Do you or does someone you know have brain farts?

Brain Farts, Glucose and Stress

Brain Farts are not my original idea.  It’s a term a friend uses for when his boss seems to go off the deep end and freak out, sending lots of emails and texts, all at once.  Often the messages can be contradictory. We don’t want to go any farther with this than to use the phrase for considering ourselves and how we react (no pointing fingers, now, hey!). They re common, but preventable, so there is hope.

Stress and Brain Farts

Do you have brain farts sometimes?  I recently was on the receiving end with someone sending me 15 emails in the period of a very few hours (like two).  Rada: brain fart. This occurrence made me think about brain farts and stress - and thinking.  I was, at the time, reading about what our brains can handle and what not, and how when our glucose levels are low, we can handle very little.

Glucose and thinking

We need a good amount of glucose to think well (but, not too much, either- that’s where the pancreas comes in).  But stress messes it up.  I have discovered that when we are under stress, as I assume the person who sent me so many emails was, we do not regulate our glucose levels very well. It’s kind of like having diabetes, and that is a way to impair brain functions, big time.  Thus, brain farts occur.

So, what is there to do:

·     Manage Stress like it’s like diabetes (Type 2)- eat and exercise in a healthy manner

·     Get enough rest and relaxation and have good sleep hygiene

·     Talk about it, and enjoy your relationships with friends and family

·     See stress in a positive way (reframe it)

First, keep healthy, live healthy.  It’s what we all know we should do, but when you are under stress, it is the BEST thing you can do.  Don’t just “keep going” or “drink stress off” at the weekend.  That kind of lifestyle exacerbates the problem of brain farts. Really.

Second, make R&R a lifestyle:  sleep, rest and having fun are a big part of fixing stress.  Go, have a vacation, a mini-vacation, or a day off.  Your BODY deserves it.

Relationships are key for all our lives, even when it comes to stress.  We are made to relate with others and being with significant people helps us to lower our stress levels and to wind down.  Talk about it, too, of course.  Have your friends over, go for a coffee, make time for relationship.

Finally, think of stress as preparing your body for the next hard thing you have to do.  In other words, reframe stress. Kelly McGonigal has given a great TED talk and written a book (“The Upside of Stress:  Why Stress is Good for you and how to get Good at it”) on it; I highly recommend these as sources to look at and help you to change the way you think about stress.  It’s more about our perception than you think. 

Stress, like change is something we will all have with us.  So, how can you avoid brain farts due to low glucose levels and stress?  Be healthy, be relational, and see stress differently.

Have a healthy, brain-fart-free week!

Patricia Jehle