World of Knowledge (Australia) - - Human Body -

n mer­i­can study has shown that peo­ple who are re­laxed and think pos­i­tively are sick less oiten than those who are stressed and neg­a­tive. “Psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­cesses play an im­por­tant role,” ex­plains en­docri­nol­o­gist hristo­pher %erger. %ut how do you turn a pes­simist into an op­ti­mist 7he Iol­low­ing tricks can help you out­smart your deiault neg­a­tive mode…

Up to 50 mil­lion dam­aged cells are re­placed dur­ing sleep. This cell-care acts like a re­ju­ve­na­tion pro­gramme – not only for the body, but also for the mind. Ev­i­dently, sleep is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant and only a few peo­ple can get by on fewer than six hours. The less sleep you get, the more your con­cen­tra­tion lev­els will de­crease.

A slumped posture not only re­flects neg­a­tive thoughts – it re­pro­duces them. It’s been proven that adopt­ing a 90-de­gree an­gle with the floor when stand­ing up­right has a pos­i­tive af­fect on aware­ness. Psy­chol­o­gist Sascha Topolin­ski ex­plains: “A per­son with an up­right posture not only seems more con­fi­dent, they feel it.” It also in­creases men­tal power.

You use up to 80 mus­cles when you laugh. These stim­u­late neu­ro­trans­mit­ters in the brain that in­crease willpower. Adults use this tool on av­er­age just 15 times per day, while chil­dren laugh up to 400 times. But it doesn’t need to be a fit of the gig­gles to have a pos­i­tive ef­fect: in a study, psy­chol­o­gist Fritz Stack asked sub­jects to hold a pen­cil side­ways be­tween their teeth, in ef­fect forc­ing them to smile. The re­sult: the fa­cial move­ment trig­gered a bio­chem­i­cal re­ac­tion and led to them laugh­ing. Ap­par­ently the brain doesn’t care why you’re grin­ning, – just that you’re do­ing it

If you see your­self as a help­less vic­tim of fate, you’ll feel trapped – like you’ve lost con­trol. It’s bet­ter to fo­cus on what you can ac­tively change. You should train your thoughts at least three times a day with the fol­low­ing ques­tion: what can I do to­day to im­prove my life? It can even be some­thing small such as a walk. Pas­siv­ity weak­ens the will and con­trol strength­ens it, re­gard­less of what life throws at you. Avoid say­ing things like “I wish I had…” or “if I could…”

To stim­u­late the ‘chem­i­cal line’ be­tween the body and brain, thoughts can be di­rected to body re­gions or move­ments. Yoga has been used for this pur­pose for thou­sands of years. A study by the Univer­sity of Calgary demon­strated that just a 90-minute work­out for 12 weeks pro­duced quan­tifi­able ef­fects in the par­tic­i­pants’ bod­ies. A blood test showed that telom­eres, a re­gion at the end of chro­mo­somes, were longer in the Yo­gis than in the con­trol group. They be­come shorter with each cell di­vi­sion, of­fer­ing a clue about the age of the body. The shorter they are, the lower the life ex­pectancy of the per­son.

Doc­tors use so-called neu­ro­feed­back to specif­i­cally strengthen the mind and willpower. They train ‘good’ thoughts. Nor­mally, peo­ple are in­ca­pable of recog­nis­ing their own brain cur­rents – the elec­tric ac­tiv­ity in the nerve cells that be­comes thoughts and feel­ings. Neu­ro­feed­back changes this: us­ing elec­trodes at­tached to the head, brain cur­rents are mea­sured and trans­mit­ted to a com­puter. It then for­mu­lates feed­back from the data – for ex­am­ple, a sound or an im­age. It takes about 0.2 sec­onds for a hu­man to cal­i­brate a thought. So, when the de­vice warns of a neg­a­tive thought, the pa­tient can take coun­ter­mea­sures. If this process is re­peated hun­dreds of times, the brain will learn to think on a more pos­i­tive level.

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