Nov 11, 2012

Stress Solutions

"New findings in neuroscience, nutrition, and psychology reveal the fastest ways to reduce tension and actually change your brain and body for the better." Jessica Baumgardner for Prevention Magazine, December 2012.

As caregivers for someone with dementia, it behooves us to know how to deal with the stress this and other life situations cause.  The latest Prevention Magazine has some great ideas, which are:
1.  Put on a happy face.  Smiling soothes you, even if you are just "faking" it.  So, the adage in the 12 Step Programs to "Fake it til you make it." is scientifically sound.
2.  Think:  Hot Hands.  Fear and anxiety cause the nervous system to direct blood flow to the largest muscles, leaving the hands cold.  When you warm your hands, you tell your nervous system that all is well.
3.  Donate to a good cause.  Giving money to a cause you believe in makes you feel better than buying designer jeans.
4.  Load up on whole grains:  "If you are feeling grumpy, the best idea is to eat an all-carb whole grain snack and you should feel happier within a half hour." nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, RD
5.  Dig in the dirt.  30 minutes of gardening is more relaxing than 30 minutes of quiet reading.  There seems to be a link between a common bacterium (M. vaccae) found in garden soil and increased serotonin levels in our bodies -- which leads to better concentration and less anxiety.  

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