Monday, December 22, 2008

Don't Forget the Point!

Today at work I had to say goodbye to a lot of people who I won't see again. I feel kind of sad about it because I've spent months getting to know them, and helping them on their journey toward wellness. However, life is full of beginnings and endings, and well, that's just the way it goes! Later in the morning, I was at another work location, and got into a conversation with someone who wanted to tell me all about what is wrong with the US government and why it's so bad (I do have issues with taxing regular soda and not diet, but that's another story). I could practically see his blood pressure going up as we talked, and it made me think about how worked up we can get about things we have strong opinions about even if they are out of our control.

I ended this conversation using one of my handy wellness coaching exit strategies, and then said happy holidays before moving on.... WELL, this really set him off onto another rant about how Happy Holidays is the stupidest saying ever. If he hears one more person say it, he's going to blow up (seriously?!). Apparently, it bothers him to not be able to say Merry Christmas, and he doesn't want to say Happy Holidays because that includes holidays like Kwanza and Hanukkah. As I watched his blood pressure go through the roof, I thought about how badly this person was really just missing the point! He was missing the point that it doesn't matter to him or anyone else what Happy Holidays means. He was missing the point that he was negatively impacting his health by perseverating on whose fault it was that the government is a mess (his words).

In the name of our health and wellness, when we focus on what the real "points" are in life, we are much better off. We can only control certain things, and this includes how we control our reactions to those things in life that we have no control over. Getting all worked up about things does not help our blood pressure, and negatively impacts our bodies and minds in many ways. Cortisol is a hormone released when we experience the stress response, and this (especially over time) has many negative effects on the body.

Why should you care?

In terms of whatever wellness issue you are working on, take a moment to remember the point. Once you are aware of the point, ask yourself if it makes sense. Ask yourself if you might want to change anything about what you're doing, or how you're looking at your issue.

A good example of this is regarding weight loss. Ask yourself why you're trying to lose weight? Is it for your health benefit? Or is it for some other reason (i.e. so you'll be happier, someone will respect you more, you'll look better than your neighbor)? If it's for some other reason, look into it----a lot of times what we think is the issue (or the point) really isn't. If your reason for losing weight is to fix a relationship, it's probably not the weight that you would be best off focusing on. Alternatively, sometimes you are right on target.

So The Point is------awareness, open eyes, empowerment to be improving your wellness on purpose in the way you intend, for the reasons you value.

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