It’s not hocus-pocus. This simple question can reduce your stress and guide you through life.

Will this nourish and support me?

Whether food, drink, work, friendships or family situations, the truth is, what doesn’t nourish or support you in the long term will deplete you and cause you stress.

So if you’re considering a piece or two of chocolate cake, or a glass or three of wine, when you ask “will this nourish and support me?” you will know the answer and what is best for you. Possibly half a slice of cake or one glass of wine will be okay.

The key is to take time to center and connect with yourself, rather than mindlessly steam ahead to fill a gap (whether mental, emotional, physical or spiritual). When you stop mid-action, or just before, and ask the question, you recognize what you do or don’t need to feel balanced, vibrant and happy.

The purpose of this practice isn’t to take away pleasure. It is to connect you to that all-knowing part of yourself and prevent you from charging ahead on automatic pilot and seriously increasing your levels of stress, that damage health and overall wellbeing.

This works in exactly the same way with work. You may love the work but find the hours insanely long, or maybe you’re paid a pittance. In either case the question “does this work nourish and support me?” will initiate a “no” in reply and a nudge to take appropriate action to find a more life-enhancing way to work or else search for another job.

“Does this friendship nourish and support me?” will also provide an honest answer if you listen. The truth may come slowly and in stages. On reflection you may realize that after each call or meeting you feel depressed, or drained of energy. There is your answer! No, the friendship does not nourish and support you. This may not mean you have to drop the friendship. It may merely require a little introspection or discussion to discover how you can make it work for rather than against you. Perhaps you are giving too much. Perhaps you don’t feel heard. Perhaps there are issues troubling your friend that you are unaware of.

The question “does this relationship nourish and support me?” can bring many insights following a response of “not entirely” or a firm “no”. Maybe you feel that you never “reach” the other person, that they demand too much, they don’t see or hear you, or you take one another for granted. As relationships evolve they need to be refreshed. This may be what needs to happen for you to feel nourished within it. Or maybe you need to put yourself first.

The emergency guidelines on a plane require that you put the oxygen mask on yourself first. The reasoning is sound. When you can breathe you can help others. It is the same in life. You need to nourish yourself and feel balanced in order to lovingly be with and support others.

Above all, you need to know how you feel in a variety of situations and with different people. Do you feel comfortable, stimulated, energized, calm or happy; or do you feel drained, angry, exhausted or frustrated? How you feel will be reflected in your answers to the questions.

This doesn’t mean you should be selfish, self-indulgent and self-obsessed. It simply means that when balanced you are able to be loving, sensitive and compassionate with yourself and others.

Will this nourish and support me? The answers to this question can reduce your stress and guide you through life. Try it.

With love,

Gillian.

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