A recent review (Pressman et al, 2019) examined the mechanisms linking health and happiness and how researchers go about studying their mutual influence. Researchers found that a steady and varied diet of positive emotional experiences can be a key contributor to a healthy life.
An article published in the September 2019 issue of North & South also looked at research into stress. Here are some of the reported findings:
The severity of daily stress is correlated to the intensity of engagement on Facebook and the tendency to develop a pathological addiction to the social media site, say researchers at the Mental Health Research and Treatment Centre at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. The effect was reduced in people who were receiving offline support.
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Taking at least 20 minutes a day to stroll or sit in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature will significantly lower your stress hormone levels, say the authors of a study at the University of Michigan. They said the “nature pill” should be taken in daylight, with no aerobic exercise, social media, internet, phone calls, conversations or reading.
In other news: A recently published research in Journal of Behavior Therapy & Mental Health demonstrates the power of guided relaxation with Himalayan Singing Bowls on human physiology parameters including stress level measured by the heart signals.
This research on singing bowls demonstrated that a short 20 minute long singing bowls sessions can be leveraged as a tool for inducing good quality relaxation response to facilitate healing and energy recovery and achieve significant health benefits.
It was suggested that some areas where these findings can be applied include: (a) use of such practice for few days to help with insomnia; (b) for a quick relaxation for busy people during their day; (c) recovery from fatigue for sportspersons; (d) for health care e.g. pre-surgery relaxation or during chemotherapy.
For a simple relaxing strategy check out our video on the relaxation response.
Another study published in The Journal of Physiology looked at anxiety and depressive-like behaviour, stress responsiveness, cognition and sociability as well as how easily material passes through the gut.
The researchers explained that stress can cause major changes in the gut and also in our brain which in turn affects our behaviour. Foods rich in fibre was found to reduce this adverse effects of stress in mice.
The findings suggested that a gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are the main source of nutrition for cells in this region of the body and high levels of fibres stimulate the production of these SCFAs.
The researches have advised adding high-fibre food in the diet for treating stress-related disorders. Additionally. we have completed a video about the gut and brain connection which you can obtain from our newsletter.
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