Remember Maslow’s pyramid of needs? So, at its very first stage our basic needs are located. These are sleep, water, breathing, sex and food. Yes, all that is essentially self-evident, right? Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more often about this very pyramid: about how much we cover these primary needs. And if there is a resource at a basic level, then you can move further, towards fulfillment and giving, love, communication, knowledge of the world, creativity and, as a result, personal growth. It turns out that in order to reach the top of the pyramid (by the way, is it similar to the chakra system by any chance?), you need to learn how to get enough sleep, breathe properly, drink enough water and eat well. If a person cannot cope with this, then how can he jump from the first class straight to the fourth?
Everything is interconnected. Let’s call it the psychology of nutrition. How a person eats and what they eat can determine their physical and psychological needs. Please note that during times of stress, individual people’s bodies behave differently, as a number of biological processes are triggered. Some people run to the refrigerator, to the forbidden cabinet with waffles and marmalade, in order to get quick pleasure due to an intense jump in blood sugar and temporarily drown out anxiety. This is the influence of the hormone cortisol and the principle of “escape” from reality. Others, on the contrary, refuse to eat until they stabilize their condition. Adrenaline works here, ready to cope with the problem at any moment. It turns out that the more often we are in a state of stress, the more we disrupt the usual rhythm of life, preventing ourselves from properly meeting basic needs and, thereby, slowing down our ascent up Maslow’s pyramid.
Based on a person’s diet, you can easily determine how he feels from the inside and what mood is inherent in him during this period. As I already said, the psycho-emotional state affects what a person eats, and food, in turn, affects our mood. For example, a lack of vitamin D and iron can cause apathy, drowsiness, and lack of energy. And its compensation in the form of the right foods for breakfast can increase stamina, provide a supply of energy and, as a result, improve your mood, and a common internal resource will allow you to look at this day, at yourself, at life in a new way.
Here we should not forget about the importance of discipline and regime – the theory of small steps, when daily systematic rituals lead to achieving a big goal. For example, a regular balanced breakfast will not only provide the body with the necessary microelements, but will also affect the production of neurotransmitters in our brain: for example, protein will increase the level of serotonin, the “happiness hormone,” and the right carbohydrates will increase dopamine, which affects the feeling of interest in life, motivation, confidence and willpower.
The process of cooking your own food will spark creative ideas. This is my personal theory, confirmed in practice. When I cook what I love, from quality ingredients, in a beautiful and well-kept kitchen, with music that fills me, I enter a meditative state, relax, surrender to the moment and feel like a creator. It also affects neurotransmitters. Try preparing yourself a beautiful, juicy dish with a generous portion of greens, tasty fish or grains and oils. This way you will enjoy the process itself, the result and the thought that all this will benefit not only the digestive system, but also a sense of self-worth. You can talk about this for a long time, but it’s better to go the empirical route and observe yourself, your feelings after each meal. What brings you pleasure and benefit, what emotions do you experience, how does food affect creative processes? This is exciting work on ourselves that each of us can start now.
What is the conclusion? You need to learn how to react correctly to stress – breathe deeply, adhere to a sleep and rest schedule, choose a balanced diet that will fill you up and not burden you, drink enough water. These are the basic steps in taking care of yourself.