IN YOUR DAILY DOSE: today is new research into how your brain works, and exactly how it influences your body.
MAKING CHANGES: Making use of this information may just help you improve your health everyday.
FACT OR FICTION: Sharks in freshwater?
In The News
Your brain is exceedingly powerful - it controls how you think, how you feel emotionally and your health. Your brain prepares you for fight or flight if you’re in danger. You feel depressed or sad from your brain. You determine if you’re hungry and see images through your eyes, from your brain.
Researchers have now identified the neural pathway that connects your cerebral cortex - a part of your brain - to your adrenal medulla that secretes cortisol in times of stress. Cortisol is your fight or flight hormone. It prepares you to fight an enemy or flee in a manner more powerful than you could ordinarily.
These new findings may shed some light on the way your brain reacts to depression, sadness and stress - and how those reactions affect other organ systems in your body.
Daily Health Tip
Never underestimate the power of your thoughts!
Staying physically healthy and incorporating stress reduction techniques may help to reduce your stress level and your blood pressure.
1. 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.
2. 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!
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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/
3. 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?
I know that stating my interest is a step in the right direction. My strategy is to get my foot through the door first, and then figure out the next step. I rely on my natural abilities and external information sources to develop a success plan.
When negotiations are swaying away from my preferred direction, I propose alternatives. Doing that allows me to indirectly ask for what I want.
Fact or Fiction?
Most sharks are salt water fish (they aren’t mammals) and can’t live in freshwater. Except for the Bull shark. These sharks can survive quite nicely in any degree of salinity. They prefer the shallow coastal waters and have been found as far upstream in the Amazon river as 100 miles. They’ve also been found in the Mississippi River from the Gulf Coast!
Have a wonderful day!
Your Healthy Life America Team