Dane McCarrick knows that if left to fester, stress causes not just mental anguish but physiological changes that lead to sundry health problems. So when stressed, McCarrick employs part of a pre-planned strategy by disengaging himself from the worrisome thoughts and putting them off for consideration at a less chaotic time when, presumably, he’ll have a clearer head.
“Usually, by that point in time the thing I was getting myself worked up over didn’t even happen anyway,” he says.
Here’s a little reality many of us don’t want to hear: Alcohol is really bad for us in pretty much any quantity at any age. There, I said it. And yes, you may argue that a stiff belt or two helps you relax in the evening or that a good meal isn’t complete without a glass of wine or that beer is one of the main food groups. I’ve been right there with you for years, pinning my hopes on these delightful illusions to justify one, or one too many, on a regular basis.
But our rose-colored drinking glasses are…
People who know me will probably say I’m a pretty productive person, working long hours, weekends, holidays. It’s a disease. Like many Americans, I’m lousy at taking vacations or disengaging from work even for a few waking hours, let alone a few days. I have a lot to do, after all!
Turns out I also have a lot to learn about the dangers of constant productivity.
Taking time off work to relax and rejuvenate — the defiant act of being utterly unproductive — is vital to mental well-being, to happiness, new research finds. Considered from another angle in different studies…
Visit with someone who lives alone or otherwise feels socially isolated and you’ll likely find they’re eager, even desperate, for a little conversation. We humans love to talk, and we need someone who will listen. Turns out having a good listener around is a serious matter of mental health.
Having good listeners to interact with can help keep a person’s brain sharper longer, new research suggests. And the sooner in life we establish and cultivate such relationships, the better.
“People who have a good listener in their life are more likely to have a brain that sustains its raw ‘horsepower’…
When it comes to sleep, it can seem the world is divided into “Larks” and “Owls”. Larks are those who bound out of bed at the first glimmer of dawn, whereas owls just get going when darkness sets in.
We often assume that these labels are immutable. I think of my mother who still needs her “tup of toffee,” as I called it at three years old, before she can have a coherent conversation after rising, or conversely my father who happily got up with me at 5:30am on Christmas morning to inspect Santa’s gifts.
Midlife can be miserable. You know it. I know it. Surveys show it. The pressures of raising a family, finding or keeping a job, paying the bills, dealing with emerging aches and pains — it all adds up.
But better days are ahead. Happiness, often measured as “life satisfaction,” typically charts out as a statistical smiley face, a U-shaped or J-shaped curve that’s high in young adulthood, pretty sucky for a couple of decades, then higher than ever in old age. …
Simone Biles’ unexpected withdrawal Tuesday from the Olympics gymnastics team final (which was followed by the announcement that she won’t be participating in the individual all-around competition either) prompted a predictable barrage of criticism from conservative pundits calling Biles “soft” and “weak,” and labeling her decision a sign of selfishness and the decline of toughness in American culture.
This was, on the face of it, patently absurd, given that Biles is the greatest gymnast in history, and has pushed the sport’s limits by doing ever more dazzling — and dangerous — skills. But it was especially ridiculous in this case…
They started turning up in late summer 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, and they haven’t gone away: article upon article about “mood food.” The basic claim goes like this: Your stressful feelings and moods are the result of your eating habits, and you can fix them yourself.
Long before you routinely forget where you left the keys or why you walked into a room, the wheels of cognitive decline could be turning in your brain, setting you on a course to eventual dementia.
But dementia is not inevitable, experts say.
Several new and recent studies strengthen the case for prevention strategies that you can employ starting right now — no matter how old you are — to improve your chances of staying sharp down the road.
“The underlying process related to cognitive decline starts in early adult life, and probably even earlier,” Walter Willett, MD, a professor…
Among the frustrations of growing older, at least for many of us, is the increasing struggle to remember people we’ve met, or what was for lunch yesterday. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why: Our brains shrink, and communication between different parts gets fuzzy.
But for some older folks, dubbed by scientists as “superagers,” the brain remains remarkably and mysteriously intact, virtually indistinguishable by several measures from the noggins of 20-somethings. …
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