100 MINUTES OF STRESS RELIEF WEEKLY
This target asks you to aim for 100 minutes of stress relief each week.
When you get 100 minutes of stress relief each week, you neutralize the powerful hormonal maelstrom of stress. You give yourself the emotional and physical resilience you need to stay committed to your goals and make better choices in every area of your life.
Stress builds a wall against weight loss. Your body has a highly effective stress response system. All day, as we race through our hectic schedules and worry about our to-do lists, we are triggering this response. Each stress response is a small appetite booster—and it won’t make you crave carrots.
Over time, we build habits around stress. We are pushed to high-fat, sugary, salty foods by our bodies, repeatedly, until it becomes our habit to eat when stressed. Now that you know how habits work, you can understand how this one is reinforced over time, as stress becomes the trigger and the consumption of fatty sugary foods releases dopamine as a reward.
What does stress relief look like?
It's up to you. You may decide that one hour-long yoga class alongside two twenty-minute walks at lunch is your weekly formula. I choose to do five twenty-minute meditation sessions each week. (I like that I have two days off to work with so that my de-stressing minutes don’t stress me out!)
Some people feel most refreshed by restful, contemplative activities while others find they need to do something active, that gets them “out of their own head.” I have clients who love coloring or knitting for stress relief, and others who run, or read, or garden, or write in a journal. One woman I know swears by putting on loud music and having a solo dance party (or a dance party with the kids), and another bakes bread and elaborate cakes.
Think outside the box when it comes to stress-relieving activities—almost anything you enjoy can count if you find it leaves you feeling relaxed. Exercise is great for stress, but Target 100 asks you to aim for 100 minutes of stress relief on top of your exercise and movement minutes.
THE OTHER 5 TARGETS
- Breathing exercises
- Spending time with a pet
- Listening to music
- Calling a friend
- Positive visualization
- Taking a walk
- Making a “gratitude list”
- Spending time outdoors
- Taking a bath
- Getting a massage