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They have the sensation of inner peace and self-acceptance. They are aware of their strengths and potential, and similarly, of their faults and limitations. They appreciate themselves in spite of mistakes they have made and their emotional scars. They have worked at overcoming their frailties and redeeming themselves for transgressions.

They are responsible and trustworthy, and feel comfortable with who they have become. These groups could compose a family or close friends, a congregation, a club, gang, team, cast, platoon or a wide range of other possible communities. Members of these communal groups feel an organic affiliation and comfort with others who share their values and traditions.

Millions of people around the world venerate their perception of a God s who gives them comfort and hope, and provides moral rules for their ethical conduct. We human beings need to believe in a system of moral principles and civil behavior. Ideally, we adhere to these overriding tenets in our daily functioning and relationships and we wish to pass these down to our children.

When we act according to principles based on religion or other humane social philosophies, our lives become more meaningful during times of both joy and pain. The details and decisions of life can get to us. We are microscopic in our own world, but especially infinitesimal when we consider our own infinite universe and countless other universes. Looking at the photographs taken from the Hubble telescope can be riveting and awe-inspiring.

They can transport our thoughts into cosmic or spiritual realms, and help us realize we have but one life to live, and making it fulfilling and meaningful becomes of even more consequence. It encompasses how we have positively affected and contributed to people in our lives. Our personal legacies are best represented by our acts of decency and respect for each other.

Studies have shown that we can in fact learn to behave with more tolerance and generosity and with less aggression and animosity. The kindness and goodness we bestow on others throughout our lives is the essence of a sense of benevolence. Nobody is perfect. A sleepless night not only leaves us fatigued and distracted, it also makes us interpret things more negatively and makes us more likely to lose our temper.

Moreover, people suffering from a pollen allergy are at a high risk of some form of sleep disruption from the outset. This is the conclusion of a new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet that takes a neuroimaging approach to sleep loss. Sleep deprivation is already known to potentially affect the way we react to emotional impressions.

For her thesis, Sandra Tamm and her colleagues used functional MRI and PET techniques to examine under experimental conditions three emotional functions: emotional contagion i. One study also examined low-grade inflammatory activity in the brain as a possible mechanism for non-specific symptoms such as sleepiness, fatigue and depression in people with severe seasonal allergy. The results of these various studies show that experimentally induced sleep loss leads to what the researchers call a negativity bias, which is to say a more negative interpretation of emotional stimuli, negative mood along with impaired emotional regulation.

So, while we might be grumpy in the morning, we still care if our partner happens to scold themselves when making the tea. Researchers also found that the participants with a pollen allergy had disrupted sleep both during and outside the pollen season, and that the amount of deep sleep they had was higher during the pollen season than at other times of the year. Now, however, researchers from the University of Sussex in Brighton, U. This new study is the first to look at the long-term relationship between mental and cognitive health.

In addition, these participants reported their affective symptoms at the ages of 23, 33, 42, and 50 years and agreed to take memory and other cognitive function tests when they reached 50 years of age. Gaysina and colleagues looked at how often the participants experienced mental health symptoms throughout the study period and assessed their performance in terms of memory function at age So why is the process of adopting new habits usually so difficult?

Even then, the systems that are in place just want to help you stop the bad habit, not give you the tools needed to adopt new, healthier ones. Why does this happen? There are different types of memory classification including semantic memory knowledge , episodic memory remembering events , and procedural memory knowing how to do things which is considered an implicit form of memory and therefore operating mostly below conscious awareness. Over many decades of research, three primary types of learning emerged in the behavioral psychology domain.

Classical conditioning also known as Pavlovian conditioning is learning through association. It was discovered by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, which he discovered in his infamous study of dogs. Operant conditioning refers to behavior that is shaped by either positive or negative reinforcement. It was developed by American Psychologist B. Skinner who studied the behavior of rats. In particular, he studied babies and young children and found that they imitated the behavior of those around them.

Researchers from MIT have identified that if neurons fire at the start and end of a specific behavior, then it becomes a habit. Over time, patterns form, both in behavior and in the brain. In the forebrain, the basal ganglia is known to control voluntary movements and it may also play a crucial role in habit formation both good and bad as well as emotional expression. This system is not just concerned with motor body movements, but it has a strong effect on the emotional part of the brain.

Investigator and Professor at MIT, Ann Graybiel, believes that at its core, the basal ganglia works to help people develop habits, so that they become automatic. This frees up space in your brain and memory to take in all the other things we encounter on a day to day basis. Automatic habits may include riding a bicycle, driving a car or brushing your teeth.

Two factors that effectively help people achieve the behavior change they desire are incentives and accountability. What did they find? If you are held accountable to someone else, by committing to someone that you will achieve a goal, then your chance of success is up to 95 percent. Accountability is the most important factor in habit formation or habit changing. If you are relying on anyone or anything else for your happiness, stop that right now. Which do you want to be? The type who confidently assesses their own worth or the type that complains about feeling undervalued?

Happy or sad. Giving away control of your feelings? Sort it out. Everything that happens is a cyclical process that will continue until you make an intervention — a change that puts you on a new course. Happy where every part of your life is going? Go you! More of the same. Make a change — somewhere. Get comfortable with your strengths — look for opportunities to use them.

Nothing you hear in a formal appraisal or passing comment should surprise you. It happens all the time. Even some of the most successful and inspiring people I know have moments where they want to swap places with someone else. Sure, there are other things you could be doing, but choosing to do them would mean forgoing your current path.

Make comparisons with no one but your former self. My food hell is a seafood linguine with some kind of pea, mint and fennel sauce. Every part of that dish absolutely disgusts me. Life and work are the same. Definitely not based on TV adverts, celebrity Instagram pictures or the lives of friends and relatives.

Work out your own plan before you ask for comment. Be sure of your next move before you open up to receive advice. Recognise that every time you share your intentions you leave yourself susceptible to be influenced. Anything you like! Try it out — write them all down and use that piece of paper as a blueprint for living a life full of your favourite things. Stigma has various definitions, but they all refer to negative attitudes, beliefs, descriptions, language or behavior.

In other words, stigma can translate into disrespectful, unfair, or discriminatory patterns in how we think, feel, talk and behave towards individuals experiencing a mental illness. Where stigma comes from is a complicated question. Then we can do our best to educate others about how to reduce stigma and work toward ultimately eliminating it. How do we become more aware of stigma? In a research study with British year-olds, teens came up with over terms to describe mental illness, and the majority were negative. These terms are far too common in our everyday conversations.

Provide support and reassurance when you know someone is having difficulty managing their illness. Stigma is often fueled by lack of awareness and inaccurate information. Model these stigma-reducing strategies through your own comments and behavior and politely teach them to your friends, family, co-workers and others in your sphere of influence. Spread the word that treatment works and recovery is possible.

Changing attitudes takes time, but repetition is the key, so keep getting the word out to bring about a positive shift in how we treat others. Adopt these simple tools and you can help move the needle in the direction of getting rid of stigma once and for all. You might even notice a shift in your posture over time—that thinking about or describing your trauma no longer makes you feel like cowering physically and emotionally.

When we keep the story inside, we tend to focus on the parts that are most frightening or that make us feel self-critical. Instead, insights about the truth of what happened emerge just through talking about what happened and what it means. Revisiting a trauma memory can be very upsetting, triggering strong emotional and physical reactions and even flashbacks to the event.

Through retelling the story of what happened, we find that our distress about it goes down. With repeated retelling to people who love and care about us, though, we find the opposite—that the memory no longer grips us. As Dr. Powers noted, we find that the memory no longer controls us. In fact, as Dr. Powers pointed out, we can come to see that our reactions to trauma actually make sense.

They said they felt like they could face anything as they saw their fear lessen and found greater freedom in their lives. Scientists say they now have a better understanding of how chronic long-term, sustained stress can accelerate the growth of cancer cells, and how this damage could be avoided. In these findings, researchers found the hormone epinephrine was responsible for the tumour growth, not cortisol. As a result, this led to an energy boost in the production of lactate, which feeds the harmful cancer cells and allows them to acquire more energy.

This means a person with chronic stress will have too much lactate dehydrogenase in the system which in turn will activate genes related to cancer growth and allow those cancer cells to thrive. However cortisol was actually lower after a month of stress, while epinephrine was much higher, he notes. Researchers confirmed these results by studying the blood epinephrine levels in 83 people with breast cancer, and found people with higher levels of the stress hormone also had higher levels of lactate dehydrogenase in cancer tumours and were more likely to have poorer outcomes following treatment.

When tested on mice, scientists found stressed mice injected with vitamin C experienced tumour shrinkage. The researchers, who hail from various academic institutions across the world, including Norwich University in Northfield, VT and the Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, have worked with students from the Maharishi Institute and the University of Johannesburg who had all received diagnoses of PTSD and depression.

These students agreed to practice transcendental meditation, a type of meditation that involves chanting and focusing on mantras to achieve serenity. Additionally, the team recruited a further 34 University of Johannesburg students with the same diagnoses who neither received any treatments nor took part in meditation for the duration of the study. These students acted as the control group. At the beginning of the study period, which lasted 3.

These scores signify that PTSD is very likely. Moreover, mental health professionals had also diagnosed PTSD in each of the participants. At the end of the study, most of the participants from the transcendental meditation group had PCL-C scores below 34, which is the threshold for a PTSD diagnosis, indicating that their symptoms had altogether receded.

In contrast, the participants in the control group, who did not take part in the meditation sessions and did not receive any other treatment, did not see any improvements. At that point in time, many of these students were also experiencing emotional numbness, states of anger, violent outbursts, and misuse of alcohol and drugs. This issue extends beyond South Africa, however. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem. The supposed effects of social media on young people sound drastic enough to make anyone switch off their cell phone.

Previous studies have made this claim based on measurements from a single point in time, but this new study took a long-term approach. The study focused on two separate groups of participants. One was made up of adolescents in the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade in Ontario, Canada. The other comprised 1, undergraduate students. The team surveyed the younger group once per year for 2 years. They surveyed the older students annually for a total of 6 years, starting in their first year of university.

The questions focused on how much time they spent on social media on weekdays and weekends, as well as how much time they spent on activities such as watching TV, exercising, and doing homework. They also looked at symptoms of depression. They used a similar but more age-appropriate version for the younger participants. Next, the researchers analyzed the data, separating it into age and sex.

This held true in both groups of participants. The scientists also found that in adolescent females, higher depression symptoms predicted later social media use. These findings suggest that overuse of social media does not lead to depression. More importantly, this may go some way toward dissuading public fear over the impacts of the technology. Policymakers also have recently been debating ways to tackle the effects of social media use on mental health. It is likely that differences in factors such as personality play a part in how social media can impact mental well-being.

For example, some young people might choose to use social media negatively as a comparison tool, while others may simply use it to stay in touch with friends. Scientists will now need to further examine motivations such as these to help authorities, medical experts, and parents figure out the best path forward.

A rule, on the other hand, is a prescribed dictate for action within a particular activity or sphere. Parental authority is a principle; bedtime at is a rule. Rules tend to be narrow and context-specific. Principles tend to regard general processes, and often represent internal convictions. Rules tend to regard specific content, and are often imposed on us externally. Principles invite contemplation, and need to be applied thoughtfully. Rules demand obedience and can be followed thoughtlessly.

1. Sufficient Sleep

Principles allow for flexibility and agency, but may generate confusion regarding how they should be applied. Rules are useful in that they clarify proper conduct, but they also limit flexibility and personal agency. Principles and rules are not unrelated, of course. This is one reason rules tend to multiply over time.

Before long, they may begin to obscure, and even undermine, the principles they ostensibly serve. This is, in essence, the paradox of bureaucracies: designed to advance the worthy principles of organizational efficiency, rationality, and objectivity, their convoluted rules often end up undermining all three. Our culture prizes both those who follow the rules and those who are principled. But in general, the latter is more highly regarded than the former. Yet rules can be helpful in putting principles into practice.

A transportation system that includes highways may be considered better developed that one that relies on country roads. But a truly developed system needs both. For example, American football is a game of rules. Every nuance of the game is closely measured, officiated, prescribed, and addressed in preset ways. American football is heavy on equipment and technology; it involves many more referees than soccer, and many more stops, consultations, and rule-related controversies Deflategate, etc.

Soccer flows. For therapy clients, I find, focusing on principles is often more productive than focusing on rules. Now granted, therapy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works for one client may not work for another. At the same time, people are people, and commonalities exist.

Giving your kids no treats ever may be fair and responsible, but ungenerous. Giving one child more treats than the other may be generous and responsible, but unfair. Giving each child fifty treats to eat at once may be fair and generous, but not responsible. You get the idea. Clients often benefit from figuring out general principles of thinking and decision making that work well across content areas in the mental health space. Here are three useful go-to principles of sound mental process:. Cognitive flexibility refers to our ability to adapt our cognitive processing strategies to novel or unexpected environmental conditions.

As such, cognitive flexibility implies a capacity for learning from experience. It also involves the ability to apply and adjust problem-solving strategies by exploring potential solutions inside a given problem space. It therefore is best thought of as a facility with complexity. Life, as you may have noticed, is, if nothing else, complex. In such an environment, rigid, narrow, and simplistic thinking will not suffice.

It is ill fitted to handle real life, which is much more likely to involve more-or-less propositions. Striving for excellence, on the other hand, affords the requisite flexibility. One obstacle to the development of cognitive flexibility is the cache our culture attaches to dogged determination. In principle, it is better to go with the odds rather than against them see under: Las Vegas. Some of those who choose the former strategy may be successful. And they will attribute their success to their stubbornness.

Those who succeed by beating the odds succeed despite, not because of, their strategy. Adaptive flexibility predicts success better than rigid stubbornness. This principle appears self-evident: Of course it is better to treat others with kindness rather than cruelty. Yet somehow this self-evident truth becomes less so when applied inward. Yet a fair evaluative system cannot accept an arbitrary double standard. If we accept and respect others who are imperfect, but fail to accept and respect ourselves on account of our imperfections, then we are creating a unique, and uniquely harsh, measurement system just for us, an unjustified double standard.

The risk of subjective cognitive decline was 30 percent higher among men with mild hearing loss, compared with those with no hearing loss. For men with moderate or severe hearing loss, the risk of subjective cognitive decline was between 42 and 54 percent higher.

Subjective cognitive decline refers to changes in memory and thinking that people notice in themselves.

Body Composition - Health and Performance in Exercise and Sport

Such changes can be an early indication of cognitive decline that objective performance tests do not pick up on. Today, there are around 50 million people living with dementia worldwide, and this figure is set to rise to 75 million by However, early diagnosis can do much to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and those who care for them. Identifying early decline in memory and thinking capacity could also help develop treatments that are more effective than those that target later stages of dementia, note the authors.

This is borne out by imaging studies that have linked subjective cognitive function to brain changes that precede dementia. Such findings support the notion that subjective cognitive function lies on a spectrum that includes mild cognitive impairment and predementia. The majority of individuals affected have mild hearing loss. However, in those aged 80 or older, moderate loss is more common than mild loss. Hearing loss and cognitive decline have some features in common.

Their causes involve several factors and, in many cases, both get worse over time. The HPFS recruited 51, men from health professions who were aged between 40 and 75 years when the study began in Their professions ranged from podiatry and dentistry to veterinary medicine and optometry.

Following enrolment, the men completed questionnaires about lifestyle, medication use, diet, and medical history every 2 years. You can click the links above to see the first two. This is the learning that matters most. I grew up in a stable and loving home, but for a variety of reasons I was still very unhappy, awkward, and messed up inside. Then about age 15, there was a big turning point when I realized that no matter what things were like at the present time, I could always look for ways to learn and grow from there — to get more skillful, to heal, to grow.

To learn how to make my way in the world. And that was full of hope. No one can stop you from learning. And no one can do it for you — which makes the results authentic, and yours to own. To beat the negativity bias and grow more of the good inside yourself, there are just two steps — but you have to do both of them. Two Steps First, you need to experience whatever you want to grow. Such as an insight, intention, skill, satisfaction, calming, easing, soothing, or vitalizing.

Otherwise there is no lasting value, no healing, no growth, no learning. The first step is usually easy. Most people are having many mildly pleasant or useful experiences each day and just have to notice them. This is the step that people routinely skip in everyday life, and that therapists and coaches and teachers including myself can fail to do when working with others. Try one of these, or all three of them:. You might take these two steps only a few times a day, usually less than a minute at a time.

Some Profound Implications This practice is simple, down-to-earth, and natural. Remarkably, you can get lasting value from the melting moment even as you let go of it. Second, as you take in the good over time, you feel increasingly filled up from the inside out.

Then it feels like there is an enoughness of needs met already, even as you cope with challenges. As we grow an unshakable core of resilient well-being, there is less push inside to fight pain or chase pleasure or cling to other people. We should certainly act to improve conditions in the world. The sense of enoughness must land in the heart and take root — and if it does in the hearts of enough people, that will change the course of human history.

Do you occasionally find yourself up in the middle of the night, ruminating and unable to go back to sleep? Or do you sometimes have a hard time falling sleep because you have too much on your mind? Here are strategies to address those problems and overcome insomnia. Understanding Sleep Patterns. A great deal of the worry associated with insomnia may be related to our misconceptions about sleep timing. Many of us adhere to the 8-hours-of-uninterrupted-sleep notion.

Historical evidence suggests that segmented sleep was once common, and our ancestors used the mid-night waking period to visit with neighbors, have a snack, or have sex. Cognitive Reframing. Occasional insomnia may occur because of our belief system about sleep. We may worry about our lack of uninterrupted sleep, or too few hours of sleep per night, and this anxiety often keeps us awake. By cognitive reframing—thinking differently about our sleep patterns—we may alleviate some of our insomnia.

An obvious strategy is to assure ourselves that segmented sleep is ok, and a few nights of poor sleep will not lead to lasting damage. Benign Reflection. Wakefulness, right after we hit the sack or in the middle of the night, offers an opportunity to put negative thinking on hold, count our blessings, and reflect on the many positive things in our lives. By moving our thought patterns from negative to positive, it may become easier to fall asleep. The To-Do List. This is the time to make a mental to-do list or have a pen and paper next to your bed and write it all down.

Wrestle Your Demons. Perhaps wakefulness is not a bad thing, but an opportunity to reflect and solve problems. We can often cognitively put our demons to rest by thinking through problems and issues. And, coupled with benign reflection, we might satisfy our cognitive musings and return to peaceful sleep.

Be Productive. Take advantage of wakeful time and get something done. It was mid-night insomnia, and the reflection it provided, that led to this blog post. In fact, I got up way too early in the morning to write it down. As JPM Healthcare week kicks off in San Francisco, the conversation around healthcare turns clairvoyant as experts weigh in on their predictions for the big trends in the coming year. Using science-based advice, these guidelines provide an overview of how much exercise Americans should perform each week i. These guidelines address both healthy individuals and those at increased risk of chronic disease, stressing how exercise can prevent the effects of certain chronic diseases, including dementia.

The primary update was a section dedicated to the relationship between physical activity and brain health. This section explains the benefits of exercise for cognition, sleep, depression, anxiety, and overall quality of life. There are many ways exercise improves cognitive health. Aerobic exercise also known as cardio raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your brain. Your increased heart rate is accompanied by harder and faster breathing depending on the intensity of your workout.

As your increased breathing pumps more oxygen into your bloodstream, more oxygen is delivered to your brain. This leads to neurogenesis—or the production of neurons—in certain parts of your brain that control memory and thinking. Neurogenesis increases brain volume, and this cognitive reserve is believed to help buffer against the effects of dementia. Another factor mediating the link between cognition and exercise is neurotrophins, which are proteins that aid neuron survival and function.

It has been noted that exercise promotes the production of neurotrophins, leading to greater brain plasticity, and therefore, better memory and learning. In addition to neurotrophins, exercise also results in an increase in neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine, which boost information processing and mood. A significant component: exercise.

In a longitudinal study conducted by Dr. Zhu from the University of Minnesota, exercise tests were administered to a group of participants to determine their fitness levels. Those who were the most active in tended to still be on the fit side of the spectrum decades later. Although exercise cannot completely counteract their genetic predisposition, people who exercised for at least minutes per week had better cognitive outcomes compared to those who did not.

Both the type of workout and method of staying fit are important to whether or not you experience cognitive benefits. This is harmful to overall health—including brain health. Between three sets of people—individuals who lost weight through restrictive eating, people who lost weight through exercise, and a group that used a combination of the two—only the groups who had exercise as part of their weight loss regimen noted an improvement in cognition. A multi-component routine focused on balance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness is better than focusing on just one type of exercise.

For example, tai chi has been heralded as an example of an all-encompassing exercise routine that significantly enhances cognition. A meta-analysis of research on tai chi and cognition found tai chi exhibited a greater effect on cognitive function than other types of exercise. So, pick your exercise of choice! Go walking, running, swimming, hiking, or biking. Enjoy the fresh air. Get in touch with nature. And reap the many health benefits of exercise—both physical and mental. Research shows that people tend to make big life decisions at the first of the year, which gives us New Year Resolutions.

This is the right time for changes both large and small. Want to go for that walk everyday? Set up a place in your home where your walking shoes are. Put them in a place where you will see them when you get home from work or first thing in the morning. The shoes will act as a visual cue. People become conditioned to auditory and visual cues and that makes it easier for an action to become a habit. Write a new self-story. The best and some would say the only way to get large and long-term behavior change, is by changing your self-story.

Everyone has stories about themselves that drive their behavior. These self-stories have a powerful influence on decisions and actions. Whether you realize it or not, you make decisions based on staying true to your self-stories. Most of this decision-making based on self-stories happens unconsciously. You strive to be consistent. You want to make decisions that match your idea of who you are.

When you make a decision or act in a way that fits your self-story, the decision or action will feel right. If you want to change your behavior and make the change stick, then you need to first change the underlying self-story that is operating. Do you want to be more optimistic? Want to join your local community band? An assessment of cohort, cross-sectional, and case-control studies involving more than 7 million individuals has found an association between concussions, mild traumatic brain injury TBI , and risk of suicide. This newest assessment involved a systematic search of studies reported from to May 1, Among the 17 studies, 14 included patients in North America, 2 included patients in Scandinavian countries, and 1 was conducted in Australia.

Military personnel—a subpopulation popularly associated with both TBI and suicide risk—were included in 7 studies, while children from the general population were included in 3 studies. In separate, stratified analyses comparing military personnel to civilian populations, investigators reported a higher combined estimate for studies of nonmilitary populations RR 2.

In an essay accompanying the meta-analysis, Donald A. In fact, a new survey by International SOS shows that the negative aspects of travelling could increase your risk of stress, depression and anxiety. Almost one million Aussies travel for work each year, with the top five stressful components being:. One hundred-and-thirty overweight participants were divided into four groups for six months: control, bike riding, HIIT and moderate workouts.

Although HIIT had the highest level of overall fat loss, cycling to work was just g less, making cycling a great option for those struggling to find the time to hit the gym. Wanting to get fitandflexy? Research suggests stretching first thing in the morning makes it easier to form the habit. A study published in Health Psychology followed university students trying to add hip flexor stretches into a daily routine, with half of the participants asked to stretch in the morning after waking up and the other half stretching before bed.

Researchers believe this might be due to the stress hormone cortisol, which is highest in the morning, helping with memory. TRY IT: create a cue for yourself like a note on the bathroom mirror to help remember your daily habit. The secret to living a long life? Researchers at the University of Sydney found that people who perform strengthpaced movement such as push-ups and sit-ups reduced their risk of premature death by 21 per cent. They also reduced a cancer-related death by 31 per cent.

A study published in Hypertension found that people consuming and enjoying spicy cuisine preferred their food less salty. Researchers believe this may be because the areas of the brain stimulated by spicy food and salty food actually overlap, as indicated by brain scanning imagery. Hand us that paprika! The takeaway: make the effort to properly plate your meal, and sit down when eating to prevent overeating. Stress might be just as unhealthy for us as eating junk food. A study from Brigham Young University found that stress caused the gut microbiota of female mice to change to look like the microbiota of mice that ate a high-fat diet.

Something to remember the next time you consider missing that centering yoga sesh. Researchers have found that some people can actually taste carbs in the same way your tastebuds can tell salt, sweet and sour. Published in The Journal of Nutrition, the Deakin University study found that those more sensitive to the carb taste tend to eat much more of them and have wider waistlines to match.

The study tested the presence of complex carbohydrates maltodextrin found in soft drink and lollies and oligofructose found in wheat and garlic but also a common food additive. Adding more greens into your diet could cut your risk of heart disease by 40 per cent. Researchers at Edith Cowan University studied nitrate levels in the diets of more than women from Western Australia. Over 15 years, the women with the highest nitrate levels eating loads of raw and leafy vegetables decreased their risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.

She said the research team showed that adding one cup of raw leafy greens per day about 75g provides enough nitrates to gain the health benefits. Although raw is best — boiling vegetables will cause the nitrates to leach out and we lose those benefits. The ingredients are kind to your tummy and full of good fats to keep you full and satisfied, minus the sugar. Combine the granola mix and place at the bottom of the mould. Then fill with yoghurt, pushing the yoghurt down well so that it fills through the gaps of the granola to help it hold.

Try these delicious thirst-quenchers to keep you cool and hydrated. Choose the mix you want, and blend until well combined a Vitamix blender on the lowest speed setting works well. Pour the mix in ice-block moulds, freeze and enjoy! This lightly sparkling organic kombucha courtesy of the girls at Keep it Cleaner is the ultimate health elixir to keep you feeling refreshed. Plus, it's editor tested and one of the best she has ever tasted! We love that H2coco coconut water is made from per cent natural fruit juice alternatives that are hydrating and full of flavour, but with less than half the sugar content of your average OJ.

Innovative skincare with reformulated natural Q10 composition. Reduces wrinkles, smoothes skin and intensively moisturises. Each bar is made in the heart of Melbourne — owner Mei Ong designs, makes and packages every soap with her own two hands — and is vegan friendly and cruelty free. Plus there is a colour to match every bathroom design palette: choose from four different hues, each with a signature essential oil blend. The average number of days it takes for us to form a new habit. Ultimately, it can take anywhere from 18 days to days to be immersed in the custom.

Three hundred and ninety-five study participants were asked to either take a photo of nature or a humanmade object and write how they feel, or do nothing, over the course of two weeks. More than photos and descriptions were submitted, with those submitting nature photos gaining a significant increase in happiness and level of connectedness to others.

Think depictions of plants, birds or sunlight streaming through a window. Listening to happy music can generate creative and innovative solutions compared to listening to silence. A joint study from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the University of Technology in Sydney had participants perform cognitive tasks that tested creative thinking.

Participants listened to music that was either calm, happy, sad or anxious, while the control group worked in silence. Participants that listened to the happy music — positive classical music with high arousal — performed more creatively in tasks. Researchers suggest the happy music might enhance flexibility in thinking to boost creative thinking. In2urlife ensures you return home with the tools you need to transform your life to become a happier and healthier version of you. Wash hair and dry the top section 2. Section the top section and back-comb, and lightly tease with a bit of volume powder to create messy body and texture.

Scrunch hair with hands to achieve more messy waves 5. Finish with a lightweight hairspray or shine spray. This luxe Turkish pom pom towel by Koku is made from per cent Turkish cotton, is ultraabsorbent and gentle on the skin, plus it doubles as a yoga throw. It naturally enhances your tan while leaving you smelling like a fruity cocktail.

Eighty-eight per cent of homes have at least one cluttered room, and four in 10 Australians feel anxious, guilty or depressed about their disorganised homes according to a national survey conducted by the Australia Institute. While research indicates that being organised leads to greater clarity and has a multitude of benefits to your mental, physical and emotional health, it also depends on the individual.

In fact, some studies suggest that a messy environment can actually enhance innovation and creativity. Whatever your approach, the evidence is clear that working and living in an organised space or at least in organised chaos can be beneficial to your health. One study published in the journal Psychological Science involved participants completing tasks in a clean and orderly office versus a messy office, with those in the tidy room more likely to reach for an apple than a chocolate bar when exiting.

When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins along with feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Given your brain loves to anticipate profits, planning your exercise routine helps your brain to foretell the rewards it will receive, making you more likely to complete your workout. Achieving these little rewards helps to reinforce the habit and motivates you to continue the organised way of being — especially useful if you have a lot on your plate. THRIVE Research shows that feeling in control of your work is linked to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress.

One study of 30 families in the US, published in Personality and Social. Psychology Bulletin, revealed that a messy home can raise stress hormone cortisol. Participants completed mood assessment reports and had their saliva tested for cortisol analysis over a one-week period, the results showing that a disorganised home environment is linked to poor mood and increased stress — which, if left untreated for prolonged periods, can lead to fatigue and even depression.

How many household disputes start with dishes piled up in the kitchen and chaos in the living space? TRIGGER: the signal that activates the behaviour — this could be a set time or even another behaviour for starting the organisation process. Prioritising and creating to-do lists can also help, says positive psychology coach at Flourishing Mothers Kate Wilkie flourishingmothers. A handwritten to-do list will unburden your brain and make you more efficient, and ticking each item off your list once completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and a boost of confidence.

The most effective way to overcome organisation issues is clever storage solutions. There are some great solutions for hiding cords; for example, if you have built-in cabinetry, you can add a custom panel between the wall and the cabinet that helps hide them. You can also bundle cords together with cable ducting, which come in a range of colours that blend in with your walls. Positioning of furniture is also important. Moving your furniture even a couple of inches off the wall can make a huge difference.

But before investing in a new piece of furniture, measure your space and select a piece that is proportionate, not just the biggest one you can squeeze in. If you. We love. You can purchase cabinetry designed to store the height and width of large saucepans comfortably stacked, as well as custom dividers for your drawers to vertically store oven trays and save space.

Ensure all your personal items have a place and invest in petite furniture and built-in wardrobes to maximise your space and keep your clothing organised and packed away. Consider mirrored cabinets, which are functional while giving the illusion of space. Make your best year yet. Choose from our signature 7, 5 and 3 night programs. What are you waiting for? Make someday this Sunday. There are so many activities on offer, you can do as much or as little as you like.

Jen TripAdvisor review. Plenty, as it turns out. New year resolutions are notoriously unsuccessful — approximately eight per cent of people actually achieve the goals they set themselves in January according to University of Scranton research — and yet remain just as popular as ever. Ultimately, it comes down to smart goal-setting, understanding how to follow through, and not relying on your feeble willpower. Instead, you essentially trick your brain into performing the actions you desire to make. If you have 20kg to lose, set a goal for 5kg. But again, choose wisely.

Remind yourself that you are calling the shots and try to keep your attitude as relaxed — yet focused — as possible. This distracts me from my negative feelings and gets me focused on my goals again. Many very fit women do not have a toned, cut body, but they are still extremely healthy and strong.

Keep your goal realistic and — importantly — enjoyable. Consider your fitness base before you set your training goals for the coming year. For example, you need to be running five kilometres for at least three weeks before you consider increasing the distance to six kilometres. Look at it for daily reinforcement. If their weight is not coming down as fast as it should, they can focus on their improvements in strength and fitness, which helps keep them motivated and on track. Work out what you would like to change.

To optimise your daily nutritional intake, simply blend Synergy Natural Super Greens powder with juice, seasonal fruits or your choice of liquid base for a delicious smoothie. Or take as tablets if preferred. Our full range of pack sizes and products can be purchased from our website. Were you after a traditional one-piece cossie for thrashing your opponents in the pool, or a set of togs to turn heads at the beach? Designers are making many of the decisions for you, combining fashion, function and multiple training goals far more closely.

But how to spot the one-season bather versus the durable swimsuit you can train and bathe in is one choice that still needs to be made. Quality is another issue. Aussie women put their swimwear through some of the toughest conditions in the world, with swimwear exposed to extreme sun, slapped with sunscreen, and drenched with either chlorine or sea water. Doig suggests looking for garments that have flat seams or are seamless to prevent rubbing, skin irritation and chaffing. Seamless swimwear is often reversible, with different prints on either side offering both variety and a cost-effective choice — essentially two for one.

For outdoor sports come summer, garments offering sun protection are also useful. For Atkins. Think one-pieces turned into bodysuits post-beach by adding a pair of denim shorts or a skirt to attend lunch with friends. Long-sleeve swimsuits with floral prints and colourful patterns are also replacing the traditional rashies that many of us were forced into as kids by our overprotective and rightly so sunsmart parents. This more elegant, new and improved adaptation of the traditional rashie is increasingly being used for water sports such as stand-up paddle-boarding,.

Women are also wearing them to weekly Pilates and yoga classes, and under sheer tops at festivals. If you are a fashionista, what should you expect to see around the shore this summer? Fabrics of this nature are delicate and have to be treated with care. So it really depends on what you are using the bathers for: comfort sitting poolside, or beach sprint performance.

Sustainable fabrics are also a recent market favourite when it comes to the latest swimwear trends. Often a blend of Econyl post consumer water polyamide yarn — if you care to know and elastane, the new movement is allowing socially conscious consumers to have options. If you have an athletic build and you are wanting to create some curves, avoid crop tops and minimising tops which can enhance your athletic frame. As the saying goes, it seems you get what you pay for. She could be a busy mum or an urban professional but she will take every opportunity to move. Whether it be training for a marathon, hitting the gym, barre class, yoga or going for a surf, she is the type of woman that appreciates quality and likes to express herself through her style.

Bridie and Angela are accomplished personal trainers and I grew up in the water, so when we review each design we not only have high standards for quality, but our combined experience gives us the ability to understand how it will perform at the gym or in the water. When we think about the water component, we want women to be free to move without worrying if their activewear or swimwear is going to hold up. This is why we use compression fabrics, place. Our tights also have powermesh in the waistband. If you can duck dive under a wave or swim laps and not have to re-adjust every time you come up for air, that's a good result!

Our anklebiters full-length tights and high-neck crops are perfect for providing sun protection if you are spending a day surfing or paddle boarding We use soft fabric imported from Italy which provides great coverage and compression and have it printed here in Australia. The yarn contains lycra so it has great recovery and is long lasting. Currently, I am loving the classic prints making a comeback in swimwear, such as polkadots and gingham stripes.

We have just released our Ciao Bella collection featuring navy with a small white polkadot print and we have a colourful vintage floral on the way too. I grew up in Melbourne and trained as a high-level gymnast for 15 years alongside my identical twin sister, Sophia. It was because of gymnastics that I fell in love with lycra and its diversity, design possibilities and colour range. My mum loved to sew and my grandmother was an artist who taught Sophia and I how to paint and draw from a very young age. We were emerged in fashion drawing, colour and art from childhood.

At 17, while studying fashion design, Sophia and I launched our first business: the Savage Sisters. Together we created groovy activewear and some swimwear. I have worked as a freelance illustrator for major fashion houses since then, but have always continued to have my own label. Things started to fall into place when I met my husband, Rob. Our love for each other and our common interests — a passion for fashion, creativity and the arts — is how our swim label started. Rob and I work together as business partners — Rob provides the structure and framework for the business to thrive and I work on the day-to-day workings of the business, the creative direction, textile prints and business development.

After a conversation with a friend, I started thinking: what type of rashie was I searching for? What did I want to wear? So I put my design background to use and SunSoaked was born. We aim to provide all swimmers — elite and recreational — with chlorine-resistant pieces that are both fun and functional. We offer swimwear ranges for women, men, girls and toddlers, and believe the value of keeping fit should be instilled at a young age.

We want women to feel strong and beautiful while they work out in the water. The pineapple, lemon and watermelon prints are unique and we have pushed the boundaries by combining clashy, contrasting strap colours, and introducing silhouettes and designs that are new to the performance swimwear industry. The premium lycra provides excellent shape retention and support, which helps create a figure-flattering silhouette. With features such as thumbholes in long sleeve styles, supportive shelf bras in all of our zip-up one-pieces and sun-safe coverage in most.

We are changing mindsets about what sun-safe swimwear looks like: you can look fabulous and be sun safe — the two are not mutually exclusive. The one-piece swimsuit is having a revival and continues to be one of the top trends this summer, and we believe every woman — no matter her size, shape or age — can find her ultimate bather. With the support of my family and friends, I took the step forward and went for it. Matia Beachwear is produced in Portugal in a small family factory which ensures the quality we seek.

We not only support the local economy of my home country, but also take pride in knowing it is produced locally. And here I am working on my collection that will include more than just bikins. Our designs are timeless, as seamless as possible, and with sexy and flattering cuts designed to emphasise the beautiful curves of the female body. Its innovative construction makes the fabric more durable and more resistant to chlorine, suntan creams and oils than other swimwear fabrics. Matia Beachwear is a fashion-, surfand lifestyle-inspired brand, offering a collection of high-quality swimwear with a timeless, minimalist and sexy aesthetic design, catering for a range of body types.

In my opinion, timeless designs will always remain, regardless of current trends. I thought I was the only person that swim-crazed — until the rest of the Bondeye team came together. We also manufacture right here in Sydney, and I think that is an important factor to many of our customers.

We have girls who are a size six wearing the exact same piece as a size 12 to 14 can wear. The fabric hugs and supports in a way no other swimwear can; its truly something special. We take current trends and pushing the boundaries on innovating new trends very seriously.

We have at least two meetings per week to specifically talk about what we are seeing in the market, and how we can go further. And while these goals are all well and good, may be missing one crucial workout mission before it has even begun: training for your brain. In ancient Greece, where the first Olympic Games were held, physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing went hand in hand.

The widely accepted tenet that there was a close relationship between physical health and mental power facilitated the growth of fitness throughout ancient Greece — and this was a civilisation that prized physical perfection like no other in history. The ideal is still one we can strive towards today: that there must be a balance and harmony between body and soul for peak performance to be attained.

A healthy brain is essential to a healthy body. So it makes sense that a healthy brain needs exercise, similar to. Despite this metaphor, it is important to note that the brain is not actually a muscle; but given that evidence suggests the organ can be trained similar to how you would train your quads, it is often thought of as one. It turns out that instead of simply accepting that the bundles of nerves in your brain inevitably deteriorate with age, you can help slow — or even prevent — the process by making smart lifestyle changes and embracing brain fitness. Your neural.

What you do with your body affects your mind and vice versa…so whoever you are, you can train your brain in the same way you train your body — to be fitter, stronger and healthier. University of Newcastle researcher Dr Vincent Candrawinata recommends sticking to brain training that involves real-world activities and offers novelty and challenge.

On top of a healthy diet and regular exercise, mental stimulation is what it takes to strengthen synaptic networks. Research suggests that mental stimulation can improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and related diseases.


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It is a generally accepted scientific fact that the brain shrinks with age and that associated changes occur at all levels, from molecules to morphology. In fact, the volume of the brain and its weight declines with age at a rate of around five per cent per decade after age Scary stuff. This is costly in terms of the mental acuity required to make decisions, plan, organise, and pay attention to and remember details. Like so many of the symptoms of ageing, people used to assume brain shrinkage was something over which we had little control.

In recent years, however, there has been a bulk of. Research shows that reading a novel has the power to make positive longterm changes to the brain. A recent study from Emory University focussed on how the brain is reshaped over the course of reading a novel. Researchers asked 21 participants to come in for functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRIs over 19 days. For the first five days, the researchers took baseline fMRIs. They then assigned the participants nine sections of Pompeii, a thriller by Robert Harris, to read over a nine-day period.

They gave them further fMRIs after they had completed each section of the novel as well as additional scans after they had finished it. Mindfulness is a bit of a marketing buzzword, but according to Dr Nejad, even the most haphazard engagement with mindfulness practices can help stimulate neuronal growth, particularly in the areas of the brain that are responsible for planning, decisionmaking and emotional regulation.

Small amounts of meditation help strengthen the self-control regions of the brain, which is particularly useful for people recovering from addictions such as smoking. It activates, trains and utilises the brain in its entirety. Visualise the spelling of a word in your head then try to think of any other words that begin or end with the same two letters.

This is a great standing-in-line-at-the-supermarket exercise — no reading glasses required. Mindfulness is arguably more accessible than meditation but equally useful in terms of clearing your brain of unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, thus giving it more space to focus on positives instead. Dr Nejad suggests directing your brain to look at particular thoughts as helpful or unhelpful rather than negative or positive.

She emphasises that your thoughts are not facts; you can adjust your thinking to cultivate optimism. It sounds too good to be true, but as it turns out, socialising is positively good for your state of mind. Having a conversation requires your brain to be highly engaged; it follows that mingling with strangers or having a good chat with a friend can, in the long run, actually boost your brain power. Talking to other people is not only a way to understand and process your thoughts, it elevates your ability to think clearly and can also lift your mood. For optimal brain health benefits, choose social activities that are both physically and cognitively engaging, such as exercising with a friend or singing in a choir.

Vigorous physical exercise has positive effects on brain function on multiple fronts — it increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain; it helps the body release hormones, which create a nourishing environment for brain cell growth; and it stimulates brain plasticity by increasing the number of connections between cells. At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most — if not all — days of the week is best. A study from the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia found that even briefly exercising for 20 minutes improves information processing and memory functions.

So feel free to eat a few squares in the interest of brain power. While it sounds like a stretch, you can rest assured that dark chocolate has multiple proven brain health benefits including improved learning, memory and focus, and protection against free radical damage. To keep your brain sharp as a tack, make it a priority in to do things that are good for it as well as your body.

The ebb and flow of fitness trends and traditions are inevitable. This was when yoga became mainstream,. Today, a fear of injury, raging cortisol levels and a renewed focus on mind-body connection is seeing the re-prioritisation of training balance. Yoga, in other words, is back. Based on surveys of over fitness professionals, here are the top 10 activities you are predicted to be participating in come Jan. Strength training might not sound like a groundbreaking concept, but the fact that more and more women are picking up the barbell — proudly — is a fairly modern concept.

Additionally, lean muscle mass and bone strength decline drastically as you age, so getting your reps in early in life is ideal. Pay particular attention to targeted resistance training of your postural muscles — the ones that keep your back straight. One day start with push, next time start with pull, next day legs — and so on. Perform 3 sets before moving on to the next exercise. No surprises here. Made popular by its reputation for producing significant fat loss and fitness results in a limited amount of time, it has been pounced upon by modern fitness franchises.

It means that a 20min session CAN get you great results. You can do it indoors or outdoors, with equipment or just your body weight. That said, higher intensities are not as beneficial to those already suffering from elevated cortisol levels, anxiety or stress. Phillips suggests opting for work intervals of 30 seconds—four minutes for beginner to moderate fitness levels. Think five. Three or four rounds. It should take 15—20 minutes in total, not including the warm-up or cool-down. Functional fitness is the concept of training your body in a way that mimics movements you perform daily — better equipping your body for the strains of everyday life, defines Phillips.

Functional fitness involves multi-plane movements such as a curtsy lunge with cables or lateral step-ups. It improves leg, core and upper body coordination and increases the stability of your shoulder joints. Mimics everyday moves such as getting up off the floor with a heavy load in one hand. It improves strength and coordination, and mobility of your legs, hips, back and shoulders. You lose muscle strength, bone density, joint mobility and balance. Exercise has been proven to reduce the risks and effects of these diseases.

Falls are one of the biggest risk factors for over 60s and exercise has a direct influence on balance. Think low-impact classes such as yoga, Zumba and aqua aerobics. Ideally, training with an over 50s specialist personal trainer will give that personalised attention many wellworn bodies need. And for those feeling slightly apprehensive about starting a new plan in — fear not. And find something that peps you up and leaves you feeling energised — not drained. Not only is bodyweight training convenient, the lower load makes full-body, explosive movements possible at higher volumes and intensities, burning a magnitude of calories and, so, fat.

That said, the body does adapt quickly. Eventually, you will plateau and need the help of the barbell. Perform each exercise for as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, followed by a second break before beginning the next exercise. Three to five rounds. As you advance, add in equiptment to increase the load:. With greater awareness surrounding cookie-cutter plans, educated trainers and coaches are in high demand in After all, knowledge is power, and bespoke training plans — tailormade for you and your body — are the new black. Group training comes in at number 2, offering both training convenience most gyms have an array of class types and times to suit every goal — from fat loss to fitness to strength , along with motivation and support.

Created by Hollywood fitness guru Sebastien Largee, this full-body conditioning method combines the benefits of Pilates, strength training and cardio into one sweaty sesh using the Megaformer. Straight from the heart of LA, the minute Lagree classes use slow, controlled movements to activate slow-twitch muscle, and promise a toned, lean look for its faithful. Not only does it make classes more fun, but its proponents claim it can burn up to 20 per cent more calories than your regular spin class. This results in a much more holistic workout, including the core muscles in your back and abdomen, as well as your arms biceps, triceps, traps and deltoids.

Reverse bridge 5. While fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices have been in the top 10 for a while now, other technological advancements are also beginning to trend. Example: genetic testing, now widely available in Australia, using methods as simple as a saliva test to determine improved training and nutrition protocols according to your individual genetic makeup.

Think of your DNA as the recipe book of how your body works, passed down from generation to generation. If the DNA is the recipe book, your genes are the individual recipes that lead to the formation of proteins — and proteins are what drive everything. Understanding how your body works at such a level can aid in a more refined training plan. Encouraging hormonal profiles that act as a natural antidepressant, and improving balance and flexibility, it's little wonder yoga is practised the world over. Along with slow and steady exercise practices comes a stronger focus on mindset in the new year, predicts Moon.

According to leading genetic testing facility Fitness Genes fitnessgenes. Carry particular variations of this gene, and you are more likely to produce excess ghrelin the hormone that causes hunger and respond poorly to low-carb diets. ACEm ACTN3, PGC1A for muscle gain : how these particular genes — plus others — work individually and collectively determines the training styles you should adopt for building lean muscle.

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For example, they determine the volume frequency and intensity your muscles most efficienctly and effectively respond to, and can even determine your ideal training split for best results. We have talked about what made the top 10 — but what trends missed out? Do people not realise the importance of exercise in any weight loss. Instagram fitness models who use their physique as click bait. It can be easy to feel deflated due to the unrealistic standards set. Think team sports, group fitness and community-focussed fitness options for those who struggle with self-motivation.

I believe our addiction to digital and expecting everything to be super fast and convenient has given a lot of people a false sense of reality and a distorted image of what fitness and life is really about. It is concerning that this trend has dropped off the top 10, as research shows that exercise has enormous benefits on our major health care issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. The new year is about getting back into the swing of your training and nutrition routine, and setting new goals.

This comprehensive training program addresses all of your needs. The resistance component targets the full body with particular emphaisis on the posterior chain and core for both strength and physique shape, and allows you to work towards YOUR own objective by having targeted options with both your rep range and load. It also provides exercises designed to challenge your grip, in addition to providing some of the progressions needed to achieve a pull-up. It is designed to challenge your strength, power, coordination and overall fitness, with the metabolic requirement of high reps, moderate load and minimal rest raising your heart rate as quickly as possible and keeping it elevated for up to 36 hours post workout.

The active rest and recovery component is highly recommended — not only as a stress management tool, but also to allow you enough time between workouts so that you can perform at your best. For both increased fat loss and muscle repair, in addition to supporting all the detoxification channels that may have been overworked over the holidays, I recommend power walking, foam rolling, infrared sauna and epsom salts baths.

Supplementing with a pharmaceutical-grade magnesium is also suggested. The beauty of this format is that you can structure the rep range and load of the EMOM to target your own specific goals. Where there is a superset [e. After you have completed the superset, rest 30 seconds. Complete three to five rounds before moving on to the next superset.

Place a towel or mat across. Drive your hips up to the ceiling, squeezing the glutes. Keep a slight posterior pelvic tilt throughout to make sure you are using the glutes rather than the lower back. If you struggle to engage the glutes, pop a band around your knees, lift the toes and even turn your feet slightly out. Feet hip-distance apart, hold the bar in front of your thighs. Pin the shoulders back and keep them set throughout. Come to a position where your upper body is almost parallel with the floor, then perform the bent-over row, pulling to the bottom rib with elbows squeezing in.

Drive through the heels to come up and squeeze the glutes at the top. NOTE: If you struggle to keep your shoulders back throughout, you can perform this movement with an underhand grip. With hands just wider than shoulder distance, hang from a pull-up bar using an overhand grip. Every part of that dish absolutely disgusts me. Life and work are the same. Definitely not based on TV adverts, celebrity Instagram pictures or the lives of friends and relatives.

Work out your own plan before you ask for comment. Be sure of your next move before you open up to receive advice. Recognise that every time you share your intentions you leave yourself susceptible to be influenced. Anything you like! Try it out — write them all down and use that piece of paper as a blueprint for living a life full of your favourite things. Stigma has various definitions, but they all refer to negative attitudes, beliefs, descriptions, language or behavior.

In other words, stigma can translate into disrespectful, unfair, or discriminatory patterns in how we think, feel, talk and behave towards individuals experiencing a mental illness. Where stigma comes from is a complicated question. Then we can do our best to educate others about how to reduce stigma and work toward ultimately eliminating it.

How do we become more aware of stigma? In a research study with British year-olds, teens came up with over terms to describe mental illness, and the majority were negative.

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These terms are far too common in our everyday conversations. Provide support and reassurance when you know someone is having difficulty managing their illness. Stigma is often fueled by lack of awareness and inaccurate information. Model these stigma-reducing strategies through your own comments and behavior and politely teach them to your friends, family, co-workers and others in your sphere of influence. Spread the word that treatment works and recovery is possible.

Changing attitudes takes time, but repetition is the key, so keep getting the word out to bring about a positive shift in how we treat others. Adopt these simple tools and you can help move the needle in the direction of getting rid of stigma once and for all. You might even notice a shift in your posture over time—that thinking about or describing your trauma no longer makes you feel like cowering physically and emotionally. When we keep the story inside, we tend to focus on the parts that are most frightening or that make us feel self-critical.

Instead, insights about the truth of what happened emerge just through talking about what happened and what it means. Revisiting a trauma memory can be very upsetting, triggering strong emotional and physical reactions and even flashbacks to the event. Through retelling the story of what happened, we find that our distress about it goes down.

With repeated retelling to people who love and care about us, though, we find the opposite—that the memory no longer grips us. As Dr. Powers noted, we find that the memory no longer controls us. In fact, as Dr. Powers pointed out, we can come to see that our reactions to trauma actually make sense. They said they felt like they could face anything as they saw their fear lessen and found greater freedom in their lives. Scientists say they now have a better understanding of how chronic long-term, sustained stress can accelerate the growth of cancer cells, and how this damage could be avoided.

In these findings, researchers found the hormone epinephrine was responsible for the tumour growth, not cortisol.

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As a result, this led to an energy boost in the production of lactate, which feeds the harmful cancer cells and allows them to acquire more energy. This means a person with chronic stress will have too much lactate dehydrogenase in the system which in turn will activate genes related to cancer growth and allow those cancer cells to thrive.

However cortisol was actually lower after a month of stress, while epinephrine was much higher, he notes. Researchers confirmed these results by studying the blood epinephrine levels in 83 people with breast cancer, and found people with higher levels of the stress hormone also had higher levels of lactate dehydrogenase in cancer tumours and were more likely to have poorer outcomes following treatment.

When tested on mice, scientists found stressed mice injected with vitamin C experienced tumour shrinkage. The researchers, who hail from various academic institutions across the world, including Norwich University in Northfield, VT and the Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, have worked with students from the Maharishi Institute and the University of Johannesburg who had all received diagnoses of PTSD and depression.

These students agreed to practice transcendental meditation, a type of meditation that involves chanting and focusing on mantras to achieve serenity. Additionally, the team recruited a further 34 University of Johannesburg students with the same diagnoses who neither received any treatments nor took part in meditation for the duration of the study. These students acted as the control group. At the beginning of the study period, which lasted 3.

These scores signify that PTSD is very likely. Moreover, mental health professionals had also diagnosed PTSD in each of the participants. At the end of the study, most of the participants from the transcendental meditation group had PCL-C scores below 34, which is the threshold for a PTSD diagnosis, indicating that their symptoms had altogether receded. In contrast, the participants in the control group, who did not take part in the meditation sessions and did not receive any other treatment, did not see any improvements.

At that point in time, many of these students were also experiencing emotional numbness, states of anger, violent outbursts, and misuse of alcohol and drugs. This issue extends beyond South Africa, however. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem. The supposed effects of social media on young people sound drastic enough to make anyone switch off their cell phone. Previous studies have made this claim based on measurements from a single point in time, but this new study took a long-term approach. The study focused on two separate groups of participants.

One was made up of adolescents in the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade in Ontario, Canada. The other comprised 1, undergraduate students. The team surveyed the younger group once per year for 2 years. They surveyed the older students annually for a total of 6 years, starting in their first year of university. The questions focused on how much time they spent on social media on weekdays and weekends, as well as how much time they spent on activities such as watching TV, exercising, and doing homework. They also looked at symptoms of depression. They used a similar but more age-appropriate version for the younger participants.

Next, the researchers analyzed the data, separating it into age and sex. This held true in both groups of participants. The scientists also found that in adolescent females, higher depression symptoms predicted later social media use. These findings suggest that overuse of social media does not lead to depression. More importantly, this may go some way toward dissuading public fear over the impacts of the technology.

Policymakers also have recently been debating ways to tackle the effects of social media use on mental health. It is likely that differences in factors such as personality play a part in how social media can impact mental well-being. For example, some young people might choose to use social media negatively as a comparison tool, while others may simply use it to stay in touch with friends.

Scientists will now need to further examine motivations such as these to help authorities, medical experts, and parents figure out the best path forward. A rule, on the other hand, is a prescribed dictate for action within a particular activity or sphere. Parental authority is a principle; bedtime at is a rule.

Rules tend to be narrow and context-specific. Principles tend to regard general processes, and often represent internal convictions. Rules tend to regard specific content, and are often imposed on us externally. Principles invite contemplation, and need to be applied thoughtfully. Rules demand obedience and can be followed thoughtlessly.

Principles allow for flexibility and agency, but may generate confusion regarding how they should be applied. Rules are useful in that they clarify proper conduct, but they also limit flexibility and personal agency. Principles and rules are not unrelated, of course. This is one reason rules tend to multiply over time. Before long, they may begin to obscure, and even undermine, the principles they ostensibly serve.

This is, in essence, the paradox of bureaucracies: designed to advance the worthy principles of organizational efficiency, rationality, and objectivity, their convoluted rules often end up undermining all three. Our culture prizes both those who follow the rules and those who are principled. But in general, the latter is more highly regarded than the former. Yet rules can be helpful in putting principles into practice. A transportation system that includes highways may be considered better developed that one that relies on country roads. But a truly developed system needs both. For example, American football is a game of rules.

Every nuance of the game is closely measured, officiated, prescribed, and addressed in preset ways. American football is heavy on equipment and technology; it involves many more referees than soccer, and many more stops, consultations, and rule-related controversies Deflategate, etc.

Soccer flows. For therapy clients, I find, focusing on principles is often more productive than focusing on rules. Now granted, therapy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works for one client may not work for another. At the same time, people are people, and commonalities exist. Giving your kids no treats ever may be fair and responsible, but ungenerous. Giving one child more treats than the other may be generous and responsible, but unfair. Giving each child fifty treats to eat at once may be fair and generous, but not responsible.

You get the idea. Clients often benefit from figuring out general principles of thinking and decision making that work well across content areas in the mental health space. Here are three useful go-to principles of sound mental process:. Cognitive flexibility refers to our ability to adapt our cognitive processing strategies to novel or unexpected environmental conditions.

As such, cognitive flexibility implies a capacity for learning from experience. It also involves the ability to apply and adjust problem-solving strategies by exploring potential solutions inside a given problem space. It therefore is best thought of as a facility with complexity. Life, as you may have noticed, is, if nothing else, complex. In such an environment, rigid, narrow, and simplistic thinking will not suffice. It is ill fitted to handle real life, which is much more likely to involve more-or-less propositions.

Striving for excellence, on the other hand, affords the requisite flexibility. One obstacle to the development of cognitive flexibility is the cache our culture attaches to dogged determination. In principle, it is better to go with the odds rather than against them see under: Las Vegas. Some of those who choose the former strategy may be successful.

And they will attribute their success to their stubbornness. Those who succeed by beating the odds succeed despite, not because of, their strategy. Adaptive flexibility predicts success better than rigid stubbornness. This principle appears self-evident: Of course it is better to treat others with kindness rather than cruelty. Yet somehow this self-evident truth becomes less so when applied inward. Yet a fair evaluative system cannot accept an arbitrary double standard. If we accept and respect others who are imperfect, but fail to accept and respect ourselves on account of our imperfections, then we are creating a unique, and uniquely harsh, measurement system just for us, an unjustified double standard.

The risk of subjective cognitive decline was 30 percent higher among men with mild hearing loss, compared with those with no hearing loss. For men with moderate or severe hearing loss, the risk of subjective cognitive decline was between 42 and 54 percent higher. Subjective cognitive decline refers to changes in memory and thinking that people notice in themselves.

Such changes can be an early indication of cognitive decline that objective performance tests do not pick up on. Today, there are around 50 million people living with dementia worldwide, and this figure is set to rise to 75 million by However, early diagnosis can do much to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and those who care for them.

Identifying early decline in memory and thinking capacity could also help develop treatments that are more effective than those that target later stages of dementia, note the authors. This is borne out by imaging studies that have linked subjective cognitive function to brain changes that precede dementia. Such findings support the notion that subjective cognitive function lies on a spectrum that includes mild cognitive impairment and predementia.

The majority of individuals affected have mild hearing loss. However, in those aged 80 or older, moderate loss is more common than mild loss. Hearing loss and cognitive decline have some features in common. Their causes involve several factors and, in many cases, both get worse over time. The HPFS recruited 51, men from health professions who were aged between 40 and 75 years when the study began in Their professions ranged from podiatry and dentistry to veterinary medicine and optometry.

Following enrolment, the men completed questionnaires about lifestyle, medication use, diet, and medical history every 2 years. You can click the links above to see the first two. This is the learning that matters most. I grew up in a stable and loving home, but for a variety of reasons I was still very unhappy, awkward, and messed up inside. Then about age 15, there was a big turning point when I realized that no matter what things were like at the present time, I could always look for ways to learn and grow from there — to get more skillful, to heal, to grow.

To learn how to make my way in the world. And that was full of hope. No one can stop you from learning. And no one can do it for you — which makes the results authentic, and yours to own. To beat the negativity bias and grow more of the good inside yourself, there are just two steps — but you have to do both of them. Two Steps First, you need to experience whatever you want to grow.

Such as an insight, intention, skill, satisfaction, calming, easing, soothing, or vitalizing. Otherwise there is no lasting value, no healing, no growth, no learning. The first step is usually easy. Most people are having many mildly pleasant or useful experiences each day and just have to notice them. This is the step that people routinely skip in everyday life, and that therapists and coaches and teachers including myself can fail to do when working with others. Try one of these, or all three of them:.

You might take these two steps only a few times a day, usually less than a minute at a time. Some Profound Implications This practice is simple, down-to-earth, and natural. Remarkably, you can get lasting value from the melting moment even as you let go of it. Second, as you take in the good over time, you feel increasingly filled up from the inside out. Then it feels like there is an enoughness of needs met already, even as you cope with challenges. As we grow an unshakable core of resilient well-being, there is less push inside to fight pain or chase pleasure or cling to other people.

We should certainly act to improve conditions in the world. The sense of enoughness must land in the heart and take root — and if it does in the hearts of enough people, that will change the course of human history. Do you occasionally find yourself up in the middle of the night, ruminating and unable to go back to sleep? Or do you sometimes have a hard time falling sleep because you have too much on your mind? Here are strategies to address those problems and overcome insomnia. Understanding Sleep Patterns. A great deal of the worry associated with insomnia may be related to our misconceptions about sleep timing.

Many of us adhere to the 8-hours-of-uninterrupted-sleep notion. Historical evidence suggests that segmented sleep was once common, and our ancestors used the mid-night waking period to visit with neighbors, have a snack, or have sex. Cognitive Reframing. Occasional insomnia may occur because of our belief system about sleep. We may worry about our lack of uninterrupted sleep, or too few hours of sleep per night, and this anxiety often keeps us awake.

By cognitive reframing—thinking differently about our sleep patterns—we may alleviate some of our insomnia. An obvious strategy is to assure ourselves that segmented sleep is ok, and a few nights of poor sleep will not lead to lasting damage. Benign Reflection. Wakefulness, right after we hit the sack or in the middle of the night, offers an opportunity to put negative thinking on hold, count our blessings, and reflect on the many positive things in our lives.

By moving our thought patterns from negative to positive, it may become easier to fall asleep. The To-Do List. This is the time to make a mental to-do list or have a pen and paper next to your bed and write it all down. Wrestle Your Demons. Perhaps wakefulness is not a bad thing, but an opportunity to reflect and solve problems. We can often cognitively put our demons to rest by thinking through problems and issues. And, coupled with benign reflection, we might satisfy our cognitive musings and return to peaceful sleep. Be Productive. Take advantage of wakeful time and get something done. It was mid-night insomnia, and the reflection it provided, that led to this blog post.

In fact, I got up way too early in the morning to write it down. As JPM Healthcare week kicks off in San Francisco, the conversation around healthcare turns clairvoyant as experts weigh in on their predictions for the big trends in the coming year. Using science-based advice, these guidelines provide an overview of how much exercise Americans should perform each week i. These guidelines address both healthy individuals and those at increased risk of chronic disease, stressing how exercise can prevent the effects of certain chronic diseases, including dementia.

The primary update was a section dedicated to the relationship between physical activity and brain health. This section explains the benefits of exercise for cognition, sleep, depression, anxiety, and overall quality of life. There are many ways exercise improves cognitive health. Aerobic exercise also known as cardio raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your brain. Your increased heart rate is accompanied by harder and faster breathing depending on the intensity of your workout.

As your increased breathing pumps more oxygen into your bloodstream, more oxygen is delivered to your brain. This leads to neurogenesis—or the production of neurons—in certain parts of your brain that control memory and thinking. Neurogenesis increases brain volume, and this cognitive reserve is believed to help buffer against the effects of dementia. Another factor mediating the link between cognition and exercise is neurotrophins, which are proteins that aid neuron survival and function. It has been noted that exercise promotes the production of neurotrophins, leading to greater brain plasticity, and therefore, better memory and learning.

In addition to neurotrophins, exercise also results in an increase in neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine, which boost information processing and mood. A significant component: exercise. In a longitudinal study conducted by Dr. Zhu from the University of Minnesota, exercise tests were administered to a group of participants to determine their fitness levels. Those who were the most active in tended to still be on the fit side of the spectrum decades later.

Although exercise cannot completely counteract their genetic predisposition, people who exercised for at least minutes per week had better cognitive outcomes compared to those who did not. Both the type of workout and method of staying fit are important to whether or not you experience cognitive benefits. This is harmful to overall health—including brain health. Between three sets of people—individuals who lost weight through restrictive eating, people who lost weight through exercise, and a group that used a combination of the two—only the groups who had exercise as part of their weight loss regimen noted an improvement in cognition.

A multi-component routine focused on balance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness is better than focusing on just one type of exercise. For example, tai chi has been heralded as an example of an all-encompassing exercise routine that significantly enhances cognition. A meta-analysis of research on tai chi and cognition found tai chi exhibited a greater effect on cognitive function than other types of exercise. So, pick your exercise of choice! Go walking, running, swimming, hiking, or biking.

Enjoy the fresh air. Get in touch with nature. And reap the many health benefits of exercise—both physical and mental. Research shows that people tend to make big life decisions at the first of the year, which gives us New Year Resolutions. This is the right time for changes both large and small. Want to go for that walk everyday? Set up a place in your home where your walking shoes are. Put them in a place where you will see them when you get home from work or first thing in the morning. The shoes will act as a visual cue. People become conditioned to auditory and visual cues and that makes it easier for an action to become a habit.

Write a new self-story. The best and some would say the only way to get large and long-term behavior change, is by changing your self-story. Everyone has stories about themselves that drive their behavior. These self-stories have a powerful influence on decisions and actions. Whether you realize it or not, you make decisions based on staying true to your self-stories. Most of this decision-making based on self-stories happens unconsciously.

You strive to be consistent. You want to make decisions that match your idea of who you are. When you make a decision or act in a way that fits your self-story, the decision or action will feel right. If you want to change your behavior and make the change stick, then you need to first change the underlying self-story that is operating. Do you want to be more optimistic? Want to join your local community band?

An assessment of cohort, cross-sectional, and case-control studies involving more than 7 million individuals has found an association between concussions, mild traumatic brain injury TBI , and risk of suicide. This newest assessment involved a systematic search of studies reported from to May 1, Among the 17 studies, 14 included patients in North America, 2 included patients in Scandinavian countries, and 1 was conducted in Australia. Military personnel—a subpopulation popularly associated with both TBI and suicide risk—were included in 7 studies, while children from the general population were included in 3 studies.

In separate, stratified analyses comparing military personnel to civilian populations, investigators reported a higher combined estimate for studies of nonmilitary populations RR 2. In an essay accompanying the meta-analysis, Donald A. Disentangling such factors is difficult because it is unethical to randomize patients to receive a concussion. Consequently, they advise clinicals use proper terminology and etiquette when diagnosing concussion-like symptoms, and neurologists should be keen to suicide risk and the additional factors involved in suicidality.

Sure, everyone wants to be happy. But what kind of happiness do people want? Is it happiness experienced moment-to-moment? Or is it being able to look back and remember a time as happy? This might seem like a needless delineation; after all, a time experienced as happy is often also remembered as happy. An evening spent with good friends over good food and wine will be experienced and remembered happily. A week of late nights stuck at the office, while not fun exactly, will make one feel satisfied in hindsight, if it results in a major achievement.

While happiness scholars have long grappled with which form of happiness should be measured and pursued, nobody has simply asked people which version of happiness they seek. But if we want to find ways to be happy, it may help to understand what type of happiness we truly want. In a series of studies, recently published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, we directly asked thousands of people ages 18 to 81 about their preference between experienced and remembered happiness.

We found this interesting; if people make decisions by the hour, they may end up with a different version of happiness than what they say they want for their life. After participants made their choices, we asked them to write a short paragraph explaining why. We found that those who favored experienced happiness mostly expressed a belief in carpe diem: a philosophy that one should seize the present moment because the future is uncertain and life is short. Findings from a recently released study[i] demonstrate that social media use can directly impact our mental health, causing increased levels of depressive symptoms and loneliness.

The experimental group was asked to limit their social media usage of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to 10 minutes per platform per day no more than 30 minutes per day total. The control group was told to continue social media use as usual. It seems that just being aware of how much you are using social media each day helps you use less and actually feel better in terms of worries over missing out on what others are doing.

But interestingly, the experimental group students who limited their social media use to only 30 minutes per day had significantly lower depressive symptoms and loneliness than did the control group by the end of the three weeks. This finding is eye opening in that many studies have shown a correlation between social media use and negative mental health symptoms— including depression, anxiety, loneliness, and even suicide-related outcomes[ii].

The relationship between negative mental health and social media use is strongest for those whose people whose usage patterns are the heaviest. This study gives us initial evidence about the direction of the relationship. Why would social media use lead to increased depressive symptoms? When using social media for multiple hours per day to the neglect of face-to-face interactions, people report feeling less fulfilled and even more isolated.

Further, when they are heavily immersed in social media, they are also likely to be sacrificing active participation in non-screen activities that are known to boost mental health and well-being. Finally, many users report that social media use contributes to decreased hours of sleep, and sleep deprivation also contributes to poor mental health.

An abstinence approach is simply unrealistic in current culture, particularly for younger people. How to start? Here are eight ideas to promote your social media resilience:. After a bad night of sleep, we all typically feel distracted and off our mental game. But do you really know all the ways a lack of sleep interferes with your cognitive performance? Most of my patients are surprised to learn just how broadly it affects their ability to think at their best. Thanks to recent research, we know that sleep deprivation interferes with brain function at a cellular level. Sleep deprivation slows that work down, compromising our mental performance.

Because genetic makeup is different from one person to the next, the effects of sleep deprivation on brain function can be, as well—so, some people will experience the negative cognitive and mood effects of sleep deprivation more than others. Attention is especially sensitive to the effects of sleep deprivation. You know this through experience when you have trouble focusing on tasks after a night of poor sleep. Attention is about focus and concentration—your ability to stay with tasks long enough to make meaningful progress. For most of us, focus is key to both our performance and our sense of purpose, in and away from work.

Sleep deprivation makes focus harder to achieve. Remember those sluggish brain cells that result from being sleep deprived? Reacting to changing circumstances around us is a critical skill that helps keep us—and others—safe. And it can be significantly compromised by sleep deprivation. A new study found that disrupted sleep during middle age, including insomnia, is connected to cognitive decline a decade or more later.

All phases of memory are complex and involve multiple areas of the brain that are affected by lack of sleep. They then tested the algorithm on PET images of the brains of another 40 people. On average, the diagnosis came more than 6 years after the scans. This alteration in glucose metabolism shows up in a type of PET imaging that tracks the uptake of a radioactive form of glucose called 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose FDG.

So when Mastromonaco switched to a new antidepressant, she decided to tell her boss. I talked about it like it was the most normal thing in the world —it is! When Mastromonaco goes to work, she and her mental health struggles do not part ways at the door. We would more likely engage in a trust fall with our boss than admit that we have anxiety. Mental illness is a challenge, but it is not a weakness.

When we acknowledge our mental health, we get to know ourselves better, and are more authentic people, employees, and leaders. Research has found that feeling authentic and open at work leads to better performance, engagement, employee retention, and overall wellbeing. Still, less than one third of people with mental illness get the treatment they need, and this comes at a cost — to people and to companies. So what needs to change? In the twenty-first century, human capital is the most valuable resource in our economy.

As we recognize neurological and emotional diversity in all of its forms, workplace cultures need to make room for the wide range of emotions we experience. Professional support needs to get better. We need to have the option to ask for help, and feel safe doing so depression screenings are free under the Affordable Care Act, and some companies offer an Employee Assistance Program. In short, we need more flexibility, sensitivity, and open-mindedness from employers. EY formerly Ernst and Young launched a We Care program two years ago to educate employees about mental health issues, encourage them to seek help if they need it, and be a support to colleagues who might be struggling with mental illness or addiction.

They started the program out of a demonstrated need. Just talk about it and see what would happen. Since the advent of the We Care program, EY employees have attended these sessions, which always have a senior-level sponsor and a mental health professional on hand. Someone in leadership kicks it off by sharing their story. This sends the message that anxiety is not toxic and attendance is not a career-dampener. Learn how to listen to their concerns, and then act. Our company has 47, US employees, and , globally. If I can get my team comfortable just noticing when someone has an issue, then there is so much more we can do for them.

These are people reaching out for help.