Don’t Make This Mistake When Coping With Stress

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Before we begin, I’d like to share with you a conversation I had the other day with a young woman in my office. She quit smoking two months ago – Yay for taking such a big step towards better health! And she gained 20 pounds.

We brainstormed on what might be contributing to her weight gain. Yes, she has an insanely busy schedule. No, she doesn’t have much time to eat healthy nor does she have much time to exercise. No, not much has changed in her life except that she quit smoking.

So our conversation turned to what smoking did for her, in addition to it being stinky, costly, and harmful to her lungs. She used cigarettes to cope with stress. They comforted her, and that comfort is now gone!

As it turns out, once the comfort from smoking was taken away, she had to replace it with something else, even though this was not a conscious decision. Like so many of us, that something for her is eating. So, she’s been snacking a lot lately. While in the past she would have reached for a cigarette, now she reaches for some comfort food.

And the comfort food that most of us crave is not healthy, even though it doesn’t have to be that way. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Reaching for Comfort

For better or for worse, to cope with stress we find ways to comfort ourselves. We don’t say that I’m comforting myself with this piece of pizza because I’m working longer hours – we just do it. Or we eat a box of chocolate cookies in one sitting after a bad breakup.

While most of us don’t have much control over our stress, we do have a choice on how to comfort ourselves. And how we comfort ourselves can make or break our health.

So, here are some questions for you to ponder:

  1. What are the ways that you comfort yourself?
  2. How much do those ways contribute to your stress?
  3. How much do they contribute to your health (or the lack of it)?
  4. Are you comforting yourself enough or do you feel deprived?

If the way you cope with stress is not contributing to your better health, find alternatives!

Here is a simple, healthy 2-minute exercise for comfort.

You can do it while sitting or standing. Either way, it is really soothing.

Dr. Dan ZhouDon’t Make This Mistake When Coping With Stress
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How to Take Care of Yourself When You Don’t Want To

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At my workshop a few weeks ago, “From Exhausted to Energized”, one particular source of energy depletion for several attendees was the lack of self-care.

We know we should do some form of self-care every day. We know we need better structure of our schedule so that we have time to meditate for five minutes, stretch for 10 minutes, go to bed on time, etc.

We just don’t do it.

And we feel bad about not doing it.

I’ve been there myself. As a matter of fact, there are a number of self-care strategies that I’d like to add into my schedule, still. So, I came up with a way to practice self-care in the face of resistance.

And the result is a tapping audio that will help you to move through this impasse:

If you are new to tapping, you may want to check out my introduction to tapping video first.

Tapping is an amazing technique for moving through many types of emotional and mental blockages in life. So, it’s good for you to have it in your toolbox.

Let me know what you think! Leave me a comment below.

Dr. Dan ZhouHow to Take Care of Yourself When You Don’t Want To
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5 Hidden Causes of Exhaustion

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Do you find yourself crashing at the end of the day or week?

Ever wonder what you could do if you had enough energy to charge ahead without being constantly concerned about running on empty?

Plan for that special vacation you’ve been dreaming about? Go for that training you always wanted? Be fully present with your spouse and your children, and have a good time?

Do you wonder why you are so exhausted at the end of a normal day?

When most people encounter exhaustion, they attribute it to overwork, a lack of sleep, or even a diagnosis like adrenal fatigue.

“I didn’t sleep well last night, so I’m tired today,” They tell themselves. “I worked for too long, so I’m tired.”

Over time, exhaustion becomes a track that you stay on, with no exit in sight.

There are some obvious reasons why you get exhausted, like overexertion from exercise – you worked out for two hours today and you can’t move anymore. Or you just went through a major operation.

There are also some not-so obvious reasons why you are exhausted.

  1. A Sluggish System
    Do you sometimes feel too tired to go to the gym or a yoga class? Then, you push yourself to go and you feel much better afterwards. When you are in this mode, it is like your computer or iPhone that has become slow and sluggish for whatever reason.
  2. An Energy Vampire
    Have you ever found yourself exhausted after spending time with someone? You listened patiently and sympathetically to their struggles and now you’re tired. Their problems exhausted you and they feel much better after sharing with you. You have an energy vampire in your life. They are probably not even aware of what they are doing. They only know that they feel better after speaking with you and they really like you!
  3. Crowds
    Sometimes you go to the mall and come home exhausted. You tell yourself that shopping is exhausting. The truth is that the crowd and the mood that they’re in affect you. In a mall, someone may be angry, overwhelmed, or sad. You pick up all of that and it drags you down.Here is a different experience for you to try: go to a concert – it’s an exhilarating experience because people’s attention is on the music, leaving their troubles at home.
  4. Clutter
    The ancient art and science of Feng Shui is based on the premise that our living environment affects our energy and wellbeing. The clutter in your house, that old magazine from two months ago, that unfinished project from two years ago sitting in the closet, all impact your state of being. The clutter represents stagnant energy.One Feng Shui master advised a client with severe depression to empty his drawer of old underwear. His client was baffled but went ahead and did it anyways. The uplifting mood it put him in amazed them both.
  5. A Swiss Cheese Shield
    Imagine this scenario: you and your friend go shopping. You’re exhausted afterwards, but she’s still full of energy. The crowd affected you but not her.
    It happens when you have a shield like Swiss cheese. Our physical skin is the largest organ in the body that protects us from unwanted bacteria. We also have an energy skin, invisible to most of us, that protects us from good energy leaking out and unwanted energy coming in. If there are holes in the shield, like Swiss cheese, you get exhausted more easily.

There are ways that you can protect yourself & increase your energy.  To learn how check out my upcoming workshop From Exhausted to Energized.

Dr. Dan Zhou5 Hidden Causes of Exhaustion
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Don’t Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

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Best Year EverIf you are like many of my clients, your body has let you down. It may even feel like your body has betrayed you!

You can’t make 2017 your best year ever.

In fact, you shouldn’t.

Why?

When your body has let you down and left you feeling isolated, confused, and depressed, all this talk about the New Year only overwhelms you.

It’s irrelevant to you.

Instead, what you do need is a process that enables you to take one simple action – One. Day. At. A. Time.

And here’s how.  The following is the process that will help you start taking action on a daily basis:

  1. Decide on a goal. For example: be able to play with your children, or have more energy. Make it juicy enough that you really want it.
  2. Make a commitment to reach that goal.
  3. Pick one action that will advance you towards your goal. Choose something that helps you but isn’t too challenging, like walking around the block every day for 15 minutes.
  4. Select a time of when you’ll do it. For example, every morning before breakfast at 7:30 am.
  5. Start that action today!

Do it one day at a time, regardless of whether you feel like doing it or not. Doing that one thing every day is what’s going to make a difference in your health and in your life.

For several years, I dabbed in gratitude practice here and there as a way to feel happier, but didn’t have much success. I was only doing it occasionally, completing about a dozen entries in the past few years.

Then, that all changed six months ago. At the time, I went through some major transitions both at home and in my business, which affected my health. To ward off stress and sustain my energy, I made a decision and commitment to practice daily gratitude, so that I would have the energy and good mood to create a beautiful home and serve my clients on a deeper level. I did it every night before going to sleep.

Today, my simple home has come alive with beauty and I have created step-by-step systems to serve my clients. The gratitude practice has become a nightly ritual that I look forward to. My heart is filled with thanks when I fall asleep.

Here is the action I’d like you to take today: go back to the process that I laid out earlier, set a goal, make a commitment, choose your daily action, and create a schedule. Get started today.

Leave a comment below to let me know what action you’ll be taking!

Dr. Dan ZhouDon’t Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever
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9 Steps to Amazing Results for 2017

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Happy Holidays everyone!

For the past few years, I have set aside one day in late December with candlelight to envision my goals for the next year. It’s been a yearly ritual that has jump-started many amazing things in my life.

With the New Year right around the corner, we’re given another chance ENERGETICALLY to get even more amazing at living. There is an opening in our collective psyche that makes positive changes much more attainable.

Over the years, I have refined the process, and came up with what I call “Breakthrough to Amazing Results” with 9 steps. By following the process, you’ll lay the groundwork to create something extraordinary for you in 2017. Bring out a pen and paper, and come along for the ride…

  1. Set up a Sacred Space
    Spaces for rituals are important as they create a container for magic to happen. If you want and if it’s possible, light a candle. You can also ring a bell. Play some soft background music.
  2. Get Relaxed and Centered
    With Energy Exercise “Cradle Yourself”:

    • Place your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder.
    • Take a deep breath in, and breathe out slowly.
    • Take another deep breath in, breathing out slowly while placing your hands over your heart.
    • Close your eyes and affirm: “I’ll have an amazing, productive session for the next 30 minutes.”
    • Bring a smile to your lips.
    • Now, open your eyes.
  3. List Your Past Accomplishments:
    Make a list of your major achievements this past year, including things and events that made you happy. Include your good health, if that applies.
  4. Celebrate Yourself
    Sit quietly. Allow that sense of accomplishment to swell up and sink into your psyche. Now, tap on your 3rd eye, which is located between your eyebrows. Also make plans to physically celebrate, such as take a day trip to a park, or have dinner with friends.
  5. List Your Past Challenges
    Make a list of all the things you want to let go of, like challenges and obstacles that you’ve had in the past year (including events and emotions like: Bad knee. Incident in the gym, the car accident. Frustration. Sadness.)
    You can focus on one area, or alternatively, you can go through these areas:
    Health, including exercise and diet
    Family and friends
    Career
    Finance
    Habits like smoking or spending
    Social engagements
    When you are done, you can burn the list and bury the ashes in your yard or at a park.
  6. Release the Past:
    With Energy Exercise – “Expelling the Venom”:

    • Sit up straight. Take a deep breath in. Breathe out slowly.
    • Make fists with both hands, with your palms facing up. In your fists, hold all your external and internal challenges, and your reactions to them from this past year.
    • Take another deep breath in slowly. Swing both arms up and out, with your fists facing the front.
    • Exhale, opening your fists and forcefully pushing them downward in front of you while making the ‘shhh’ sound. You are releasing all that you don’t want to keep for the New Year.
    • Repeat three more times.
    • When coming down the last time, allow your arms to come down slowly and deliberately.

    Now, tap on the top of your head: “I willing and easily release all blocks to a healthy, happy, and abundant life.”

  7. Affirm Your Vision
    Make a list of affirmations.
    Place your hands over your chest and recite each one 3 times. Here is a sample list:
    “I am healthy, wealthy, and happy.”
    “I have plenty of time to get everything done.”
    “I have plenty of energy to get through the day.”
  8. Set Your Goals
    Make a list of your goals. Be specific. That’s what triggers your psyche or subconscious mind to muster all your resources to help you succeed.
    “Lose 30 pounds by May 31.”
    “Exercise 3 times a day by February 1.”
    “Reduce smoking to 1 cigarette a day by March 31.”
  9. Welcome the Future
    Now, place your thumbs at the outer corners of your eyes, with your fingers over the hairline and hold.
    Affirm: “I easily accomplish all my goals. The universe comes together to support me!”

Armed with the solid foundation that you created with this process, you are now ready to go live with intention. Keep an eye on your goals. Go for a vibrant body, radiant health, and a fulfilled life.

Share with me below on what YOU will do to have amazing results for 2017!

Dr. Dan Zhou9 Steps to Amazing Results for 2017
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Stress-Free Holiday

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Your tips for a stress free holiday.
Three more weeks, we’ll be in 2017.

The days are shorter, but the lines everywhere are longer.

You have more to do but don’t seem to have enough time.

On top of that, unresolved family issues may surface during the holiday season. You are rushed, stressed, and tired. You may even feel depressed and lonely during this time.

I’m here to offer you a few energy exercises to counter the holiday blues so you can move through the holiday with Ease & Calmness.

When you’re done, comment below and tell me your thoughts on enjoying a stress free holiday. How will you make your holiday an enjoyable one?

Dr. Dan ZhouStress-Free Holiday
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Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Meal planning is fiercely underway. Festivity is in the air. All of the preparation can be very stressful, especially if you are hosting a large gathering at your place.

Then, there’s the gathering itself, the people, and the food. Will the food come out right? Will everyone get along? For some, there’s an added concern of indigestion and challenging bodily functions, even while our mouths water over the image of pies and turkeys.

With any feast, there are three essential bodily concerns: your energy level, your body’s ability to digest food, and your ability to withstand stress during family get-togethers and preparing for one of the year’s busiest meals!

To shape your digestion and prepare your body ahead of time, try some of these energy exercises to keep you relaxed and calm, so that you can really enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  1. De-Stress the Body
    To cope with the stress of food prep and intricate family dynamics, you can stroke the area behind your ears to calm yourself. This movement is similar to tucking your hair behind your ears. Do it as often as possible.
  2. Boost Energy For more energy to handle chores and guests, you can simply massage a couple of points under your collarbones. Locate the tip of the collarbone under your throat and, moving down and out an inch, massage the points on both sides of the body.
  3. Beef Up the Digestion
    To give your stomach a hand while it works overtime during this time of the year, massage the lower edge of your breast tissue, starting from the sternum (middle of the chest) and moving in a semi-circle to the sides of the rib cage. For women, this is the path along your bra line. For men, this is a half-moon area within two inches around your nipples.

Starting today, take some time every day to do these simple and quick exercises. When Thanksgiving rolls around, you’ll be equipped with both skills and a better body to really enjoy the gathering, the people and the food.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Dan ZhouTips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
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