Thursday, 1 July 2010

#9. Cut back on stimulants

After reading the last tip, this should make sense. Most stimulants are a short-term fix to a long-term problem. There are some reported benefits of caffeine to boost your workout, however caffeinated products used as a way to fight fatigue aren't a good idea. If you need a coffee to get you started in the morning, address the fact that you are tired and maybe need to get to bed earlier. Then enjoy your coffee!

Most people like a drink after work. However,have you ever considered that the enjoyment of feeling intoxicated is only part of what makes a drink enjoyable? Most people don't eat enough during the day, or drink enough water. By the end of the day, most people are stressed out, hungry and thirsty. A glass of wine or pint will temporarily satisfy all these cravings in one hit. Just the very thought should get you thinking about your beverage of choice. I'm not saying don't have a drink. I am merely suggesting that the drink is temporarily satisfying a list of other natural urges.

Most people who drink are addicted to alcohol. However, alcoholism is the prolonged excessive intake in which deprivation would result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Being addicted simply means you crave it and/or your body needs more to get the same feeling. Addiction is also habit forming. Your addictions are only highlighted when when you try to create behaviour change. The clients who are unknowingly addicted are the ones who tell me they want to get fit but will not give up their vices (alcohol, cheese, Pringles!).

I meet plenty of clients who have normalised their reliance on stimulants to get them through the day because it is considered an acceptable consequence of working life. It's like buying a car and gluing together bits of the panel rather than getting it fixed properly. For most, you are rolling the dice thinking your daily can of red bull can push back fatigue. Others aren't so fortunate and end up with more serious problems. Stimulants can also be a way to numb the pain of your life. Depression and mental health are a serious issue and don't get the attention they should.

Maybe write down a list of the stimulants/pain killers e.t.c that you take and see whether there is a pattern forming. Think about what was going on when you needed a cigarette or cup of coffee. Also get a professional opinion on whether there could be an underlying problem.

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