Sorry for going M.IA. yesterday. I’m sort of treating blogging on the weekends as an “If I get to it, awesome! If I don’t, oh well.” type of thing. Yesterday was jam-packed with picking out paint colors for my bedroom and bathroom, selecting new furniture and a mattress, and attending Matty and I’s friends’ engagement party. The evening ended how most evenings should end: with The Notebook.
Matty and I both couldn’t get over how young Ryan Gosling looked! Despite seeing this movie 5 million times, he looked much more baby-faced than I remember. That means I’m getting older. SCARY!
After dominating ZWOW #31 yesterday morning (I beat Zuzana’s time by 10 seconds!), my muscles were telling me they wanted some stretching and lengthening action. I pulled out Tara Stiles’ Yoga Anywhere DVD and got to work! The session is a really challenging 50 minutes of yoga. It was just the thing to waken my mind, work my body, and stretch my muscles all at once. FYI: Tara Stiles has an awesome YouTube channel. On my rest day, I like to do two or three of her stretching routines after my AM prayer/meditation!
I spent the morning catching up on blog-related work I pushed to the side yesterday and then went to church with my family. When I arrived home from mass, my tummy was ready for lunch!
I threw together a lovely salad that had me singing the praises of veggies. So, nothing new.
In the mix:
- Sliced red pepper
- 1/2 block tempeh
- Nooch sauce (2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk)
- Generous drizzle of Annie’s Lemon-Chive vinaigrette
Relax – Or Your Brain Might Shrink?
I came across a study that I thought might be of interest to you, after our wonderful discussion in Friday’s post…
We all experience waves of stress, and they often comes in big waves. You’re on deadline for an assignment, there’s drama in your household, you missed your alarm this morning, which means no gym session for you today. A big cloud of negative energy drops onto your shoulders and fogs up your brain. All of those external and internal pressures build up, causing your head to pound. Could this stress weigh so heavily on us that it actually shrinks our brains? According to Yale University researchers, the answer is yes.
A new study from Yale shows that people with chronic stress and mental depression disorder can have a smaller brain volume and a smaller size and density of neurons, cells that process and transmit information, in the front area of their brains. The study said that a loss of brain volume is a condition tied with emotional and cognitive impairments.
What is causing this brain shrinkage to occur? The answer, says researchers, is a single, genetic switch that signals a loss of brain connections. It turns out that circuits involved with emotion and cognition (attention, memory, producing and understanding language, solving problems and making decisions) are disturbed when that genetic switch signals the loss of brain connections.
While it is kind of disturbing to think about, these findings are actually a good thing because they help researchers get steps closer to developing alternate forms of antidepression-related remedies. Duman said he and the other researchers hope that, by enhancing synaptic connections with medication and behavioral therapy, they can work towards developing more antidepression therapies.
I’m grateful that I am not mentally depressed but we all certainly experience tolling stress and it’s important to deal with it positive ways. For me, it’s exercise, playing music, and prayer/meditation.
What do you think of the study? How do you deal with stress?
I’m interested to read your answers. I’m off to work!