Alleviate Anxiety Tip #1: Energize your brain

Posted By on February 15, 2014

This is the first post in a three-part series focused on helping you alleviate anxiety before giving a presentation.

Many people suffer from fear and anxiety about speaking in front of groups. Did you know that you can reduce anxiety by nourishing your brain? You can. Fueling your brain will also reduce your fatigue and increase your energy and staying power. This first post will address the food of the brain: Glucose.

Glucose is made by your body from the food you eat. It is the only nutrient the brain can use for energy. I like to think of Glucose as gasoline or fuel for the brain.
So, for your brain, Glucose is power. When your brain is well fed, your concentration and stamina increase.

The brain uses at least 50% of the glucose your body produces so it’s a good idea to make sure the brain has enough energy by eating well before your presentation. Now, you can feed your brain glucose by eating a donut or other high sugar food before you take the stage. But that would be a mistake. Simple sugars burn FAST and you will experience an energy crash after a short time. You want a mix of fast, medium and slow burning sources of fuel for your brain. That means a mix of (you guessed it), protein, complex carbohydrates and protein. And yes, this diet is good for your health overall but it’s especially important for prepping for “game day”.

At minimum, eat well the day of the presentation. Ideally, three days beforehand follow these basic guidelines to net you high energy and focused concentration:
Eat a balanced mix of these three nutrients at all three meals (don’t skip breakfast!):  protein, fat and good carbohydrates.

  • The best sources of protein are high quality, organic beef, fish and chicken.  Eggs are also an excellent source of protein.
  • The best sources of fat are also sources of Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, sardines, soybeans, halibut, scallops, shrimp and tofu. Other healthy oils are: olive oil, avocado, coconut oil.
  • The best sources of carbohydrates are green vegetables, whole grains such as quinoa (also high in protein).

Also consider eliminating gluten (found in wheat flour, oats, and other foods). Many people find they feel more clarity and energy within a few days. You may enjoy a surge of energy and clarity and less weariness. Try eliminating it for a few weeks. Some people do get quick results by eliminating gluten but for others, it takes a few weeks or months.

Ok, so now you know how to energize your brain and improve your concentration with a steady stream of fuel. The next post will cover improving the quality of your voice.

This series of “alleviate anxiety” tips will calm your anxiety and keep you from feeling sluggish or sounding weak. Most important it will empower you to be more in command of your speaking delivery as well as your overall health.

Share your tips for alleviating public speaking anxiety by posting a comment. Speaking for impact is not an accident. It’s a skill. One to hone throughout your career and life.


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