6 Ways to Find Your Calm in the Middle of the Storm

It’s a topsy-turvy world we’re living in right now. Even an introvert like me, used to sitting alone at the computer all day, can get caught up in the craziness. It’s essential, now more than ever, that you find your calm in the middle of the storm. Ack! How do you do that when everyone around you is losing their minds? Smile First, smile. Fake it if you must. Look in the mirror and smile. Make faces. Be goofy.  Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. —Thich Nhat Hanh There’s science behind this. And I’ve written a series of blog posts about stress and how you can manage it. The act of smiling activates those neurotransmitters that make you feel good. It relaxes your body, slows your heart, and lowers your blood pressure. Not only that, it makes you more attractive. And it’s contagious. Re-Evaluate You’ve got to change your life for your health and the health of everyone around you. So take this time and re-evaluate your priorities. Figure out what means the most to you. What brings you the most happiness and joy? Is it your […]

Ways Music is Good For You and Your Stress

If you follow my Facebook page or profile, you know I love to listen to and share music in almost all its forms. Turns out that music is good for you. In my continuing examination of stress, I share some science behind the ways it is good for you. And I share links to stress-relief acoustics both musical and natural sounds. Scientific studies of stress and cortisol show that relaxing tunes may reduce stress and reduce the time you need to recover from stress. Some studies show that natural sounds (rippling water) may be even more effective than relaxing songs. Historically, musical theorists concerned themselves with the grammar and syntax of music. We simply knew a relationship between melodies and mood and well-being existed. Ways to measure and study this effect are now available to researchers. And we are only just beginning to understand that music affects every system of our body.  In my brief review of the studies I found there is no one study that has found the answer. However, the studies show that there are many ways music is good for you. Brain Studies suggest that music around 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to synchronize with […]

Does Stress Make You Reach For Chocolate?

Does stress make you reach for Chocolate? It does me. Oops. That’s bad. Or is it? There is no question but stress is hard on your body. The inflammation caused by stress challenges your heart, your metabolic, your emotional health, and much more. One way to counteract the effects of stress is to make a plan for healthy foods and exercise when you’re under stress.  Riiight. When I’m stressed out, I’m reaching out for what’s quick or easy or available. Most often I reach for comfort foods high in fat and sugar and starch. And exercise? Fuagetaboutit. I don’t have the time. I’m too stressed. You, too?  This is the third in my series of posts on stress and what we can do about it. (see Recognize Your Stress Levels and To Stress or To Sleep.) In this post, I won’t tell you all the foods and exercise you should be doing. You probably already know. But I will tell you WHY you might want to make better choices. What Stress Produces Dopamine, epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and cortisol are the most common stress hormones. These hormones stimulate the body for the “fight or flight” response. They affect […]