I listened to a podcast recently. The guest on the show was Gareth Southgate the current England football manager.
He has made some serious inroads into improving the England team’s culture and their results have shown this. A world cup semi final for the first time in decades.
One of the things that piqued my interested was the comment on social media.
When you are in the spot light as a player on the world stage or the manager of those players – everyone with a phone and a social media account has an opinion on how well you are doing.
As Gareth mentioned when he was playing football not so long ago the news papers would mark the players out of 10 and that could have an impact on their mental health if they already knew they had had a bad game – the review just compounded the problem. They didn’t need the press telling them they were crap too!!
These days that same impact is magnified by the ability for the entire nation to give their opinion on the players and their game instantly. In fact as a game progresses the team may be down 1 – 0 and losing at that point. You can imagine the fans are giving them a hard time on social media. If however the team rallies and wins 2 – 1 by scoring two goals in the reaming minutes of the game they come out the winners, even hero’s possibly. The fans may by now be giving them virtual pats on the back for their skill at bringing the game back from a goal down to two goals up.
Imagine if you are a player scrolling back through your social media feed after the game. One minute your low, the next you’re high – it’s a real emotional roller coaster and one that can be hard to cope with at times.
And this is where my comparison kicks in. It is very much the same in our bodies when we eat high sugar diets. We have a low or a crash as we run out of the simple carbs we may rely on. So we stoke the burner with more carbs and then we feel happier and less grumpy. This is represented by the RED line in the picture to the left here.
We don’t even have to be those famous football players to experience this. Often people can say things they would never say to your face on social media because it gives them a layer of protection or distance from the person they are attacking. This can affect our emotions putting us on the same roller coaster that our bodies experience when we eat the sugary stuff!
In an ideal world we are following the green line rather than the red one. This is a more even and stable blood sugar level and one which delivers stable and consistent energy throughout the day. What we feed our bodies and our minds can either take us on a roller coaster or it can keep us level headed and consistent.
Which would you rather have?
What’s the message I hear you say?
Take time out from social media. Find a healthier option for connecting with others. Do more in person, connecting so that you get the value of looking into peoples eyes, really listening to what they have to say and just enjoying being away from your screen for a while – you’ll feel amazing when you do.