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Showing posts with the label brain

Returning to Normal Means Recalibrating My Brain

The pandemic retreat doesn’t necessarily mean life will get easier for people with OCD. Brushing my teeth is a struggle. I brush so hard, and for so long, that sometimes my gums bleed. I can’t spit until I’ve touched each tooth carefully with the tip of my tongue. I open and close the medicine cabinet repeatedly, pressing my palm into the pointy corner of the mirror, until it feels like enough. I can’t leave the bathroom until I’ve flipped the light switch on and off a dozen times. Some nights, the routine takes 30 minutes. Some nights, I lean over the sink and cry. My obsessive-compulsive disorder manifests in rituals: small, repeated behaviors that my anxious little brain demands. If you do not do this thing, my brain explains, something terrible will happen to someone you love. Fear of contracting a deadly virus, combined with the total disruption of my work and social life, has multiplied my compulsions, which now require much more of my time. The same is true for others living wit

9 Keys to Staying Mentally Sharp

You can have a youthful brain at any age Learning how to integrate brain, mind, and heart into a harmonious whole has never been more needed. The sheer number of  demands that compete for our limited time, attention and energy  is unprecedented in human history, and it is no wonder that we cannot always manage them with ease. This pressure may partially account for the explosion of chronic health challenges that plague people the world over. And with an aging population, experts expect an  epidemic of age-related brain illnesses  that society will be ill equipped to confront. In the face of these challenges, developing the resilience and vitality to better adapt and thrive in the second half of life has never been more urgent. The second half of life will no doubt be filled with  unavoidable challenges . But there is a clear path through these challenges, a path rooted in brain science, in practices attentive to the physical needs of body and brain, in mindful awareness, in

5 Ways You Can Use Mindfulness To Fix Your Brain, Reduce Stress And Boost Performance

There’s no shortage of advice out there claiming to make you better, but mindfulness meditation is the rare, research-proven technique that boosts your performance by physically altering your brain. Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently pooled data from more than 20 studies to understand how practicing mindfulness affects the brain. While the researchers found significant changes in eight brain regions, there are two regions that are of particular importance to you. In these brain regions, the simple act of practicing mindfulness increased both brain activity and the density of brain tissue: 1. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC ), which is responsible for self-control. It enables you to resist distractions, to focus and to avoid impulsivity in order to work efficiently and make great decisions. The ACC is also responsible for flexibility, and people who have problems in this brain area are known to stick to ineffective problem-solving strategies