What could have helped Malcolm Turnbull?

In Australia we have just had our national election, but a clear winner is yet to be announced. With the microscopic attention on our potential leaders, I wonder if the physiological and psychological performance of the candidates has been monitored as closely as the potential political outcome? I would suggest not.

 

The election campaign is just like training for match day. How you prepare along the way affects your overall performance. The immense stress on our political leaders by their parties and long hours on the campaign trail have a major effect on their sleep, diet and physical activity.  

 

Like any fatigued athlete, a fatigued politician will make mistakes. Just take a look at the commentary on Malcolm Turnbull’s election night speech.  If only his party realised how much fatigue can impact performance.

 

How was the Liberal leader sleeping throughout the 8 week campaign? Reduction of quantity and quality of sleep has been shown to have a negative relationship to cognitive performance and is even more reason why sleep should be monitored if you want to perform at your best.

 

Stress is also known to have a negative impact on cognition. Did anyone take the time to gauge the stress levels of Malcolm Turnbull and develop strategies to manage this?

 

Physical activity on the other hand, has a positive effect on how our mind operates and while Turnbull may have been on his feet all day, how much time did he actually devote to exercise? However, pushing yourself to exercise when you are already fatigued may have the opposite effect.

 

Having knowledge of the real time physiological and cognitive fatigue status of people can be used to predict potential issues and inform adjustments that can be made to ensure that the individual remains in their optimal performance zone.There is no doubt that the same analysis could have been used for Malcolm Turnbull to ensure his ability to perform was maximised.

 

As we await a final result, one thing is for certain, the new Prime Minister has a long road ahead of them, with constant high expectations on their performance. There is no doubt that an individual needs to be aware of their fatigue levels,and adjust their approach, if their full potential is to be maximised.

 

STRESS

Stress is a major problem in our society – How many times have we heard that?

The statistics are getting worse with some reports suggesting 93% of Australians are “stressed”. It seems amazing that these statistics continue to rise even though we have more  than ever. Our standard of living is high, employment rates are high and our life expectancy is at an all-time high. 

In recent times  “Stress Reduction” has become a major industry with everything from mindfulness coloring books to yoga to meditation being identified as the savior of the stress epidemic.   There is no doubt that all these and many other practices will help reduce stress BUT maybe it is more important to ask yourself Why are you stressed?

As one that has experienced the outcome of not managing stress, I know it  is vital to take time out to reflect.  Often when you take time out you realise just how lucky we really are and stress starts to reduce. It’s often the simple things that can make a real difference –  be it spending time with friends, exercising or even spending time with your pet. 

Whatever technique you use it’s important to do something you enjoy.

Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga often causes me more stress BUT spending time with family or exercising works best for me.

Spend time doing what you love and you really will spend less time being “Stressed”.