IN YOUR DAILY DOSE: Neural networks in your brain have been identified responsible for the stress response in your body, increasing the release of cortisol and negatively affecting your health.
MAKING CHANGES: Your mind body connection is real and you can have an effect on it using specific strategies.
FACT OR FICTION: Blue eyes. Some people in the family and some don’t. Brown eyes are much more common. Where did these blue eyes come from?
In The News
Neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh identified the networks that connect your cerebral cortex to the adrenal medulla, responsible for your rapid response to stress - including a release of cortisol. The report was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Senior author Peter L Strick, Ph.D., was quoted in Science Daily, saying:
“Our results turned out to be much more complex and interesting than we imagined before we began this study.”
The scientists were surprised by the high number of neural networks, although the actual number and location of the cortical areas were uncertain. Using a unique tracing method, researchers demonstrated the control of the adrenal medulla originated from multiple cortical areas. The biggest influences are from motor areas and others involved in cognition and affect.
Daily Health Tip
High stress increases the amount of cortisol secreted from your adrenal glands that sit on top of your kidneys. However, cortisol, while important in fight or flight, is dangerous when secreted under chronic conditions.
Reducing stress levels also reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke. Here are several tips to help you get started.
- 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.
Today, my blessings are that much richer because I live to be kind to others. I am committed to being charitable. I am glad that my efforts enrich the lives of many.
Fact or Fiction?
The gene that produces blue eyes is a recessive gene. This means that both the mother and father have to carry the gene and the child must have two blue eyed genes in order for the child to have blue eyes. If the child doesn’t have 2 genes for blue eyes then they’ll have another color - probably brown. This means that the blue eyed gene must be carried down through the generations in order to be passed along. Scientists think that the mutation which generated blue eyes occurred 6,000 years ago.
Have a wonderful day!
Your Healthy Life America Team