BYU Women’s Conference: Rickelle Richards and Bill Bunn address how to lower stress


Rickelle Richards and Bill Bunn addressed how to cope with stressful situations through good nutrition and sleep habits in their lecture at BYU’s Women’s Conference Friday morning.

The room filled to its 680-person capacity ten minutes before the class began, women buzzing back and forth about their stress levels as they waited in their seats.

Richards, who began the lecture, quipped about how she stressed while “thinking about stress for probably two months preparing for this talk.” As she shared many of her insights, the women nodded, as if they had heard much of the advice before.

She then went through the important vitamins and food groups that were essential for survival, including a spiritual connection in her talk to every nutritious food group, explaining that “Heavenly Father has known what is right for our bodies forever.”

After reciting facts about dietetics, she described a plan called “Intuitive Eating,” which included several suggestions. The first step was “Make peace with food.” The women laughed as she explained how “I’ll do better tomorrow” often leads to binge eating and “I already failed,” making that third cookie seem that much more appetizing. She suggested honoring hunger and respecting fullness.

“Food may make us feel better in the short-term, but it won’t solve the problem,” Richards said.

To end her portion of the lecture, she spoke of the importance of health rather than weight. Less study needs to be put into BMI and more on habits of healthy eating.

Following Richards, Bunn opened with a joke about his job as a psychiatrist. Once people find out about his profession they don’t want to talk to him because he will just “analyze them,” and Bunn always responds by saying, “too late.”

He asked the women in the audience, “Do you think there will be stress in the next life?” An overwhelming murmur of “no’s” rippled through the crowd. Then he said, “I think there might be stress, but the way we handle it will be different.”

Bunn explained the psychology of stress and its importance, then painted a picture of why stress in necessary in our lives for survival. He joked about being on the “quorum of the 12 psychiatrists,” and the women laughed at his jokes while he described stress in a way everyone could understand.

The suggestions about managing emotional stress were simple and applicable.

“Think about children when they don’t have food or a nap,” Bunn said. “What happens?”

He explained that although adults (hopefully) don’t throw tantrums on the Walmart floor, they can be cranky. His rule is, “Don’t be rude; get some food.”

He also spoke about sleep and how the body loves habits. These habits might include going to bed at the same time or always waking up and exercising. Whenever the body doesn’t have to think about doing something, it conserves energy, and that makes the body “happy.”

Bunn ended with an Adam Sandler impersonation as he sang, “A Prozac for me, a Prozac for you.”

Richards and Bunn left a positive impression with the women as they laughed about the song and bonded over Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s quote: “We should all be as fit as we can be — that’s good Word of Wisdom doctrine. We could probably all do better in that regard, but I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size.”

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