Retrain Your Brain

Wire Your Brain for Success

Want to improve your ability to focus, learn, and remember things? Practice regular meditation.

That’s right, not only does meditation reduce stress, but it can also improve your mind, memory, and mental focus – permanently.  Here’s how  . . .

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What Sleeping has to do with your Waistline

That Freshman Fifteen, may not all be from the cafeteria food. It may be because you haven’t been hitting the snooze button enough. Sleep, or lack of it, not only affects your mind, it can seriously affect your waistline. Here’s how.

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Relax with this Easy Breathing Technique

Have you ever asked yourself, “How’s my breathing?” It seems like an odd question, but breathing is the foundational component of most relaxation exercises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a minute to sit in a chair with your back straight. Now put one hand on your chest, and the other one on your stomach. Which hand moves in and out when you breathe? Ideally, you would want the hand on your stomach to be the one moving the most when you breathe.

Fight or flight, or stressful breathing,

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The Best Relationship Medicine

One night a few years ago, I was in a deep sleep when I began to feel the presence of someone else very close to my face. I opened my eyes to find my 6 year old daughter staring at me from about three inches away. Startled and a bit freaked out, I jumped up to find she had apparently been there for a while, wondering if she should wake me.
“Mommy, I had a bad dream.” I took a deep breath and asked her what it was about. “There was a monster in my closet.”

From here, I did exactly the wrong thing as you will soon see. I said,

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The Science Behind the Power Nap

[frame align=”right”][/frame]Want to take a nap, but don’t feel like you have the time? You are probably like a lot of Americans who find they are lagging in the late afternoon – tired, lethargic, irritable, brain turned to mush – sound familiar?

Before you turn to the vending machines or a nasty energy drink that just postpones the crash, try a short nap instead. These naps are not only free, but quick and extremely effective, even more effective in fact, than

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Coping with Stress? Cheat on Your Diet.

Coping with Stress? Cheat on Your Diet

[quote style=”1″]That which you resist, tends to persist – and gets bigger.[/quote]

Ever noticed that the longer you battle a craving, the stronger it gets? Suddenly, the thought of a satisfying piece of chocolate becomes the uncontrollable urge to eat the whole bag.

A recent study showed this result when they asked three groups of female college students to think about chocolate, avoid thinking about chocolate, or think about whatever they wanted. Guess who ended up eating the most chocolate? Yep, it was the group that tried to avoid thinking about it.1 [frame align=”right”][/frame]

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Is Gatorade Good for Kids?

[frame align=”left”][/frame]Gatorade is a sports drink. Sports drinks are different from protein drinks, meal replacement drinks, vitamin drinks, recovery drinks, fitness waters, endurance drinks, and recreational drinks like Kool-Aid and colas. Each drink has a specific purpose (we will talk about each of these in future articles), but the purpose of quality sports drinks is three fold.

1. Hydration

2. Replacing glycogen stores (sugar that is stored in the liver and muscles)

3. Replacing electrolytes

We will use Gatorade as our example because it was the first of the major sports drinks. It was created by physicians and researchers at the University of Florida in 1965 to combat some of the problems facing the school’s football team. The players were suffering from cramps, exhaustion and a host of other problems caused by training in the area’s hot and humid conditions. The researchers discovered that the players were not drinking enough water or replacing the electrolytes and glycogen that was lost through sweat and exercise.

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Panic Attacks vs. Stress

Recently, I received an email from a participant of a recent workshop. Her question to me is first, followed by my answer: Hi Dr. Olpin, I really enjoyed the presentation you gave a few weeks ago. I had a couple of questions that I was not comfortable asking in a group setting and I thought…

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The World is NOT a Stressful Place

How Do Books and Downloads Relieve My Stress?

How do books & downloads relieve my stress?

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When you are under stress, your autonomic nervous system thinks you are being threatened and turns on the stress response. This is the mechanism that helps you get out of dangerous situations. Some people refer to it as being in “fight or flight” mode.

Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol rush through the body. The heart beat, breathing rate, and blood pressure increases. Blood and energy is diverted away from things like digestion and the immune system to places like muscles which may need extra energy to escape danger. This response is designed to be short-lived, only on for a few minutes at a time.

The problem is that most of the time we are stressed, our bodies are not in physical

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Why Bright Lights and Dark Nights are Essential for Sleep

Why Bright Lights and Dark Nights are Essential for Sleep

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The human wake and sleep cycle is naturally regulated by the bright light of day and the darkness of night. When the light of day first hits the retina and stimulates a nerve pathway to the hypothalamus, it sets off a chain reaction that sends messages to other parts of the brain that help us feel more awake, like raising body temperature and increasing hormones like cortisol.1

The body also decreases the production of other hormones like melatonin which is both a hormone and an antioxidant.2  Melatonin, sometimes referred to as the “Dracula of Hormones,” is made by your pineal gland which is inactive during the day, but is turned on when the sun goes down and darkness occurs.1 Melatonin production helps us to fall asleep and to stay asleep during the night.

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Don’t Eat That for Breakfast!

How does your breakfast effect your health?

You wake up. You’re hungry. You open the cupboard and see two cereals, Captain Crunch and Raisin Bran. What you do next may not only effect your day, but your life.

What you eat for breakfast is vitally important to your health. It influences many things; what nutrients you get, how healthy you are, your ability to fight disease, how much energy you have, your cravings, your ability to focus, your mood and how much and what else you eat for the rest of the day.

Skipping breakfast is not a good idea. For one thing, people who skip breakfast tend to weigh MORE than those who don’t. This sounds contradictory. It would seem that not eating breakfast calories would help people to lose weight, actually the reverse is true. (Read Why Diets Don’t Work to find out why.)

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Don’t Have Enough Belly Fat? Do This

Many people who have problems coping with stress, with chronic anxiety, with college stress, or other stress related issues, turn to foods like sodas to self-medicate. Here’s why that is not a good idea. 

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Breathing Techniques Reduce Test Anxiety and Increase Performance

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Have you ever been disappointed with a test score because you knew you could have done better but were just so nervous you didn’t do your best?
How about on a job interview, or when giving an important presentation?

When we are anxious or nervous our breathing changes from deep diaphragmatic breaths to shallow chest breathing.  This kind of breathing restricts oxygen flow to the cells of the body and may cause drowsiness, irritability and even headaches.

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Stress or Frustration – What’s the Difference?

A student of my stress management class asked me this excellent question:  What’s the difference between stress and being frustrated? or is there one? I still kind of feel like they’re different things. For example I’ll feel frustrated or irritated that things aren’t going the way I’d like them to in an aspect of my life, or…

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Welcome to the Stress Management Place!

Our purpose is to help you make your life less stressful. We do that by providing you with resources such as articles, books, online media, discussion areas, information, and other resources that can help you achieve a happy, healthy, and productive life. Have you ever wondered why you don’t feel good? Most of the common…

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Natural Anxiety Relief

[frame align=”right”][/frame]Want to help overcome stress in a natural way? How about by eating food? Sounds good, but you must eat a certain way to make eating an effective anxiety remedy.

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Yoga for All Kids – especially those with ADHD and hyperactivity!

Yoga for kids is great! it helps them to relax which kids need to do! It also teaches them to listen to their bodies, something we all need to do, and it accomplishes this without the kids losing attention or becoming bored.

Yoga is a great physical activity that helps with balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength. More and more coaches are including yoga as part of training for kids sports.

Research has found that students that practice yoga are better able to focus on classroom tasks. Yoga has also shown promising results in helping children with ADHD, and those that experience symptoms of hyperactivity. Yoga would be a great way to get everyone to slow down after recess, or an activity to do on snowy days.

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