August 19, 2020 · 12:01 am
Having practiced yoga on an off for over 30 years, I am a believer in its benefits in terms of flexibility, relaxation and strength. I do confess, however, a general ignorance of the anxiety disorder and treatments for it.
Yoga improves symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, a condition with chronic nervousness and worry, suggesting the popular practice may be helpful in treating anxiety in some people.
Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, a new study found that yoga was significantly more effective for generalized anxiety disorder than standard education on stress management, but not as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the gold standard form of structured talk therapy that helps patients identify negative thinking for better responses to challenges. Continue reading →
Filed under anxiety, dealing with stress, relaxation, stress, yoga, yoga benefits
Tagged as anxiety, hot yoga, relaxation, stress, stress management, yoga benefits
May 10, 2020 · 12:09 am
The coronavirus attacks us on a number of fronts, respiratory system big time. But, living in the shadow of the virus takes a toll on all of us whether we succumb to the disease or not. It has changed our daily lives in many stressful ways. The following is from Dr. Amit Sood , former internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic. He was director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and was chair of the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.
Imagine it is spring 2025
Tucked in your blanket, trying to sleep at night, your mind travels back five years.
You remember the fear — fearing doorknobs, grocery bags, light switches, sneezes, handshakes and hugs.
You remember the sadness — the loss of freedom, time with colleagues, birthday parties, sleepovers, visits to the mall.
You remember the anger — anger at human greed, irrationality, willful ignorance.
You remember the grief — sobbing at the loss of fellow beings who breathed their last breath alone in an ICU to the sound of a ventilator.
But it’s not all negative.
Continue reading →
October 6, 2019 · 12:09 am
I have written about the brain benefits of exercise time and again. Here, is some further info on benefits for the brain and heart.
Filed under alcohol, good night's sleep, heart, heart health brain health, relaxation, sleep
Tagged as alcohol drinking, good night's sleep, heart, heart health, heart-brain health, relaxation, sleep
August 11, 2019 · 4:44 am
People generally think of stress and anxiety as negative concepts, but while both stress and anxiety can reach unhealthy levels, psychologists have long known that both are unavoidable — and that they often play a helpful, not harmful, role in our daily lives, according to a presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
“Many Americans now feel stressed about being stressed and anxious about being anxious. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches out to a professional for help, stress and anxiety have already built to unhealthy levels,” said Lisa Damour, PhD, a private-practice psychologist who presented at the meeting. Damour also writes a regular column for The New York Times and is author of the book “Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls.” Continue reading →
June 14, 2018 · 2:31 pm
I have to confess that I am a morning person. Have been all my life. I am up around 4:00 to 4:30 AM most mornings. Yes, I go to sleep close to 9:00 PM. When I was working I stayed up a bit later and woke up about a half hour later. I realize that this is not typical of most people, particularly those with jobs. So, I thought I would share this item from the Rush University Medical Center here in Chicago.
Give your morning routine a makeover
Does your morning go anything like this?
Being in bed feels so good that you can’t get up, so you hit snooze — three or four times.
Once you open your eyes, you realize you have a 9:00 o’clock meeting, so you check your email while still in bed to get ahead of the workday.
Now you’re running late. You throw down vitamins with a glass of juice. You can’t find your keys or your left shoe and run around the house until you’ve found both.
Finally in the car, you grab the biggest coffee you can order and two glazed donuts at the drive-thru, and traffic has you fuming before you even get to work.
All that rushing around can set a negative tone for the entire day, making you feel stressed, lethargic and irritable — and, possibly, affecting your ability to focus on tasks or calmly cope with work-related crises.
To help get your day off to a better, and healthier, start, follow these tips from Maria C. Reyes, MD, an internist at Rush University Medical Center. Continue reading →
Filed under good night's sleep, hydration, protein, relaxation, sleep aids
Tagged as biking, good night's sleep, hydration, juicing, protein, relaxation, walking, yoga
December 31, 2017 · 12:05 am
I am such a music lover it is a wonder that in my 77 years I never learned to play an instrument. One of the happiest discoveries I have made in the past two years was when I found a water bottle with blue tooth speaker on top. It has been an integral part of my bike riding every day since then. Herewith an infographic on music from takelessons.com
Have you ever thought about how awesome music is? The joy of performing and listening to music forms a universal language that connects us across cultures and across time.
And yet despite how universal the experience of music is, there’s still a lot we don’t know about its effects on our bodies and minds. In fact, the famed anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss once said that music is “the supreme mystery of human knowledge.”
Mysterious though it may be, scientists have discovered some interesting theories for the most common musical phenomena that we all experience. For example, why do songs get stuck in your head? What’s the effect of music on memory?
August 27, 2017 · 12:02 am
I am a great believer in enjoying the outdoors. I ride my bike outdoors instead of opting for the exercise bike at the health club. Ditto, walking. I walk a lot outside rather than on the treadmill. So, I was very happy to run across this study from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).
The gentle burbling of a brook, or the sound of the wind in the trees can physically change our mind and bodily systems, helping us to relax. New research explains how, for the first time.
Researchers at BSMS found that playing ‘natural sounds’ affected the bodily systems that control the flight-or-fright and rest-digest autonomic nervous systems, with associated effects in the resting activity of the brain. While naturalistic sounds and ‘green’ environments have frequently been linked with promoting relaxation and well being, until now there has been no scientific consensus as to how these effects come about. The study has been published in Scientific Reports. Continue reading →
April 23, 2017 · 12:08 pm
Dealing with stress seemed like a daily occurrence back when I was in the working world. These days, being retired, it’s a different story. I know that many of you are still working and deal with severe stresses on a regular basis. For that reason, I have written numerous posts on the subject. I offer some examples at the bottom of this post.
Here is Harvard taking a positive look at stress:
Changing your mindset doesn’t mean taking a Pollyanna view of the world. The key isn’t to deny stress, but to recognize and acknowledge it — and then to find the upside, because a full-throttle fight-or-flight response is not the only possible reaction to stress (at least when the stress does not involve a potentially life-threatening situation).
In people with a more stress-hardy mindset, the stress response is often tempered by the challenge response, which accounts for the so-called excite-and-delight experience that some people have in stressful situations, such as skydiving. Like the typical stress response, the challenge response also affects the cardiovascular system, but instead of constricting blood vessels and ramping up inflammation in anticipation of wounds, it allows for maximum blood flow, much like exercise. The balance of hormones is different, too, including more DHEA. Continue reading →
April 3, 2017 · 5:16 am
This is so nice to learn, both on its own and in connection with nature itself for me. As I have written more than once one of my great pleasures riding my bike on the Chicago Lakefront is being out in nature.
Our Better Health
The study compared TV show genres to see which makes people happiest.
Watching nature documentaries — like being out in nature itself — can help you feel happier.
The survey of 7,500 people around the world found they felt happier after viewing clips from BBC nature documentaries.
The study compared watching the documentary to the news or a popular drama show.
People reported that after viewing the nature documentary they felt more:
- and curiosity.
At the same time it reduced feelings of anger, tiredness and stress.
Professor Dacher Keltner, who teamed up with the BBC for the study, said:
“I have long believed that nature and viewing sublime and beautiful nature in painting, film and video shifts how we look at the world, and humbles us, brings into focus our core goals, diminishes the petty voice of the self and strengthens our nervous system.
When the BBC…
View original post 107 more words
October 11, 2016 · 5:31 am
Lots of good information here. Because of my family history of Alzheimer’s and dementia, these positive habits rang a bell with me.
To read further on them, you can check my pages:
Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits)
How important is a good night’s sleep?
I have written a number of posts on dealing with stress. You can check them out by typing in the word s t r e s s in the search box. I recommend the following one which I wrote in 2010 as one of the most useful:
Some super tools for handling stress
Our Better Health
In a hyper-competitive world overflowing with information, our brains need to be able to keep up and outpace our competitors. Who doesn’t want their brain to process faster, remember more information or be able to come up with elegant solutions to complex problems? Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am. Our brains more or less define our existence and who we are. So how can we get our brains to work better, faster and more efficiently?
HERE ARE SEVEN HABITS THAT WILL HELP IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION:
1. EXERCISE REGULARLY
Exercising promotes blood flow, cardiac health and releases beneficial hormones and proteins into your body. These hormones and proteins protect your neurons, which are the cells that make up most of your brain, and encourage them to multiply and make new connections. Studies have shown that exercise helps you learn faster and remember more information. Further studies have shown…
View original post 617 more words
September 20, 2016 · 5:16 am
In view of the upcoming elections, I thought this was a particularly timely post. Whether you want to trumpet the Donald or pillory Hillary, there are some worthwhile ideas here.
Our Better Health
Imagine getting into a political discussion with someone who is highly passionate about their beliefs. If the conversation is a good one, those beliefs will likely, at some point, come under question. If their emotional PH is high enough, they’ll interpret that as not only their ideas being threatened, but their identities too. Soon, you’re not having a conversation anymore, but a back-and-forth defense match. It’s not about listening, it’s about being right. You reach for over-generalizations, they argue with singular, personal anecdotes, you make sweeping assumptions, cite studies you read once-upon-a-time, their faces widen with bewilderment at how you cannot possibly see what’s so logical and self-evident to them.
This is a really common example of what happens when people allow their emotions to color their thoughts.
Being passionate is fine. Feeling a lot is fine. But when you lose your ability to differentiate what you feel from what…
View original post 333 more words
February 10, 2015 · 4:49 am
Filed under healthy living, relaxation, stress
Tagged as Effective Stress, Exercise, Handling Stress, healthy eating, healthy-living, relaxation, stress, stress relief, weight control
February 5, 2015 · 5:44 am
Not everyone enjoys just sitting in lotus pose, and believe it or not, you can meditate in many other ways. Yoga is also a form of meditation, and involves holding certain poses and flowing through different movements to achieve mind-body-soul unity. You can also engage in “walking meditation,” in which you fully focus on the act of walking, and helps you develop mindfulness. You can test out different styles, or combine them, to find one that relaxes you the most.
I would like to add that I have said for years that riding my bike is a meditation for me in exactly the way described in the paragraph above.
Our Better Health
For those who have never tried meditation, it can seem like an unproductive, strange way to spend twenty or so minutes of your day. However, meditation offers a slew of benefits to anyone on the planet, and it costs nothing to start up a daily practice.
By meditating regularly, you can increase your vibrational energy, or life force, and even retrain your brain to think positively. If you need some help getting started with meditation, refer to these tips for guidance.
11 Meditation Tips for Beginners
1. Don’t get frustrated with your brain.
In the beginning, you will probably have a hard time just sitting quietly, even for five or ten minutes at a time. It takes time to adjust, as meditation is a foreign concept to many people. However, as long as you make a conscious effort to tune out from everything and go within, you will soon find…
View original post 843 more words
February 1, 2015 · 5:25 am
Our Better Health
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” – Deborah Day
Life often produces “pre-packaged stresssfulness” that can come in many forms. Buying a car, house, paying for college, looking for jobs, etc. are all examples of this. How you deal with the stressful situations however, makes all the difference. Stress can either eat away at you or empower you; it all depends on the self care strategies you employ to deal with the stress when you encounter it. If you have been extra stressed lately, it’s important to remember the value of YOU and take time for proper self care,
Find freedom from stress with these 11 simple, yet powerful self care practices:
1. Breathe deeply.
In our fast-paced society, we often forget to slow down and pay attention to our breathing. Taking…
View original post 929 more words
December 6, 2014 · 8:19 am
An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish.
Our Better Health
BY DEEPAK CHOPRA MAY 20, 2013
Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.
Everything that happens in the universe begins with intention. When I decide to buy a birthday present, wiggle my toes, or call a friend, it all starts with intention.
The sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim…
View original post 452 more words
December 3, 2014 · 6:25 am
There are steps you can take to change what isn’t working and get back some control and balance in your life. And once you start seeing results you’ll be better equipped to maintain that new found equilibrium. The key is not to try to change everything at once, but to make small adjustments over time to determine what works for you. Eventually you will have a whole new set of positive life habits and you’ll never look back!
Our Better Health
PRODUCTIVITY BY ROYALE SCUDERI
Life balance seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind of late. We have discovered that maintaining a healthy life balance is not only essential for happiness and well-being; it can be a tremendous boost to your productivity and career or business success as well. A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus their attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way.
The big question is…What does life balance really mean? What would a balanced life look like to us? And most importantly, how do we go about achieving it in the midst of our crazy schedules?
There are steps you can take to change what isn’t working and get back some control and balance in your life. And once you start seeing results you’ll be better equipped to maintain that new found equilibrium. The…
View original post 564 more words