(22). Mindfulness in the Park. Your best antidepressant!

A FLIP365 project.

Join us for a Mindfulness in the Park event. Click  on this link in the Category section, alongside this post.

From Harvard Medical School publications.

Question. Sour mood getting you down?

Answer. Get back to nature.

Research suggests that mood disorders can be lifted by spending more time outdoors.

Looking for a simple way to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and maybe even improve your memory?

Take a walk in the woods.

Many men are at higher risk for mood disorders as they age, from dealing with sudden life changes like health issues, the loss of loved ones, and even the new world of retirement,

says Dr. Jason Strauss, director of geriatric psychiatry at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance.

They may not want to turn to medication or therapy for help, and for many, interacting with nature is one of the best self-improvement tools they can use.

Your brain and nature

Research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

It is not clear exactly why outdoor excursions have such a positive mental effect.

Yet, in a 2015 study, researchers compared the brain activity of healthy people after they walked for 90 minutes in either a natural setting or an urban one.

They found that those who did a nature walk had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region that is active during rumination — defined as repetitive thoughts that focus on negative emotions.

When people are depressed or under high levels of stress, this part of the brain malfunctions, and people experience a continuous loop of negative thoughts, says Dr. Strauss.

Digging a bit deeper, it appears that interacting with natural spaces offers other therapeutic benefits.

For instance, calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the bodys fight-or-flight response.

The visual aspects of nature can also have a soothing effect, according to Dr. Strauss.

Having something pleasant to focus on like trees and greenery helps distract your mind from negative thinking, so your thoughts become less filled with worry.

Bringing the outdoors inside.

If you cannot make it outside, listening to nature sounds can have a similar effect, suggests a report published online March 27, 2017, by Scientific Reports.

Researchers used an MRI scanner to measure brain activity in people as they listened to sounds recorded from either natural or artificial environments.

Listening to natural sounds caused the listeners brain connectivity to reflect an outward-directed focus of attention, a process that occurs during wakeful rest periods like daydreaming.

Listening to artificial sounds created an inward-directed focus, which occurs during states of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

Even looking at pictures of nature settings, your favorite spot, or a place you want to visit can help.

Find your space

How much time with nature is enough?

Anything from 20 to 30 minutes, three days a week, to regular three-day weekends in the woods is helpful, says Dr. Strauss.

The point is to make your interactions a part of your normal lifestyle.

Your time with nature could be something as simple as a daily walk in a park or a Saturday afternoon on a local trail.

You can even try to combine your nature outings with your regular exercise by power walking or cycling outdoors, says Dr. Strauss.

The type of nature setting does not matter, either.

Focus on places you find the most pleasing,

says Dr. Strauss.

The goal is to get away from stimulating urban settings and surround yourself with a natural environment.

And do not feel you have to go it alone.

A 2014 study found that group nature walks were just as effective as solo treks in terms of lowering depression and stress and improving overall mental outlook.

In fact, the researchers noted that people who had recently experienced stressful life events like a serious illness, death of a loved one, or unemployment had the greatest mental boost from a group nature outing.

Nature can have a powerful effect on our mental state, says Dr. Strauss,

and there are many ways to tap into it.

(16). Mindfulness in the Park

Invitation.

This Sunday, 1st July, 4:15 pm sharp, at Huddle Park, Club Street, Linksfield, Johannesburg, until dusk. And Sundays thereafter.

Starting point.

Meet at Dog trails parking, by AcroBranch. Can safely park there.

Costs.
Park at main gate at Huddle Park, at and pay daily walking rate at Golf Shop. About R30. They will give you a ticket or wrist band.
Then drive to meeting point (AcroBranch. Well signed). No extra costs. Ie free from thereon.

Please note that this is a most wonderful way to switch off all screens and experience Stillness, Silence and Mindfulness.

So no cellphones allowed. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a jersey, as it gets chilly towards dusk.

Bring along a small back pack that you can wear, then arms are free. To keep safely a small sitting cushion, keys, phone, jersey, bottle of water, …

NB. No talking will be allowed from beginning to end.

We do a mixup of slow walking, standing, sitting, listening, looking, being.

You can arrive earlier and do a walking warmup on the blue or green trail.

Ps its sounds easy, but can be very challenging if you are dependent on screens for noise or other distractions. Silence is priceless.

Your guide,

Dr Jonathan D Moch

Seven common sense lifestyles to build a child’s brain.

Imagine you could optimize your brain health as you could to a child’s brain!?

From Sarah McKay.

All children differ in their biological susceptibility to life experiences in a -for better and for worse- manner.

Some kids are particularly sensitive to both highly stressful and highly nurturing environments.

Like orchids, such children bloom if lovingly cultivated, but wilt and wither if neglected.

In contrast, adaptable, resilient children who do not get easily stressed are like little dandelions; they will grow and thrive anywhere.

The seven influential lifestyle choices are.

1). Attachments and relationships

2). Language development

3). Sleep

4). Play

5). Physical movement

6). Nutrition

7). Executive Function skills.

Read more…

http://yourbrainhealth.com.au/seven-common-sense-building-blocks-for-your-childs-brain/

 

 

Meditation and Exercise

Meditate with Everyday Movement

Dear Mindful Readers,

You don’t always have to be perched on a cushion or chair to be mindful. Adding mindfulness to any physical activity you already do is a simple way to weave a bit of extra practice into your day.

Here are three ways to get up and move with mindfulness:

1) First, walk the (mindful) walk.

Our time spent walking is often used to think about where we’re going, and what we’ll do once we get there. Instead of mental time travelling, use your walk as an opportunity to practice present moment awareness.

This guided meditation grounds you in the present, whether you’re on your way to work, taking a stroll around the block, or even just walking down a hallway.

2) Then, be active at your desk.

Hit that mid-afternoon slump? Before you reach for another coffee, reach for the floor — and then the ceiling — with mindful stretching.

Taking a short movement break has the potential to snap you out of a sluggish mood, while supplying you with energy to power through the rest of the day.

Follow this mindful movement practice to build some caffeine-free stimulation.

3) Finally, boost your brain—and brawn.

Mindful exercise makes you more aware of how your body feels, so you can reap the full benefits of working out without pushing yourself too hard—or slacking off. Not really a gym rat?

Good news: research suggests that those who pay greater attention to their workout actually enjoy it more.

Next time you go to lace up your running shoes or unroll your yoga mat, try these eight ways to add mindfulness to your exercise routine.

Yours,
The Mindful Editors

https://mailchi.mp/36122010869f/meditate-with-everyday-movement?e=2fee031c35

YouTube Playlist Link. Dr Jonathan Moch

Move more everyday to combat a sedentary lifestyle

Move more every day to combat a sedentary lifestyle
MAY 24, 2018
Matthew SolanMatthew SolanExecutive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health

When I was in high school, I mowed my grandmothers lawn once a week.

Yet every time I arrived, she would have already mowed a small part of the back yard.

I always told her she did not need to do that, but she insisted.

At the time I did not understand why she felt compelled to do this every week, but now that I am inching closer and closer to her age then, I get it:

it was something she could do to stay active.

She knew that to stave off the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, it is important to move more every day.

The older we get, the more likely we are to lapse into a sedentary lifestyle.

In fact, an estimated 67% of older adults report sitting for more than eight hours per day,

and only 28% to 34% of adults ages 65 to 74 are physically active, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Evelyn O’Neill, manager of outpatient exercise programs at the Harvard-affiliated Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, sees the consequences of too much sitting every day.

Sitting is the new smoking in terms of health risks,

she says.

Lack of movement is perhaps more to blame than anything for a host of health problems.

Move more every day to combat a sedentary lifestyle

These 5 Habits Can Add 14 Healthy Years to Your Life.

NEWS: 5 Habits Can Add 14 Healthy Years to Your Life, According to Science

Science confirms what we know from our research and study of centenarians in “Blue Zones” regions.

The longest-lived people in the world share nine commonalities: they move naturally in their daily lives; eat a plant-slant diet, go to happy hour and drink Wine at 5; they wake up in the morning with purpose; find ways to down shift and shed stress; eat to 80 percent full; belong to faith-based communities; always put family first; and have close friends with similar values – we call these the Power 9.

According to new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, five very similar lifestyle habits have been shown to increase life expectancy at age 50 by 12 to 14 years. The study is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of adopting low-risk lifestyle factors on life expectancy in the U.S.

Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at the following to determine how they affect longevity:

Not smoking
Eating a healthy diet
Regularly exercising
Keeping a healthy body weight
Moderate alcohol consumption

Along with lifestyle and medical data from adults in the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), as well as mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers determined that in the more than 30 years of follow-up, following all five lifestyle habits improved projected life expectancy at age 50 by 14.0 years for women and 12.2 years for men.

“This study underscores the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits for improving longevity in the U.S. population,” said Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “However, adherence to healthy lifestyle habits is very low. Therefore, public policies should put more emphasis on creating healthy food, built, and social environments to support and promote healthy diet and lifestyles.”

https://www.bluezones.com/2018/05/news-5-habits-that-can-add-14-healthy-years-to-your-life-according-to-science?utm_source=Blue+Zones+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e528b90242-5-LIFESTYLE-HABITS-ADD-YEARS-TO-LIFE_2018_05_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9642311849-e528b90242-199156613&mc_cid=e528b90242&mc_eid=8686361149

Exercise and cancer treatment

Exercise should be prescribed to all cancer patients, and not to do so would be harmful, some of Australia’s leading experts on cancer have warned.

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia has launched its position statement on the role of exercise alongside surgery, chemotherapy or radiation in cancer care.

Endorsed by a group of 25 influential health and cancer organisations, including Cancer Council Australia, it is the first researcher-led push anywhere in the world for exercise to be an essential component of treatment.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/07/cancer-if-exercise-was-a-pill-it-would-be-prescribed-to-every-patient

 

 

 

Using Behavioral Science To Build An Exercise Habit

Too little exercise is responsible for 9% of premature deaths worldwide, and we know that physical activity improves mental health as well as reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In spite of that, less than half of Americans exercise as much as they should.

So what is the problem?

It is  the same challenge that stands in the way of attaining most goals: a combination of forgetfulness, procrastination, and limited motivation.

Thankfully, the field of behavioral science has solutions to offer.

1. MAKE IT SOCIAL

Scheduling workouts with other people has many scientifically-proven benefits.

Finding a workout buddy ensures you’ll be held accountable for skipping a visit.

It also makes exercise more fun (assuming you pick a buddy you like), and builds on the fact that we like to do the same things we see our friends doing.

The next time you want to kick-start an exercise routine, find a workout buddy to help.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/using-behavioral-science-to-build-an-exercise-habit/

Want To Be Creative. Take A Walk!

 

When trying to come up with a new idea, we all have times when we get stuck.

But according to research by behavioral and learning scientist Marily Oppezzo,

getting up and going for a walk might be all it takes to get your creative juices flowing.

In this fun, fast talk, she explains how walking could help you get the most out of your next brainstorm.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/marily_oppezzo_want_to_be_more_creative_go_for_a_walk?referrer=playlist-simple_ways_to_spark_your_creativity