Stress-free sounds difficult. Your alarm clock goes nuts – you swipe to snooze. It goes nuts, again, you swipe to snooze, again. Sit up, deadbeat, fall back down. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Booby trap your body for success by reducing your stress levels (for improved problem-solving skills), nourish your body well for sustained energy, and know hot prepare for any emergency situation;
Stress-free? Preparation is key
It’s far easier to get up in the morning when your immediate to-do list isn’t so long.
Your sleepy brain will take a good hour to fully engage your frontal cortex. Your frontal cortex is the part of your brain that’s responsible for cognitive function, like planning, decision-making, and coordinating. It’s far easier to roll out of bed and let autopilot take over.
You can hack your productivity in the morning by doing all the frontal cortex work the night before, ie, the planning tasks. Choosing your outfit, deciding what to eat, gathering what you need for the day.
It’s far easier to get up and slide on the clothes that are waiting on the dresser than it is to choose clothes.
Find your fuel and feel stress-free
Whether you’re prepping for a meeting, a morning workout, or trying to make it until Friday, find your fuel. Many people simply can’t stomach breakfast.
The health industry has inundated everyone with the concept that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that you should absolutely force it down if you’re not hungry. Maybe its time we start listening to our bodies? Your body will know better than any other entity, including scientists, what it needs and that infinite wisdom will be communicated to you through your appetite.
Make sure you feel strong before you decide to skip breakfast. Make sure you have a snack handy. Sometimes the desire to eat kicks in 20 minutes after you leave home – and that’s the time to nourish your body so that you’re primed for success.
Kick the caffeine
Coffee drinkers are socially hailed as successful people because they must need that extra boost to be productive. We’re busting that myth! Caffeine will have your energy-levels see-sawing all. You won’t even realise that you are living from slump to slope and back again.
For more sustained energy, skip the coffee
The first few weeks will be the most tired you’ve ever been but once your body adjusts, you will have more energy that keeps you focused for longer.
We know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Did you know that eating an apple will wake your brain up faster?
An apple isn’t only more effective at rousing you from a sleep state, it’s also touted as a perfect pre-workout morning snack. How does it work? When your jaws have to work, you’re increasing blood circulation to the brain, bringing boosting cognitive function. The sugars an enzymes in an apple release slowly, giving you a gradual and steady energy supply – unlike coffee which jolts you up before you plummet back down (resulting in the need for another cuppa). Caffeine will also hamper your attempts at being stress-free because it engages your body’s fight or flight response.
Cut the commute stress (and never get stranded again)
Nothing is worse than sitting in traffic when you’re late. What about a car that won’t start when you’re heading for a big presentation? And directions? Getting lost will leave you frazzled. Not a champion start for a day’s success or a stress-free start.
If you’re commuting to a new place, make sure you have the address handy the night before and have a ride ready.
Worried about your vehicle?
Success is simply the byproduct of preparation and opportunity, combined. Reduce your stress levels and improve your problem-solving abilities. Keep a list of emergency contacts on your phone – yes – the ambulance, the fire brigade, and poison control should be there but extend it. Add essential service providers who you can trust in an emergency situation, like a reliable chauffeur service should you need a stress-free ride at the drop of a hat.
In the heat of the panic, there will be no need to search for an uncomfortable cab hire or to call a colleague to fetch you. Remove the need to scramble and problem-solve by keeping helpful resources close at hand.