The way to a man’s (or woman’s) brain – and emotions – may be through his (her) stomach. If results of current research prove consistent, maintaining a healthy microbial balance in the gut could create the conditions for a healthier, happier brain.
It’s an area of research that is opening significant possibilities for treating conditions as wide ranging as anxiety, autism and dementia. Probiotics and a healthy diet in combination have been shown to create the conditions for a calmer nervous system.
For a peek inside the findings, follow this Science Daily link to all manner of interesting clues. Who knows, help for a case of nerves could be a simple as a few servings of yogurt.
When you’re working out, are you using your brain?
According to Dr. Michael Merzenich, author of, “Soft-Wired – How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life“, chances are you’re NOT. All that jogging, swimming, walking and weightlifting may be good for your muscles and cardiovascular system but they aren’t doing much for your noggin. Ouch.
Merzenich explains that the typical workout with ear buds in place, eyes glued to a screen, or simple motion repetition does little to support brain health. To engage your brain:
Unplug! Use all of your senses. Notice what you are feeling, what is going on around you, what you see, smell, taste, etc. Remember what it felt like last time. Pay attention.
Incorporate balance, stability and flexibility in a single exercise rather than isolate movements that work on only one element.
Change it up. Try different ways of doing and achieving the same thing.
Remember. If your workout is mindless, it’s probably also BRAIN-LESS.
Back in the day, penmanship mattered. I remember slaving over those wide ruled papers with the pale blue lines, endlessly duplicating the alphabet – first in print and then in cursive. Even at that young age, I felt I was squandering my youth. Oh, the things I could have been doing. Maybe you felt the same way. Still, I felt a pang when I heard that schools were abandoning cursive for keyboarding and giving short shrift to penmanship as a whole. Call me old-fashioned but I feel those things matter. And, as a Feldenkrais practitioner, I feel that the process and movement matter. Seems they do.
In this article from the NY Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?_r=1 scientists who have been exploring the effects of “how” on learning have found that the physical messiness of learning to write helps us to learn. In other words, making mistakes is an integral part of how we learn. That’s not all, all that trial and error helps with both memory and the creative processes at large. Something those of us who are getting older could use to keep our brains young. I think I’ll go buy myself a pad of that kinder-paper.
What you believe really does matter. So does how you approach achieving your desire. If you tell yourself you can’t, guess what – you won’t. In the physical realm, pain is often the first excuse for not achieving your goals. But is it really about your body? This delightful video from Down Under explains the relationship between pain and the body and what to do about it.