IN YOUR DAILY DOSE: Researchers from Scripps Research Institute have found there may be a better way to treat depression during periods of chronic stress, a condition affecting more than 16 million Americans.
FACT OR FICTION: Amelia Earhart - Distinguished Flying Cross from the Air Force . . . and more . . .
In The News
Researchers have found those with higher levels of enigmatic receptor GPR158 may have greater susceptibility to depression following chronic stress. However, a cost effective test for this receptor is not yet available and drugs to treat the condition are under investigation.
Daily Health Tip
Did you know, no matter your genetic makeup, there are things you can do to reduce your stress levels, improve your outlook and potentially prevent depression?
Staying physically healthy and incorporating stress reduction techniques may help to reduce your stress level and your blood pressure.
- Get 8 hours of sleep a night. When exhausted, your brain does not function as well. You will have more problems with focus and with the ability to think through problems. In fact, when tired, your brain functions as if you have been drinking alcohol with reduced reaction time and processing speed.
- Get 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day. Sun is a great way for your body to manufacture vitamin D, but it also affects your brain and your mood. If you can’t get outside, use a light bulb in the house designed for people with seasonal affective disorder. All of us benefit by being in the sun!
- Exercise every day. Whether you are walking after lunch and dinner or working out for an hour at the gym, get some exercise. Your digestive system works better, your arteries will be healthier and your mood better too.
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Your urine should be light straw color. If it’s darker then you aren’t drinking enough and if it’s lighter you are drinking too much.
- Find what works best for your stress reduction. Some people practice yoga, others just exercise and others find that prayer helps to relieve their stress of everyday living. However you choose to manage stress, it’s important that YOU manage stress and not that the stress in your life manages you.
There are several different stress reducing activities you may have tried but the following three are our favorites as they are supported by research and they work, whether you believe they will or not. In other words, there is no placebo effect with these strategies - when you practice them consistently and correctly you WILL enjoy the benefits. And one of the nicest benefits is stress reduction.
Don’t just read these - actually DO THEM.
- Exercise - you may not want to hit the gym and sweat to the oldies, but you can go for a 30 minute walk after dinner each night. The combination of being outdoors in the sun and exercise has a calming effect on your nervous system. If being outside is out of the question, try an indoor bike, exercise ball, mini-trampoline or any other activity that raises your heart rate. You aren’t training for the Olympics, you’re just moving.
- Emotional Freedom Techniques - this is a bit like acupressure, using specific areas of your body to interrupt energy pathways. This is NOT some new age nonsense, but is based on 1,000s of years of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps reduce stress and anxiety and can even help improve your motivation. It’s easy to learn, can be done at home or even in public and takes just minutes. You can learn more about it here: http://eft.mercola.com/
- Yoga - that’s right - yoga. It can be a simple form that isn’t very physically taxing or you can try a Hot Yoga class done in a room heated to near 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Research demonstrates that yoga has a significant number of positive benefits to your health, well above reducing stress and anxiety. Just 12 minutes a day may reduce your potential for osteoporosis, reduce stress, depression, anxiety and improve your cardiovascular health. Simple, easy and 12 minutes a day - do you have an extra 12 minutes each day to reduce your stress?
Today, I am paying extra attention to becoming the person that I want to be. In my professional and personal life, I want to be able to be proud of my actions.
Fact or Fiction?
Amelia Earhart was a female American aviator who was the first, and to date among the only, to receive the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross. As a child Amelia had a vivid imagination. She invented small creatures who she often blamed for her own misadventures, such as talking out of turn or eating the last piece of candy. As an adult she was a caring friend who helped to finance a date fruit farm in Arizona for her mechanic who had contracted TB. Engaged twice and married once, her accomplishments in a plane were influential to pilots around the world.
Have a wonderful day!
Your Healthy Life America Team