Month: December 2021

Brain health tips from a neuroscientist: 5 things she does every day

Brain health tips from a neuroscientist: 5 things she does every day

Exercise, particularly aerobic forms, like running, skipping or taking a brisk walk, which elevate your heart rate and gets oxygen pumping around in your blood, is great for the brain. “Oxygen creates an environment for embryonic neurons to grow into fully-formed neurons via a process called neurogenesis, which is a form of neuroplasticity,” Swart says. “What’s interesting is that if it’s exercise you enjoy, the enjoyment aspect releases a growth factor called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, which encourages the growth of neurons.” So make sure it’s something you love doing. Dance, and social activities like ping pong or tennis are other great examples. Source link

How to hack your stress and turn it into a positive force in your life

How to hack your stress and turn it into a positive force in your life

Many of us have felt more than a little stressed over the past couple of years. For me, exhibit A is my teeth. A recent trip to the dentist confirmed that months of pandemic-induced jaw-clenching, product of the usual deadline stress amplified by the demands of two young children, had left four of them broken. Crumbling teeth are small fry. Last year, the American Psychological Association found that two-thirds of people in the US reported feeling more stressed in the pandemic, and predicted “a mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come”. Increased risk of diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease and more are all associated with high stress levels. It’s enough to make you feel stressed just thinking about it. Perhaps we just need to think about stress differently, though. That, at least, is the startling conclusion of researchers studying the mind-body connection. There are natural benefits to being stressed, they say, and if we change our “stress mindset”, we might be able to turn things around and …