Friday, March 20, 2015

Where You Walk Can Affect Your Heart and Stress

Photo Credit: Amanda Mills
Can walking near green vacant lots lower stress? According to a study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the answer is "Yes".

Researchers found that study participants who walked near newly greened vacant lots experienced lower heart rates compared to walking near unkept, neglected vacant lots. Heart rates typically elevate when we are under increased stress and lower when we feel relaxed and calm.

"Our goal was to scientifically explore the connection between city environments and stress," according to the study's lead author, Eugenia C. South, MD, MHSP, a physician in the department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "We used heart rate as a physiologic marker of acute stress, and the reduction we found suggests a biological link between urban blight reduction strategies like vacant lot greening and reduction in stress."

Using heart monitors and GPS, researchers found heart rate reductions of 5 to 15 beats per minute (BPM) when people walked near greened lots compared to non-greened lots. These are significant differences according to researchers.

Lower Your Stress and Enhance Your Health:

Adding a walking regime to daily activities for most people is a health-enhancing, stress reducing action. The results of this and other studies suggest where we walk can influence our heart rates and stress levels. Choosing to walk in areas rich with green and well maintained open space may enhance health benefits above and beyond the physical activity alone. Always, of course, consult your doctor before engaging in any exercise activities.


photo 
Stephen Carter
Stress Solutions, LLC
    

Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting on this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals for any and all medical or physical conditions.

Reference: Penn Medicine Study Finds Being Near Greened Vacant Lots Lowers Heart Rates: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2015/03/south/

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chronic Worry and a Quiet Mind

Chronic worry is a huge contributor to elevated stress. In the Theatre of Mind, we can become transfixed with one imaginary disaster movie after another. 

"Life isn't safe", our thinking goes. "If I worry enough about this situation and all of the terrible possibilities, then the answers for every painful iteration of possibilities will somehow appear."

In truth, however, the opposite is true. Regardless of how difficult a situation appears, worry will never solve it. We are far better able to deal with adversity with a clear, calm mind.

In correspondence with a client today about experiencing chronic worry, part of my message included the commentary,

"When we stay rooted in the 'Now' - this moment - there is little sense of time, past or future. In reality, 'Now' is all we have. Past and future are constructs of the mind. Resting in the present moment brings peace; nothing else can."

Chronic worry can't penetrate a quiet mind. When the mind is quiet, the answers emerge.

I'm reminded of Lao Tzu's guidance:



For tips on quieting the mind and opening your consciousness to the deep 
wisdom waiting within, send us an email by clicking HERE.

Blessings,

Steve


photo
Stephen Carter
CEO, Stress Solutions, LLC
    


Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting on this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licenced medical professionals for any and all medical or physical conditions.



Monday, March 16, 2015

Parental Depression Causes Anxiety & Bad Behavior in Toddlers

It's not often that researchers use the term "cause" when assessing variables in human interaction. Usually, the words, "correlation" or "association" are used.

In a study recently completed by a team led by Sheehan Fisher of Northwestern University, researchers found that depression in dads, as well as moms, causes anxiety and bad behavior in toddlers. 

Fisher, an instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwester University Memorial Hospital, commented, "Fathers' emotions affect their children," Fisher said. "New fathers should be screened and treated for Postpartum depression as we do for mothers".

What You Can Do:

If you're a new parent - father or mother - the research is clear: your mental and emotional states have a profound effect on your children. 

At Stress Solutions, LLC, we encourage expecting and new parents to take action to manage and master stress, anxiety, and depression. This not only helps new parents cope, but the research tells us well-adjusted parents have a higher probability of raising happy, well-adjusted children.

If you believe you may be at risk for depression or other problem emotional or mental challenges, the wise way forward is to seek professional help early. 

For tips on stress and parenting, send an email to CarterMethod@gmail.com.

With love and light,

Steve


photo
Stephen Carter
CEO, Stress Solutions, LLC
    


Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting on this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licenced medical professionals for any and all medical or physical conditions.


References:
http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/03/toddlers-in-trouble.html



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wanting and Having Sex - Primitive Biological Drive or Whole Brain Experience?


Brain diagram. Credit: dwp.gov.uk
Some aspects of brain research are far more interesting than others. Take, for example, the research on the brain's role in sex.

In a very scientific sounding article entitled, "Functional Neuroanatomy of Human Cortex Cerebri in Relation to Wanting Sex and Having It", researcher Janniko Georgiadis of the University of Gronigen, the Netherlands, tells us what we believe about which parts of the brain are predominantly involved with sexual responsiveness "ain't necessarily so".


According to Georgiadis, 


"Neuroanatomical textbooks typically restrict the central nervous system control of sexual responsiveness to the hypothalamus, brainstem and spinal cord."


It turns out, however, that sexuality in humans is far more complex and rich than previously believed. The process related to the sexual pleasure cycle template - wanting sex, having sex, and inhibiting sex - is truly a whole brain affair. Each of the sexual response phases requires shifts between functional cortical networks. These same regions also are involved in instances of sexual dysfunction.


And which region of the brain is involved in all three phases? The cerebral cortex, the outer layer of neural tissue in humans and other mammals. It seems our cerebral cortex can conduct the symphony orchestra of sexual pleasure.


What Does This Mean for Us?


So, what does this mean for us? It means we have more conscious connection to the sexual pleasure cycles than we may have believed. We know from other research that thoughts can create physical changes in the brain. 


Thoughts literally change us physically, emotionally and spiritually. As I often remind my clients, "every thought is a prescription and a prayer. 


Upping Your Inner Game


So we at Stress Solutions recommend you up your Inner Game. Engage your powers of imagination to create special moments of intimacy, first in mind then your physical world. Your thoughts, words, touches, and a sense of spiritual connection with your partner light up your brain and body. 


Remember, optimum sexuality is a whole brain - mind - body - spirit experience. For maximum stress relief, take the podium and direct your orchestra often.


Warm blessings,


Steve


photo
Stephen Carter
CEO, Stress Solutions, LLC
    


Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting on this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licenced medical professionals for any and all medical or physical conditions.


Reference:

Janniko Georgiado, "Functional Neuroanatomy of Human Cortex Cerebri in Relation to Wanting Sex and Having it". http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ca.22528/epdf