Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Staying Mentally Healthy

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

To promote your mental health put these recommendations from Womenshealth.gov into action:

  • Perform physical exercise on a daily basis.
  • Follow a well balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep on a regular nightly schedule.
  • Make a concerted effort to manage stress, both physical and emotional.
  • Take time every day to enjoy something that pleases and delights you.
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More About the Brain

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Recent research undertaken at NYC’s State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, and published in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, indicated that worrying may have evolved in conjunction with intelligence as a critical survival mechanism in human beings.

Scientists compared research subjects who had generalized anxiety disorder with subjects who did not have the disorder. They discovered that worry as well as high intelligence were connected with specific brain activity, measurable by changes in the brain’s white matter. The results suggest that anxiety (worry) may have evolved right alongside intelligence as an important means of survival.

In a medical center news release, Professor Jeremy Coplan said: "While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be… In essence, worry may make people ‘take no chances,’ and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species."

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More on Inflammation

Monday, March 19th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

People who report unpleasant social interactions, including stressful competition, show increased levels of two inflammatory proteins, TNF receptor 2 and interleukin-6, both of which may contribute to heart problems, hypertension, cancer and depression. These findings, gleaned by a UCLA School of Medicine study, were outlined by ScienceNews on February 25, 2012:

Scientists explored the relationship between everyday stress and the two relevant proteins, known as proinflammatory cytokines. Research subjects were asked to record all of their positive and negative social interactions for eight days, including competitive situations such as worrying over an academic examination or over the contested attention of a "special someone."

Shortly afterward, fluid samples were collected from the participants’ inner cheeks. Analysis showed that those with the most negative social experiences — including stressful work- or academic-related situations — had higher levels of TNF receptor 2. Those in competition for another’s attention or affection had higher levels of interleukin-6.

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The Joy of Giving

Monday, March 19th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

It is more blessed — and may also be healthier — to give than to receive, according to research described by Science News (February 25, 2012):

By surveying more than 200,000 volunteers in 136 countries, researchers learned that spending money on others brings more happiness than spending it on oneself. Subsequent testing of over 900 subjects in Canada, India and Uganda produced similar findings. Along the same lines, stress hormone levels remained stable in college students who shared a monetary windfall with others, whereas stress hormone levels rose in those who kept all of the financial gain for themselves — as did feelings of shame.

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Keep Stress at Bay During the Holidays

Monday, December 20th, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Although this time of year should mean relaxing with friends and family, sometimes the season has a way of turning hectic — and nerves can get frazzled. In fact, all year through nearly four out of ten Americans report feeling stressed out frequently, according to a recent Gallup poll. Another 39 percent say they are sometimes stressed.

To find ways to relieve all this stress, the Pulse wire service consulted stress expert Dr. Erin Olivo, who provided these helpful relaxation ideas:

  • Choosing the right lighting and music can help to create a soothing atmosphere that eases tension. But don’t forget another essential ingredient for encouraging a peaceful environment: pleasing aromas!
     
  • Try a little hand reflexology: Gently massage the inside of your right palm, using your left thumb in a circular motion. Then massage the other palm.
     
  • Laugh, laugh, laugh! Dr. Olivo says it releases endorphins and other healthful hormones, lowers blood pressure, and increases the blood’s oxygen levels.
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