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Fun Fact Friday

    • Neurologists claim that every time you resist acting on your anger, you’re actually rewiring your brain to be calmer and more loving.
    • Sleeping on the job is acceptable in Japan, as it’s viewed as exhaustion from working hard.
    • Thinking burns calories.
    • Cuddling triggers the same neurological reaction as taking painkillers.
    • Cotton Candy was invented by a dentist.
    • The brain treats rejection like physical pain, according to scientists.

 

anger
  • Dancing has been proven to build confidence and release stress.
  • 1.6 billion people – a quarter of humanity, live without electricity.
  • A banana is actually a berry and a strawberry isn’t.
  • Age is just a number, maturity is a choice.
  • 11% of the world is left-handed.
  • Regular sex enhances mental performance and increases the production of new neurons in the brain, according to researchers.
    Happy Friday  🙂
    source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Life is More Enjoyable After Retirement

Enjoyment of everyday activities increases after retirement, a study from Australia has found.

The heightened level of enjoyment lasts at least a year after a retiree stops working full time, researchers report in the journal Age and Ageing.

There is conflicting evidence about changes in enjoyment and happiness when people retire, coauthor Tim Olds of the University of South Australia told Reuters Health by email.

On the one hand, people may lose social connections and their sense of purpose in life when they retire, he said. On the other hand, retirement offers a chance to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.

“We found that you’re likely to be happier when you retire,” he told Reuters Health in an email.

That’s not because retirees spend more time doing things they like and less time doing things they don’t like, Olds noted.

Rather, it could be that retirees get more pleasure from even mundane daily activities “because they have more autonomy and time-flexibility,” Olds said.

The 124 study participants all intended to retire within three to six months. The group was roughly half men and half women, with an average age of 62.

At the start of the study and again three, six and 12 months afterward, Olds and his colleagues asked participants to recall their activities in the last 24 hours. They grouped activities into eight categories: physical activity, social, self-care, sleep, screen time, quiet time, transport, work and chores.

Participants also completed surveys about their health, wellbeing, sleep quality and loneliness.

happiness

Compared to pre-retirement levels, average enjoyment ratings were significantly higher throughout the study.

“Changes were partly due to shifts towards more enjoyable activities . . . but were mainly due to retirees getting more enjoyment out of doing the same activities post-retirement,” the authors found.

Overall, enjoyment ratings were associated with wellbeing and better sleep quality.

Physical activity and social activity had the highest enjoyment ratings while work and chores had the lowest, according to the report.

Still, participants who continued to work part-time after retirement reported that their enjoyment of it increased substantially, the authors noted.

“People have a different experience when working after retirement,” said Kenneth Shultz, a social gerontologist and professor of psychology at California State University in San Bernardino.
“You don’t have to deal with the pressure of a career job, and people tend to not be emotionally invested in it,” said Shultz, who was not part of the study.

For those on the edge of retirement, however, work appears to be an unpleasurable drag, according to Olds and colleagues.

During those last few months before retirement, they write, “enjoyment decreased when the trip to work began, was momentarily elevated during work breaks, and rose again at the end of the working day.”

The study participants, they conclude, “were . . . working for the ‘eternal weekend’ of retirement.”

BY LINDA THRASYBULE
SOURCE: bit.ly/28NKanG      Age and Ageing, online      June 7, 2016         www.reuters.com


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This Is the Surprising Factor That Can Predict Long Life

You’re only as old as you feel? Research says it’s true. Here’s why.

Posted May 09, 2016      Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D.

As I get older, I find myself drawn to news reports and research findings that provide information about how long I might live. After all, this is a key piece of information that would help me plan the most strategic and successful retirement, even though I think that I do not really wish to know for sure how long I have left. Much advertising aimed at people in my age group involves dietary choices, vitamin and mineral supplements, and medications that directly or indirectly promise not only more years of life, but more years of healthy, productive life. Many, if not most, of these promises are based upon little more than wishful thinking and anecdotal evidence. Hence, it is always exciting for a researcher like myself to see studies that bring actual scientific data to bear.

In a recent issue of Psychological Science, a team of European scientists including Stephen Aichele of the University of Geneva, Patrick Rabbit of Oxford, and Paolo Ghisletta of Distance Learning University in Switzerland published such a study. The researchers reported the results of a longitudinal study of more than 6,000 British individuals conducted from 1983 to 2012. The average age of the participants was 64.7 years when they first joined the study, but ages ranged from 41 to 93.

Key medical and psychiatric data including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, and tobacco and alcohol use, were collected at three- to six-year intervals throughout the 29-year duration of the study. Daily life measures such as the number of prescription medications taken, sleep patterns, hobbies, and the rated difficulty of activities such as climbing stairs, traveling, preparing meals, and managing social interactions were also examined.

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In addition to those measures, each participant had his or her cognitive abilities assessed up to a total of four times at four-year intervals. These included measures of:

  • Crystallized intelligence (the ability to use knowledge you already have);
  • Fluid intelligence (the ability to solve new problems, use logic, and identify patterns);
  • Verbal memory;
  • Visual memory; and
  • Mental processing speed (how long it takes to perform a mental task).

All together, the researchers looked at 65 different mortality risk factors as they tracked participants through the later years of their lives. Once the number crunching was finished, the factor that rose to the top was surprisingly simple and straightforward.

The most sensitive measure of longevity was the individual’s own subjective evaluation of how healthy he or she felt. In other words, a person reporting that he or she feels healthy outweighed any other single predictor of a long life, including any medical measures such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Other variables that fell into the top group of predictors included being female; not smoking (or at least not smoking for very long); and cognitive processing speed.

The researchers seemed genuinely surprised that psychological variables such as subjective health and mental processing speed were better predictors of mortality risk than all the other predictors they studied. It has long been known that remaining cognitively active is associated with aging well, but it has never been clear if the cognitive activity is the cause of healthy old age or the result of remaining healthy into one’s golden years. The findings of this study confirm the association between the two domains, but cannot resolve how the cause-and-effect relationship plays out.

In a completely unrelated study published in 2003, researchers asked college students to rate the attractiveness and perceived health of individuals in photographs from the 1920s taken from high school yearbooks. The researchers then tracked down the age of death for the people whose pictures were rated. They discovered that having a handsome or beautiful face as a teenager predicted a long life but, ironically, participants’ judgments about the perceived health of the photographed individuals were completely unrelated to how long they lived. I replicated this finding several times in projects in my Evolution and Human Behavior class by having students do the same thing with photographs taken from Knox College yearbooks from the 1920s.

The explanation for a pretty face predicting a longer life appears to be that attractive faces are symmetrical and “normal”—average in terms of things like size of nose, distance between the eyes, etc. These qualities may reflect a lack of unusual genes, good health, and freedom from parasites or physical trauma—all of which are good if you wish to live long and prosper.


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Vitamin Found to Delay Aging Process in Organs

Relaxnews    Published Tuesday, May 3, 2016

An international study, published in the journal Science has led to a promising breakthrough in the field of anti-aging medicine. A vitamin called nicotinamide riboside (NR) — already known to boost metabolism — has been found to restore the body’s ability to regenerate and repair itself.

The regenerative capacity of cells and organs deteriorates with age. The “powerhouses” of cell function — called mitochondria — lose energy over time and prevent cells from regenerating as they once did.

Research teams from Switzerland, Canada and Brazil studied how these changes occur over time. The role of mitochondria in metabolism has already been identified, but the scientists were able to demonstrate for the first time that healthy, functioning mitochondria were important for stem cell function.

In younger bodies, these stem cells usually regenerate damaged organs by producing new, specific cells. “We demonstrated that fatigue in stem cells was one of the main causes of poor regeneration or even degeneration in certain tissues or organs,” explains Dr Hongbo Zhang, a PhD student on the team.

The study set out to revitalize stem cells in the muscles of elderly mice by giving them nicotinamide riboside (NR). This substance is close to vitamin B3 and is a precursor of NAD+, a molecule that plays a key role in the activity of mitochondria. NAD+ levels can be diminished by the stress related to aging.

Nicotinamide riboside (NR)
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) could
help stop the ageing process in organs.

The findings, published in the journal Science, proved highly promising. Muscular regeneration was found to be much better in mice that were given NR. These mice also lived longer than those not given NR. As yet, no negative side effects have been observed from NR use, even at high doses.

The NR vitamin has been discovered in milk. It’s also thought to be found in beer, but the nutrient’s presence is very difficult to measure and quantify. In fact, it’s not yet known precisely which foods contain NR or in what quantities, the specialists explain. The compound is currently on sale in the form of dietary supplements, but as yet there are no scientific guidelines recommending their use.

For the researchers, the study represents a major breakthrough for regenerative medicine, highlighting a potential future means of reestablishing the body’s own ability to repair itself with a dietary supplement.

The findings also hold promising possibilities for the treatment of potentially fatal conditions affecting young people, like muscular dystrophy (a form of myopathy).

However, more detailed studies are required to investigate the action of this substance on pathological cells.


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7 Nutrients To Help Protect Your Brain From Aging

Flavanols, Fish, Nuts, And Blueberries May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

Apr 21, 2015      By Lecia Bushak

Eating certain nutrients, like cocoa flavonals and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, help boost your cognitive function and brainpower.

While genetics and exercise play a large role in your brain health and risk of developing dementia, diet is quite influential, too. There is no magical elixir that can cure or completely prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but scientists have been able to pinpoint certain nutrients that are associated with improved cognitive function or memory. Keeping your diet full of the foods that contain them, then, can help you protect your brain.

Cocoa Flavanols

Cocoa flavanols are found naturally in cocoa and can be beneficial to your brain health; they make dark chocolate healthier than regular chocolate, which has been washed out with milk and sugar. A 2014 study examined the impact of eating a high cocoa flavanol diet over the course of three months. The researchers focused primarily on the dentate gyrus (DG), a part of the hippocampal formation in the brain that, when it declines, is often associated with aging. Scientists believe this part of the brain is linked to memory loss. After eating a lot of cocoa flavanols, the researchers report that the participants experienced “enhanced DG function.”

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, mackerel, and tuna, are going to not only help your heart health, but they’ll also give you a boost in brainpower. According to a 2014 study, mice that were given supplements of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid showed improved cognitive function while they aged — showing better object recognition memory, spatial and localized memory, and aversive response retention.

nuts

Nuts

Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids like fish, so adding nuts to your diet in addition to fish will provide you with solid amounts. Walnuts, in particular, have been shown to fight memory loss. In one recent large-scale analysis, researchers found that a diet supplemented with walnuts — which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, antioxidants, and melatonin — improved adults’ performances on a series of six cognitive tests.

Magnesium

Scientists believe that a magnesium deficiency may play a role in cognitive decline, brain aging, and ultimately, dementia. So taking magnesium supplements — or eating foods that contain magnesium, like chard, spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, dark chocolate, or bananas — can help you fight off the effects of the aging brain.

Blueberries

Blueberries are delicious, but they also help in boosting your memory. According to a 2010 study, blueberries were shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They also contain anthocyanins, compounds that are associated with increased neuronal signaling in the brain’s memory areas. In the study, researchers found that participants who drank wild blueberry juice on a daily basis had improvements in paired associate learning and word list recall; they also found lower depressive symptoms and glucose levels.

Cruciferous Vegetables

According to the National Institute on Aging, eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help stave off cognitive decline as well as other chronic diseases, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Green, leafy, cruciferous vegetables in particular (like broccoli and spinach) have been shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline. The Mediterranean diet, in particular (vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish, olive oil, mild amounts of alcohol — as well as low consumption of saturated fats, dairy, meat, and poultry) has shown in studies to be beneficial for cognitive health compared to more “Western” diets that are high in fats, carbs, and meat.

Green Tea

Green tea is good for a lot of things — but it’s also going to help you protect your brain. In a recent study completed at the University of Basel, researchers found that green tea extract enhances your thinking process and working memory. Participants scored higher for working memory tasks after they received the green tea extract, and an MRI showed a boost in connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex of the brain, meaning that green tea “might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain,”  said Professor Stefan Borgwardt, an author of the study.


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7 Free Ways To Fight The Effects Of Aging

By Dr. Agnes Frankel    October 3, 2014 

The essence of anti-aging medicine is not only prolonging one’s life span, but to ensure that we are experiencing life while being our best, most vibrant, energetic and healthy self — whether in our 20s or 60s.

Think of your body as an ocean full of beautiful underwater life. When the water is dirty there is no way the colorful fish will stay healthy and vital. The same goes for your cells and organs — when their environment becomes polluted they get weaker and die prematurely, meaning they AGE!

That’s why the key is to be focused on proactive actions that will help your body and mind stay balanced in their best and most optimum state. Let me share with you some easy yet powerful tips that, when implemented, will set you up to win and thrive every single day of your life.

1. Stand up.

Sitting for too long is harmful to your health. Be proactive! Make it a habit to move and stretch your body for five to 10 minutes for every 50 minutes you sit. Just think how many “sitting” activities you could approach differently and use as an excuse to stand up, like a phone conversation, reading, or drinking your favorite cup of tea. There are even different phone apps that can help you keep track of your break routine.

2. Move it!

It’s been said over and over, but somehow so many people do little to no physical activity. If you’ve read about the positive effects of sports on your body and mind, but never actually put yourself into the position to do it, NOW is the time! Think of it as the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Start out by exercising three times a week for an hour. Schedule the time as a “necessary appointment” with yourself to make sure no one will interfere.

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3. Finish in “last place” in the meal marathon.

You want to take your time when having meals. If you eat in a rush, it’s likely you don’t chew properly, and you overeat. As a result, your body does not extract all the essential nutrients, plus you burden yourself with too many calories.

When you take a five-minute break, it’s much better to drink some fresh juice than taking huge bites just to finish quickly. Remember — that’s the race you DON’T want to win!

4. Be on a mission.

Setting clear goals about what you want to achieve will boost both the quality and length of your life. If you haven’t done it already, ask yourself: what is your purpose? What do you what to give and achieve while being here? Give yourself time and space for this reflection. Write your thoughts down or make a vision board. This is significant, so don’t push yourself if you don’t have the answer straight away. Stay focused and be patient: it will come!

5. Connect.

You’re not a lonely island, and you shouldn’t be. So get out there! Never underestimate the time spent with your colleagues, family, and friends. Make it a daily habit — even a five-minute talk during a busy day will make a huge difference in the quality of your life. Don’t limit yourself only to Internet connections; go offline and experience the real world. There’s nothing more refreshing than a face-to-face interaction.

6. Be the director of your own life.

In life, not like in the movies, you can be successful only when you act to your own script. Don’t let anyone else write it for you. Don’t wait. Live your life according to your own rules. And remember: today is the best day to start!

7. Be happy!

You can’t change everything that surrounds you. Nonetheless, it’s always up to you what you focus on. Yup, the glass can be either half full or half empty. Make sure to find empowering meanings in every situation. The more you exercise this, the more organic it will become for you! And when doing that, of course, smile!


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10 Reasons Why Life Gets Better As You Grow Up (Not the Opposite Way Around)

 Brianna Wiest   Writer, editor, professional human being. Founder of Soul Anatomy  11/30/2015  

We don’t age by years, we age by experience. Yet, we’re largely under the impression that life gets worse as it goes on — the “golden days” we’ve attributed to being our budding adolescence, yet generally speaking, that is the most difficult and uncertain time of life, both biologically and socially.

Research shows that we get better as we age, we become happier as life progresses, and that the loss of “childlike wonder,” or, the magic that makes youth what we want to hold onto, is not a natural occurrence, it’s a learned behavior. That is to say – we can just as easily reclaim it.

Happiness increases as we age because we develop and master the cognitive functions required to sustain happiness, we settle into a sense of who we are, we accomplish a few things, and we evolve past our erratic, emotional adolescent selves. Essentially: life doesn’t get better, we become better equipped to deal with it. Here, all the reasons why you have the rest of your life to look forward to, whether you believe it or not:

1. As you get older, you build the cognitive functions that happiness requires: gratitude, objectivity, problem-solving.

The more you see of the world, and the more you experience yourself within it, you learn that there’s a lot to be grateful for, things exist separate from our perception of them and most issues are resolvable if only you decide you’re committed to resolving them.

2. Science says you’re generally more content after you have a few major life achievements under your belt.

Some research argues that 37 is the happiest age: we’ve done enough that we feel accomplished, settled and as though our identities are validated, but not so much that we don’t have anything to look forward to.

3. As you age your attitude shifts from “What can I do” to “what can I enjoy.”

Your objective is less to prove or establish yourself, and more to enjoy your life and be present within it fully.

4. If life becomes more difficult as time goes on, it indicates you’re not learning, evolving or adapting in some way.

There is not actually a point in time when life gets “easier,” we just become better equipped to deal with things that we didn’t know how to deal with prior. Likewise, people who do not develop those tools do find that life gets more difficult as it goes on, not because circumstances are more challenging necessarily, but because from their perspective, they are unable to handle them well.

5. You’re most emotionally erratic as a young adult.

The brain circuit that processes fear, the amygdala, develops ahead of the prefrontal cortex, which is the center for reasoning and executive control. This means that adolescents have brains wired for an enhanced perception of fear, and underdeveloped ability to calm or reason with themselves.

happiness

6. We are taught by experience that nothing external we assume will bring us happiness actually does.

Very often, the goals we choose to pursue as adolescents have some deeper link or connection to believing we’ll be more loved, accepted or admired for having achieved something “great.” It’s only after we have one or two of those things under our belts that we realize we’re not fulfilled in the way we hoped to be. As we age, we learn to separate our desire for emotional fulfillment from our false ideas of how we could achieve it.

7. Bonds you build with people over years cohere into emotional “safety nets.”

This is to say that as time goes on, friendships deepen and relationships evolve, you begin to choose your own family and bond with them in more and more intimate ways. This, of course, translates to us as a feeling of “safety,” and genuine inclusiveness, which is a primitive desire as well as a key component of happiness.

8. You know how to get through things — because you’ve done it before.

You know you’ll survive the death of a loved one because you had to teach yourself how to mourn and move on a few times before. You know you’ll get through a financially sparse month or a difficult breakup, because you’ve done it before. Your past challenges gave you the tools to deal with your current, and present ones.

9.You move from assuming that your time here is a guarantee to seeing it as a gift and an opportunity.

Friend’s parents pass on. Friends pass on. People get ill. Tragedies occur that remind us our time is not a given. Nobody expects that they’ll die young, but they do. You may project your ideal life to carry on until 95, but that will not necessarily make it reality. When we sober up about how delicate and precious life is, we are fully present in it.

10. You learn about who you are, and learn how to create a life that person will enjoy.

The portals of self-discovery are endless and not always obvious, and they don’t end after your mid-20s. As time goes on, you learn your habits, your preferences, what works and what doesn’t, what you want more of and less. That self-knowledge is invaluable, and makes up the building blocks of a life well-lived.

This post originally appeared on Soul Anatomy
Follow Brianna Wiest on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/briannawiest