If Trump Only Had Hygge
We all have our comfort zones, a place or situation where we feel most safe or at ease and without stress.
Surely the 45th President of the United States is no exception. Were this health coach to guess, it looks like time spent at his Palm Beach, Florida manse Mar-a-lago, the so-called winter White House is where President Trump prefers to escape from the pressures of his world.
While he doesn’t completely leave his agenda in DC when he travels there, he seems able to at least downshift to a spot that offers him an element of succor, family-time and entertainment beyond politics. Town and Country magazine reports that Trump just made his 14th visit to his home away from Pennsylvania Avenue since his inauguration. Whether this location serves as a respite or a working vacation, Mar-a-lago appears to speak to the Donald’s happier place.
The President’s predilection for fast food has been widely documented in the media, whether enjoying taco bowls and KFC traveling on Air Force One, late night cheeseburgers in his private White House quarters, over-sized slices of chocolate layer cake, or an extra scoop of ice cream during dinner. These yearnings might suggest he is seeking comfort or a needed mood boost during pressure-filled days running the free world.
In former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski’s book, ‘Let Trump Be Trump’, he details then-candidate Trump’s happiest meal on the campaign trail, including “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted.” These energy dense, starch heavy, high fat, salty and sweet foods are known for generating feel good moments quickly, if only temporarily. They activate the brain’s reward system and like a drug, increase pleasurable feelings while decreasing tension. However, junk food can also be a form of self-medication that doesn’t end well long-term. A more reliable protocol and a not-so secret means for combating life’s stressors is a Danish obsession with getting happy. More formally, this style of living is known as HYGGE (pronounced “hoo-gah”.)
Translated as COSINESS, this time-tested wellness custom piqued in the news when CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen Meik Wiking revealed how practicing hygge regularly boosts the spirit and well-being. In his international best-seller ‘The Little Book of Hygge’, this author shares secrets for more cheerful living while training us all to be more hygge.
Is golfing Trump’s hygge? I wonder. It is certainly his longtime passion and a way he prefers conducting business. The world watches the President meet world leaders for a round on Trump golf courses around the globe. He has had plenty of practice putting since entering office. In fact, he just hit a milestone according to CNN news: 100 days of golfing in a presidency lasting 407 days. One quarter of Trump’s days on the job have included time on the links. Whether the mindfulness of the game, often likened to Zen meditation has benefited the president personally is a not apparent. A USA Today investigation reports that “Dozens of lobbyists, contractors and others who make their living influencing the government pay Trump companies for membership in his private golf clubs,” putting them in exclusive contact with the president. The mental game mastery Trump seems to focus on, on the course, may be more political and financial than soulful. His Twitter tirades lead one to believe that there is no Namaste in his golf game. If only he had Hygge.
Trump seems ‘pissed off’ most of the time. And despite his doctor Harold Bornstein’s assurance that he’s in “excellent physical health”, President Trump’s volatile nature is an emotional force which will eventually takes its’ toll. His public frustration keeps his stress high and constant. These feelings produce cortisol and adrenaline which stay elevated if he doesn’t make a concerted effort to find calm in his day. Unchecked, constant stress can hinder production of stress hormones, thus weakening the immune system. A foggy memory, an inability to concentrate and a slowing metabolism are also on the line when stress is not managed regularly. Lifestyle diseases including heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and dementia can be triggered by poor anger management. So what’s a president to do?
These stress-lowering tips can immediately be of help:
1. Before hitting the sack, read something.
Research suggests it only takes six minutes to slow your heart rate. Choose relaxing material.
2. Light a candle. Candle Gazing is a practice that that can bring the mind to stillness, immediately improving concentration, memory and mood.
3. Make sure to include mineral-rich and triglyceride and blood pressure-lowering foods in your diet.
Mineral-rich, especially calcium and magnesium foods: leafy greens, broccoli, baked potatoes and salmon (coldwater fish oils which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.) Include health-promoting nuts, seeds, beans, mushrooms and 100% whole grains.
Triglyceride-lowering foods: brown rice, whole grain bread, quinoa and fiber-filled beans, oats, ground flax, fruits and vegetables.
Blood pressure-lowering foods: pomegranate juice, spinach, pistachios, beetroot juice, olive oil, dark chocolate, flax seed, purple potatoes, tomatoes, hibiscus tea and celery.
4. Stick with foods naturally sweetened by nature. Some include: dried dates, fresh or flash-frozen fruit, and products listing 100% fruit on the ingredient label.
Limit, if not avoid foods with added sugar. Visit my Instagram account (@wholefoodieronna https://instagram.com/wholefoodieronna/) where I share fast comfort food recipes including a favorite decadent chocolate nice cream made from frozen bananas, cashews and raw cacoa. It’s most definitely hygge.
Invest in rest Mr. President. Take a break. Turn off the smartphone. Say hello to Hygge — your best secret weapon in office and beyond.