Body, Mind and Spirit – you’ve heard this, of course, many times. Although at Designed2Win, our main focus is on the “body” aspect of this trinity, we are always mindful of the total picture as we do that. And in dealing with stress – often appearing in our lives as an inability to focus, relax or sleep – all three of these are important in getting at the root. Here’s one of our commonly-recommended ways of managing stress, approached in this “Body, Mind, Spirit” manner.
Body – We often recommend a Yogurt~Honey Melt protocol for relaxation. It is simply this:
To 2 tablespoons of plain, unsweetened (preferably whole-fat) yogurt, add 1 heaping tsp raw honey. Mix. Let each bite melt in your mouth as you consume it, relaxing into enjoying the flavor and the moment.*
*By the way, if you don’t like plain yogurt, we’ll bet it’s because you’ve only ever tried low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Get a whole-fat yogurt and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the rich flavor. Adding honey adds even more sweetness and flavor.
It’s suggested to do this at any time of the day when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed; before bedtime if you have trouble sleeping; and even during the night if you’re awakened by stress.
There is a biochemical basis for this protocol. Enzymes present in saliva – by acting upon yogurt and honey – stimulate a transport protein known as GLUT 5, which preferentially transports the carbohydrates levulose (from honey) and galactose (from plain yogurt) to the brain where they can either be used immediately for energy or stored as glycogen, to be used later as the brain prefers. Once this storage is adequate then your body is better prepared for sleep. By mixing the yogurt and honey and allowing each spoonful to melt in your mouth prior to bedtime, your mind is allowed to relax.
Anyone with an interest in biblical health will find it interesting that the technique was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah (Chapter 7:15) as a condition for where the Messiah would be born. “Butter (translated in Hebrew as a yogurt-like drink) and honey shall He eat, that He may know the good and resist the evil.” So, this concept is not new, nor original on our part.
Mind – W. David Luce, MD – a highly respected physician friend and colleague – reminds us that most stress is due to focus being placed far too much on things and events that not only have not yet happened, but probably never will. What he encourages is for each of us to place more of our focus on what’s commonly referred to as the “Now”. If you think about only the moment that you are currently experiencing (which means you’re reading this – and only reading this) you’re probably feeling somewhat relaxed. It’s only when you think ahead to something that hasn’t yet occurred – or behind to something that already occurred – that you experience feelings of stress. (There – see that? We’ll bet that as you read the previous statements, you allowed your mind – which at the moment was calm – to drift toward something that causes you stress and your stress level went up a bit.) See how easy it was to do that? We call that life’s static, and with practice, it’s just as easy to do the opposite. The Yogurt~Honey Melt is our way of creating a mindful moment during which you practice that opposite way of thinking. Which leads us to:
Spirit – We like to associate the Yogurt~Honey Melt with a relaxing routine or moment in the day to gain the best outcome each time it’s done.
Choose your own method, belief, or time, but we’ll share this quote from Henri Nouwen, which, for us, is an excellent contemplative thought when relaxing with yogurt and honey:
“When I meet God in the morning I feel like I am free from all the restless voices calling out to me. Surrounded by the silence, I know of this one truth – to be where I can listen is what he calls me to.”