Power in positive thinking

Chico life coach shares secrets of relaxation

Almost half of Americans say they overeat to deal with stress. Eighteen percent drink alcohol, and 16 percent smoke. How backwards is that? (And how many of you are reading this and guiltily thinking, “Yup, that’s me!"?)

Believe it or not, while those may be natural responses for some people, they are not the recommended way to actually feel better. Claudia Weber, a life coach and clinical hypnotherapist in Chico, works one-on-one with people to help them get over their stress, depression and fears. And she says she’s seen a definite spike in business since summer.

“[The increase in clients] started over the summer and just has continued through,” she said. “It’s mostly through word of mouth. One person comes in for stress, fears, depression. And then they go back to work and people notice how much better they’re doing.”

With the economy playing a huge part in increased stress levels around the United States, it doesn’t make sense to offer a list of expensive remedies. So, while a day at the spa or joining a gym are perfectly good ways to relieve stress, the CN&R asked Weber to offer some cheap ways to relax. They may seem simple, but judging by all the doughnuts we’ve gone through lately, maybe we need the refresher course.

Get a good night’s sleep. Thirty minutes before bed, turn off the TV and the computer and take a relaxing shower or bath. “You’ll sleep more deeply and soundly if you do that,” Weber said.

Take in your news on the lite side. Watching more than the first 15 minutes of newscasts can get people worked up, she said: “After that, it’s just another accident with a different name.”

Eat healthfully. Weber recommends taking an all-natural multivitamin and incorporating 20 grams of low-fat protein each day. A B-complex time-release supplement can also serve as a great mood stabilizer, she added.

Surround yourself with positive vibes. Get outside, take a walk, exercise, pick up a positive hobby or do yoga or tai chi. “If they can’t afford classes, they can certainly pick up a book and learn that way.”

Simplify your life. “This is very, very important,” Weber said. “A lot of people take on too much—they don’t know how to say no.” Giving yourself time to just be with your family or friends can really help you—and them—relax. The same goes for giving yourself time free from anxiety. “Walk, don’t run,” Weber advises.

Don’t worry, be happy. “Worry doesn’t solve any problems. It doesn’t create solutions,” Weber said. When she works with clients, she helps them to focus on the solutions to problems rather than the problems themselves. “I firmly believe this: For every problem you think is unsolvable, there are at least 10 solutions. You just haven’t thought of them yet.”

A lot of what Weber shows people is the difference between positive and negative thinking. Just changing the way you look at things can change how you feel about life.

“It’s very important that people focus on progress and hope,” Weber said. “I know we’re in for some challenging times, but it’s important that people continue to focus on the good and to help their neighbors and bond together.”