Yep the old KISS principle. It gets thrown around a lot in health, fitness and even business circles, but it's a useful mantra for everyday life.
We are all under our own stresses and strains: worries about work, financial security, relationships in crisis…the list can seem endless. Some of these stresses we cannot change for one reason or another, i.e. quit our job due to family necessity, and others we may not want to change. Yep some of us love a bit of pressure in our lives and don’t feel our day is completed until we’ve battled through a mountain of emails, post it note reminders and phone messages!
However, our body and mind’s ability to deal with the stresses that life throws at us, either by choice or by consequence, is affected by the lifestyle we lead and the fuel we feed our bodies. Once you come back to the basic principle of keeping it simple, everything else starts to seem simpler too.
When we get busy and stressed, we tend to make poor nutritional choices. The bodies inability to deal with toxins from bad food is a big strain. It will affect your minds performance, your bodies ability to heal and more importantly, regulate our blood sugar and hormone levels. By understanding that the food we put in our mouths can affect how we react to situations you can start to make smarter choices and be prepared. A little planning goes a long way.
Time for silence is really important. Have you ever tried reading a book with the radio blaring? It nigh on impossible to concentrate and fully focus on the words on the pages. It’s much the same when we are stressed. Our brain cannot file away the information and make sense of all the signals it’s receiving.
Time alone, being quiet and mediating – or however you ‘switch off’ – is so important for your brain and body to find stillness. Only then can we see the desk for the post it notes!
Here are some simple tips to help you manage stress and give the body and brain a helping hand:
Be prepared with healthy food choices. Make sure you have the fridge, pantry and desk draw filled with some yummy treats. Dried fruit and nuts, healthy low sugar cereal bars, yogurt and seeds. If your sugar levels are high due to stress, you’ll go hunting for the naughty stuff high in sugar and end up chasing the sugar roller coaster all day.
Take some quiet time away from life. Don’t eat lunch by your desk or standing up while you prepare the kids dinner. Sit down and enjoy your meals. Get out into nature and go for a walk. Even a ten minute stroll around the block can make all the difference. If you have kids then take them with you. Ever noticed how they are calmer outside? If you are stressed then they are stressed, they have an uncanny knack for picking up on these things!
Sleep well and deep. Studies have shown that people who go to bed by 10pm and wake early are the healthiest and will maintain an ideal body weight. So aim to get to bed by 10pm and enjoy a nice long restful sleep. If you need to work late you will do better to get to bed on time and get up early in the morning when your brain has rested and repaired.
So the next time you are feeling a little (or a lot) overwhelmed by it all, remember to stop, breathe, and KISS – and everything else might just look a little simpler too.