong mind and body.
  • Make sure it lives within your heart, and your mind. There are many reasons to get healthy. Have you listed them? Have you reviewed them? Do the benefits stir you with strong emotion? Engage your heart in the process to achieve your WHY.

Ask me what you can do today to increase your motivation and determination to achieve the goals you've set. I can help you find the WHY for each important goal.

Four Milestone Goals To Strive For

Four-milestones-to-strive-for | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

Celebrating your Journey Step-by-Step:

When it comes to weight loss, a steady pace towards lifelong transformation is best for long term results and optimization.

It can be helpful to break up that overarching goal into smaller, "milestone" achievements along the way. Envisioning these milestones, and giving yourself recognition when you meet them, lets you reward yourself for the small changes and will help keep you on Plan.

Below are four notable milestones to set along the way:

  • Your first progress compliment. "You look great!" or "Have you lost weight recently?" are fabulous comments that you're likely to hear on your journey to lifelong transformation. Commemorate these comments by recording them in a gratitude journal or even on a post-it that you can stick on your mirror to read whenever you need to!
  • You notice YOU on camera. And it makes you feel proud and confident. Post that photo and enjoy the praise of others. Update your framed photos and put new ones around the house. Why not celebrate how amazing you look and feel with a professional photo shoot?
  • You overcome a plateau. If you prepare yourself for the idea that plateaus happen, and are temporary, you'll be better prepared to stay on track if/when you experience one. The best thing we can do is to remind ourselves that we are doing the right things but to also take advantage of the support and resources that are always available to you, like me, your OPTAVIA Coach.
  • You revisit your Why. This will remind you of the progress you desire in achieving your goals by inspiring yourself with the reasons why you want to continue on this journey to lifelong transformation - one healthy habit at a time™!

This list offers some meaningful ideas you can write down and commemorate on your journey to lifelong transformation, making it easier to achieve Optimal Health. Contact me for other suggestions along the way!

Dream Big

How-To Make a Powerful Dream Board

dream-big.png | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

When it comes to transforming your life one healthy habit at a time, bring your dreams to life by creating a dream board or visual outline of your overall goals in 2018.

Make your own unique dream board to help you achieve your goals while also defining your vision for the future. Follow these steps from wikiHow to create your board, and feel free to share it with me when complete!

  • Define your goals. First, set your goals. What are your overall objectives in 2018?
  • Find pictures and quotes to enhance your drive. Use magazines to find pictures and powerful quotes that speak to your overall goals in 2018. There are a wide range of magazines, like Good Housekeeping or Shape, that contain materials you can tailor to Dr. A's micro-habits like the power of motion or healthy hydration.
  • Make your board a collage. Be creative with the construction of your board. Consider pasting images on colorful backgrounds to add a bit of color or use a pattern from fabric.
  • Add words of encouragement. Reinforce your goals and overall vision by adding buzz words, and words of inspiration that stand out, helping to strengthen your daily resolve.
  • Share your dream board. When your dream board is finished, let's talk about your visions, dreams, and goals out loud, taking another step toward making them come true and attainable in the near future.

Would you like to join me on February 10th to create your dream board?

Seeing Is Believing

Seeing-is-believing | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

If you can visualize it - you can do it!

Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out at the ideal result. That's the technique of visualization-the daily practice of envisioning your dreams as if they were already complete. As part of your health journey, it can be an invaluable tool towards reaching your weight goal. Some visualization techniques that can help:

  • Create a visual picture. Find a photo of yourself at your happy weight. Or select a picture of someone or something that represents a target weight goal for you. Now post that photo where you'll see it frequently throughout the day. It is a great way to visualize your "Why" and make it feel concrete, keeping you focused on success..
  • Index cards. Your journey towards lifelong transformation is a series of small steps. Using 3x5 index cards, write down the steps you need to focus on and review the stack of cards every morning and evening. Whether it's staying hydrated, getting an extra hour of sleep or engaging in activities of Healthy Motion, visualize yourself doing each micro Habit of Health for 15 seconds. It will keep your transformation journey top of mind as you go through your day.
  • " Use affirmations to support your visualization. An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of achieving that goal. An example: "I'm attending my wedding and people are telling me how beautiful I look!" Repeat it frequently as you continue your health journey, and look for small victories to celebrate on your way to a healthier life..
  • Expect results. Through writing down your goals, using the power of visualization and repeating your daily affirmations, you can make great things happen. All of these techniques allow you to change your beliefs and opinions about yourself, which is essential for a successful Optimal Health journey.

The benefits of visualization are many-inspiring and motivating yourself, helping you focus on your goals better, building self-confidence. Ask me how we can put visualization to work for you!

Reflection

reflection.png | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

It’s the perfect time of year to reflect on your incredible success and plan for your amazing future! By developing a habit of daily reflection, you can open your mind to future growth and opportunity, while continuously improving yourself as you prepare for an optimal 2018.

Daily reflection enables you to:
•    Clear your mind for new and bigger ideas
•    Strengthen your relationship with friends and family
•    Be happier
•    Open your mind to new and different perspectives
•    Learn from your mistakes

Make reflection a daily habit by:
•    Journaling. Write one sentence daily to reflect back on your day and how you want to build upon it for the future.
•    Reflecting at the same time every day. Take a minute or two at the close of each day to look back and examine the last 24 hours.
•    Healthy Motion. One of the most opportune times for reflection is while you are moving.

Quiet Time - Winding Down

One of the most important daily activities for people to pursue is quiet time. This is your chance to simply be at peace, alone with your mind, and access a level of relaxation that everyone needs, but few people attain.

Quite Time | Winding Down | Pam Bredenkamp | Health Coach

I am going to pull a section from my mentor, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, and his book "The Habits of Health" because there is an exercise that you can perform daily that will create the ideal state for you.

The goal: Clear your mind of all thoughts that feeds your brain with negative thoughts that tense your body.

Step 1: Set aside 10 to 20 minutes a day. Good times are in the morning before breakfast or before dinner.

Step 2: Find a cozy, quiet, serene place that’s private so you can be alone with your thoughts without interruption. Turn off all electronic communication devices. Silence is the overriding principle.

Step 3: Sit up straight on the floor, in a comfortable relaxed position with legs crossed or in a chair, feet flat on the ground. Place your hands together on your lap, right hand resting in left, palms up. Begin taking slow breaths feeling your abdomen rise.

Step 4: Close your eyes, let tension release. Imagine it seeping out of every pore. Start with your feet and progress to the top of your head.

Step 5: Now let’s quiet our brain. Pick a word or phrase (your mantra) that is calming for you. Love, Peace, whatever creates a serene state. Slowly repeat the word over and over or focus on your breath and as you inhale say to yourself “I’m breathing in”, as you breath out think “I’m breathing out.” Keep doing this over and over. Words and thoughts will start to form, they are distractions. When they do, let them go and return to your word or breath. This is how your brain releases stress.

Step 6: Once you have done your 10 to 20 minutes and have reached a relaxed state, sit for another minute or two. As you return to your normal state, merge the calmness of the meditative state and take one last deep inhalation. Hold your breath for about 15 seconds, exhale, and relax.

Congratulations! You just created a new state of composure and control.

My True Best Friend!

We’ve all had a “Best Friend” - a BFF (if that’s what they are still called now-a-days). You know, someone that will always tell you the truth, doesn’t lie to you - EVER, is always there, supports you through the good and bad times. Sometimes they don’t say a word, but you know they are always there - available; ready when you are.

Mine has been with me a long time. Actually, now that I think about it, nearly 12 years! Wow! We’ve seen a lot of ups and down together - literally! Some of my highest points and some of my lowest; but never a harsh, demeaning, or degrading word shared - only what I needed to know right then, right there.

So who is my true-best friend you ask?

It’s my scale. Yep! My 12 year old scale! And no - I’m not nuts. Think about everything I just shared. My scale has never lied to me; it may not have told me what I wanted but has always told me what I needed to know right then, it doesn’t judge, and it truly supports me in my goals.

So don’t be afraid of your scale or think of your scale as the bearer of bad news. Embrace it - you never know where it will take you!

It IS your true-best friend!

If you found this to be helpful, inspiring, insightful, please #share! Thank you!