Imagine being a cave woman. You’re walking around the woods, looking for some berries when all of a sudden a sabre-tooth tiger is standing right in front of you. Your brain goes into fight or flight mode. Adrenalin surges through your body so that you can fight the tiger off or run away as fast as possible. This response is necessary. It keeps you alive!

Today we are threatened by deadlines, asshole bosses, taxes, financial issues, stress, and more. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference. Our “flighting” skills have become overeating, denial, and avoidance. When we go into “fight” mode, we think we have to go 0 to 100 in order to make the changes necessary to get away from our sabre tooth tiger.

So, how do we fix this? First, you have to differentiate the paper tigers from the real tigers. Then, it’s all about managing your emotions and learning how to redirect the way you think, feel, and act in response to your tigers.

Topics Covered in This Episode

  1. What are your tigers?
    1. The term paper tiger refers to the “fight or flight” phenomenon where a person is in continuous fight or flight mode and can no longer tell the difference between a “paper tiger” and a real tiger.
    2. One of the first steps to handling stress is to decide if a problem is a real tiger or a paper tiger. If it can’t physically hurt you, its not a real tiger.
  2. How do you respond to them?
    1. Fight – Desperate dieting, punishing yourself
    2. Freeze – You do nothing. You stay in your wet blanket of misery, scared to do anything.
    3. Flight – Emotional eating, denial, avoidance, focus on unimportant things, not living in the moment,
  3. What to do
    1. Recognize the tigers before you react
      1. Is it a real or paper tiger?
      2. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
      3. What can I control vs what can I let go?
    2. Be in the moment even when you don’t like your behavior or your situation in life
      1. Inaction breeds anxiety. Get outdoors, take a walk, be social, get out of your own way
    3. You can’t change your actions until you change your thoughts. Thoughts>Feelings>Actions

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Can You Tell the Difference Between Paper Tiger and Real Tigers.

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