We spent many hours lying on a blanket on the lawn, looking up at the clouds in the sky, finding shapes, faces and all kinds of wonder.
A self-made vacation from all the “demands” of childhood.
What is your self-made vacation?
PA & JW
PA & JW
As therapists we were privy to the fact that holidays are stressful and often bring out the worst in family and interpersonal relationships.
It’s gratifying to know we were on track with how we approached client holiday stress & strain. The research bears this out:
Here’s a synopsis of the research and article:
“Repeated studies have found that people prone to depression can get worse if they excessively dwell or ruminate on a stressful incident such as a quarrel or a loss. But experiments by Exeter University psychologists have found that when individuals practised running emotional incidents through their head, focusing on sensory details and recalling exactly what happened, how it happened, and even where it happened, it helped them respond constructively and stopped them becoming so upset about a future or past stressful experience.”
“Psychologists at the University of Exeter have found that recalling the detail of shouting matches and disagreements, including exactly who said what to whom and how, may not be destructive and prolong the tension, but could help people keep incidents in perspective and stop the triggering of self-doubt and even depression.”
“After training to recall the details of an upsetting incident including the tone of a voice, the words used and how the event happened, people became more resilient and put the upsetting incident into context, stopping a downward spiral into low mood.”
“The same exercise of focusing on the sensory details of sad experiences and asking “How did it happen?” “How can I do something about it?” was also found to speed up recovery from doing badly on a test in undergraduates, and to improve interpersonal problem solving, such as finding a way to make up with your partner after an argument, in people who were currently or formerly depressed.”
In “our” never-ending quest not to be bound by time/event constraints this wasn’t posted on National Coffee Day.
(I should say “my” and exonerate Peggy who is punctual and remembers special occasions)
I drink a cup of coffee every morning but according to researchers I need to drink more so I can live a few months longer than I otherwise would . . . .
“People who drank at least four cups of coffee a day were 65 per cent less likely to die during the study than those who never drank it, adjusting for lifestyle and class. The risk of dying early was 25 per cent lower for each extra two cups drunk, according to the results presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona.”
Photo by Betty Rawlings
(Thanks Betty for permission to use your great photo!)
“Scientists said that while they were not recommending a daily brew, it was fairly clear that healthy people did not need to worry about caffeine intake.”
“In the latest study, researchers looked at data on 20,000 Spanish graduates with an average age of 38 at the start of a ten-year study, during which 337 of them died.”
I didn’t think I was hard of hearing. My daughter did. I simply want to hear what I want to hear, not necessarily what others think I should be hearing . . .
Research* indicates that half of hearing loss is due to the brain getting “fuzzy” about discriminating sounds. There is some evidence that the brain can be re-trained. There are several sites which are based on neuroplasticity and retraining the brain. I figured I had nothing to lose and could prove to her I my hearing was just fine. I checked out one of several sites that claim to re-train the brain for better hearing.
The exercises I chose slowed down sounds. Then two sounds that were very alike and hard to tell apart were speeded up. I practiced discriminating between them.
Here’s some of the research I read:
“Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences, recently published the results of her dissertation work, “Reversal of Age-Related Neural Timing Delays with Training,” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, carried out at Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, focused on the effects of auditory training on the brain’s ability to rapidly process sound. Essentially, auditory training involves teaching the brain to listen. For those with unimpeded hearing, this normally occurs early in life and is part of a young child’s rearing. Later in life, or for those who require additional support, auditory training is usually supervised by an audiologist or speech-language pathologist and involves exposure to stimuli and coaching to help individuals identify and distinguish sounds”.
“Dr. Anderson’s research included 67 adults between the ages of 55 and 70. They completed in-home computerized training for 40 hours over eight weeks. The training involved discriminating between consonant-vowel syllables that were initially spoken slowly with exaggerated enunciation. As they improved, the syllables were compressed in time and were more difficult to distinguish. In addition, participants received memory training that focused attention on the syllables as they were presented in words, sentences and stories. “For most of my participants, the training was quite a positive experience,” Anderson said. “Many of them reported that they enjoyed the challenge and that they noticed the benefits of hearing better in social activities. In fact, I had no difficulty recruiting participants because they encouraged their friends to come in for the study. I was impressed with their high motivation to do activities that might offset the effects of aging.”’
“After training, the study participants had better scores on tests of speech-in-noise perception, memory and speed of processing—demonstrating their improved ability to decipher speech in challenging environments. They also had faster neural timing in the auditory brainstem, indicating that their brain’s processing speed was partially restored to typical timing in young adults. Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University and Anderson’s research partner, commented on the training’s effectiveness.”
https://bsos.umd.edu/messaging/Improving-Human-Condition-PSYC University of Maryland, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Here’s another study from The National Institute of Health
For the study, researchers examined data on 7,985 adults, age 45 and older, who were asked to wear accelerometers to measure activity levels for one week.
“We think these findings suggest that it is simply not enough to be active or move at just one specific time of the day, that is, exercise,” said lead author Keith Diaz of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
“We need to be mindful of moving frequently throughout the day in addition to exercising,” Diaz said.
“It’s possible that prolonged sedentary stretches might hasten death by causing what’s known as metabolic toxicity, said Dr. David Alter, head of cardiovascular and metabolic research for the University Health Network-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Canada.”
SOURCE bit.ly/2wUY5CT Annals of Internal Medicine, online September 11, 2017. Study author Keith Diaz of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
Stanford University: “The lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.
At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
“Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.”
“Women do it all of the time sharing from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.”
“There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true.”
Interesting Research findings:
Bodies cool down while we prepare to nod off. Our blood vessels expand, allowing heat to escape our bodies quicker. Body temperatures, which fluctuate by about 1 degree over the course of 24 hours, will bottom out in the wee hours of the morning.
I’m writing this post to give myself and my brother Rick (you too, if it fits) more motivation.
A year ago Rick and I made a pact. Whoever lost 20 pounds first got to choose who visited whom. (He lives in Denver, I live in Southern California). The first year we did really well, albeit falling short of our 20 pound goal. The beginning of the second year we both gained back the weight we’d lost the first year . . .
We have very different approaches. He weighs once a week and I obsesssssively stand on the scale every morning (sometime every night in anticipation of my morning weigh-in). When I tried his approach I gained 5 pounds in a week.
Neither of us look over-weight by most standards. We both know that the weight distributed around our mid-section is not healthy, particularly considering we both have heart problems.
Read CNN article Overfat & Obesity Study
Dear Freddie Followers,
I suspect they choose chocolate so they could have it all to themselves.* They insist chocolate is not healthy for me . . . just for them . . .
I tweaked the original recipe to make it even MORE tasty.
Cinnamon – contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.
Different groups of researchers have shown that cinnamon may prevent the formation of both the plaques and the tangles found in the Alzheimer’s brain.
Dark chocolate & Cocoa – rich in flavonoids compounds that have been linked to improved cognitive performance in older adults. Studies have shown that cocoa flavanols improve performance in healthy adults during sustained mental effort and may also protect against stroke.
A single cup of coffee contains: