By Heidi Lewis
Do you have a high-pressure task ahead of you? Something you’ve worked toward and prepared for? A critical test, presentation, golf putt, field goal? Cognitive scientist Sian Beilock says, relax and “think about the journey, not the outcome.” She outlines her study and advice in her book Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal about Getting It Right When You Have To.
Before your stressful task, clear your working memory—it’s like closing windows on your computer so it won’t crash. Dr. Beilock suggests journaling to funnel off feelings; or singing/whistling to distract yourself. “If the tasks are automatic and you have done them a thousand times in the past, a mild distraction such as whistling can help them run off more smoothly under pressure.”
If whistling isn’t conducive to your surroundings, lemons can assist in clearing the mind too. Simply grab one, and scratch and sniff—the phytochemical limonene in lemons’ skin has many healthful effects. And if you don’t know how to whistle while you work, a slice of lemon should help you pucker up! Another way that fruit can save your day.
Most lemons are available year-round. Eureka, Lisbon, and Sorrento varieties are classic lemons with thick skin that sometimes contain seeds. Meyer is the thin-skinned “sweet” lemon that can practically be eaten like an orange. A darling of chefs and prized for its juice, Meyers are usually only available from December to April.
When you need a lift or a distraction, a slice of lemon can add zip to anything—it puts a spring in your step and a tune in your task. It’s just that easy.
Want to taste some of the best lemons? Seek out the Meyer lemons grown by Lemon Ladies Orchards. The small 40-tree orchard is run by Karen Morss, who owned a tech company and a flight school before settling in to produce the sweet/tart specialty lemon loved by chefs and home cooks across the country. Look for them in The FruitGuys’ office boxes this winter.
Enjoy & Be Fruitful!