Not only does it feel good, but orgasms have been found to reduce stress and depression and increase your body's immunity to infection. Making a habit of getting more creative in the bedroom will also strengthen your relationship and, in turn, make you and your partner healthier, more relaxed, and more fulfilled. One study published in the journal Psychological Science even found that over an eight-year period, people who had happy partners had a lower mortality risk. When was the last time you took a trip?
If you had to think about it, chances are high your body and brain could use a rest. While saving up for retirement is important, you should also be budgeting for some memorable vacations at least a couple times a year. Not only do these trips offer a welcome change of pace, but research published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine also found that leisurely activities—like the ones you do while on vacation—can reduce stress-related cortisol levels and lower your blood pressure.
Vacation isn't the only way to incorporate stress-reducing leisurely activities into your schedule. Another habit that provides major health benefits—mental, physical , and beyond—is meditation. There are no doubt plenty of things that frustrate you or are not exactly to your liking throughout the day, but for your own peace of mind and long-term wellbeing, making a habit of practicing gratitude can prove hugely beneficial. Research published in The Review of Communication in even showed that being grateful makes people more likely to hit the gym.
A common complexion problem that afflicts those in their 40s is those puffy dark under-eyes. To rid yourself of these, you'll want to make eye cream a standard part of your morning routine. Specifically, look for a cream that contains retinol; as New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner , MD, explained to Real Simple , this ingredient "stimulates collagen production to help firm under-eye skin and strengthen the skin foundation.
Hydrating does all kinds of great things for your health, mind, and body, and it only becomes more vital as you get older. As the CDC notes, drinking water maintains your body's internal temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, protects your spinal cord, and helps rid your body of waste via urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.
Not every doctor-recommended healthy habit after 40 is necessarily difficult. Case in point: For better heart health, many health professionals suggest adding more naps into your schedule. If there's one emotion you want to leave behind in your 30s, it's anger.
In addition to affecting you emotionally, one study from the American Heart Association found that being angry can lead to the development of chronic illnesses, like heart disease. Electric toothbrushes have consistently been proven to be more effective than manual ones. According to Blue Back Dental , a dental practice in Connecticut, they're better at removing plaque, they keep your gums healthier, and they're easier to use.
With the wide range of styles and price points now available, there's no excuse not to upgrade—your teeth and gums will thank you. Most people in their 40s already know the mental and mood-boosting benefits of being in nature, but what about the physical ones? One study from the University of Southampton found that ultraviolet light—even when received in small doses—dilates blood vessels and significantly lowers blood pressure.
Yet another study from the University of East Anglia concluded that those who spent more time in green spaces had a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease , and early death. Ben Franklin knew what he was talking about: Early risers do tend to get healthy, wealthy , and wise. And, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research , they are mentally healthier, too.
In the four-year study of more than 32, female nurses, those who were late risers were more likely to become depressed than those who woke up on the earlier side. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day—and not just because pancakes are delicious. In , researchers from Tel Aviv University found that a big breakfast helped obese patients and patients with type 2 diabetes lose weight and decrease their need for insulin respectively. Whether it's a full-blown workout or just a few minutes of stretching, getting active as part of your morning routine will do your brain good.
It will have you feeling more relaxed and more focused all throughout the day. For example, a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine found that when older adults worked out for just 30 minutes in the morning, they saw improved cognition throughout the day. If the distance from your home to your workplace isn't absurdly long, then try turning your commute into a walk or bike ride, thus making it more active.
Since being active in the morning has both mental and physical benefits that are long-lasting, it's the perfect way to start your day. Plus, research published in the British Medical Journal in specifically found that walking to work was associated with a decreased cardiovascular disease risk. The brain and body are locked in a reverberating circuit while the frontal lobes lose their sophistication, as if vinegar were added to wine.
In this state, EF reverts to simpleminded black-and-white thinking; perspective and shades of gray disappear.
Intelligence dims. In a futile attempt to do more than is possible, the brain paradoxically reduces its ability to think clearly. This neurological event occurs when a manager is desperately trying to deal with more input than he possibly can.
In survival mode, the manager makes impulsive judgments, angrily rushing to bring closure to whatever matter is at hand. He feels compelled to get the problem under control immediately, to extinguish the perceived danger lest it destroy him. He is robbed of his flexibility, his sense of humor, his ability to deal with the unknown.
He forgets the big picture and the goals and values he stands for.
He loses his creativity and his ability to change plans. He desperately wants to kill the metaphorical tiger. At these moments he is prone to melting down, to throwing a tantrum, to blaming others, and to sabotaging himself. Or he may go in the opposite direction, falling into denial and total avoidance of the problems attacking him, only to be devoured.
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This is ADT at its worst. In survival mode, the manager is robbed of his flexibility, his sense of humor, his ability to deal with the unknown. Though ADT does not always reach such extreme proportions, it does wreak havoc among harried workers. Because no two brains are alike, some people deal with the condition better than others.
Regardless of how well executives appear to function, however, no one has total control over his or her executive functioning. Unfortunately, top management has so far viewed the symptoms of ADT through the distorting lens of morality or character. Employees who seem unable to keep up the pace are seen as deficient or weak.
Consider the case of an executive who came to see me when he was completely overloaded. I suggested he talk the situation over with his superior and ask for help. After he went out on his own, he flourished. How can we control the rampaging effects of ADT, both in ourselves and in our organizations? I have found that the following preventive measures go a long way toward helping executives control their symptoms of ADT. The most important step in controlling ADT is not to buy a superturbocharged BlackBerry and fill it up with to-dos but rather to create an environment in which the brain can function at its best.
The most important step in controlling ADT is to create an environment in which the brain can function at its best. There are neurological reasons why ADT occurs less in environments where people are in physical contact and where they trust and respect one another. When you comfortably connect with a colleague, even if you are dealing with an overwhelming problem, the deep centers of the brain send messages through the pleasure center to the area that assigns resources to the frontal lobes. By contrast, people who work in physical isolation are more likely to suffer from ADT, for the more isolated we are, the more stressed we become.
People did not trust one another; they worked on projects alone, which led to more mistrust. His suicide note explicitly blamed the university for pushing him past his limit. Instead of trying to sweep the tragedy under the rug, the chair of the department and his successor acted boldly and creatively. The department set up informal biweekly buffets that allowed people to connect. They provided lectures and written information to all students about the danger signs of mental wear and tear and offered confidential procedures for students who needed help. These steps, along with regular meetings that included senior faculty and university administrators, led to a more humane, productive culture in which the students and faculty felt fully engaged.
The bottom line is this: Fostering connections and reducing fear promote brainpower. Sleep, a good diet, and exercise are critical for staving off ADT. Though this sounds like a no-brainer, too many of us abuse our brains by neglecting obvious principles of care. You may try to cope with ADT by sleeping less, in the vain hope that you can get more done. There is ample documentation to suggest that sleep deprivation engenders a host of problems, from impaired decision making and reduced creativity to reckless behavior and paranoia.
Diet also plays a crucial role in brain health. Many hardworking people habitually inhale carbohydrates, which cause blood glucose levels to yo-yo. This leads to a vicious cycle: Rapid fluctuations in insulin levels further increase the craving for carbohydrates.
The brain, which relies on glucose for energy, is left either glutted or gasping, neither of which makes for optimal cognitive functioning. The brain does much better if the blood glucose level can be held relatively stable. To do this, avoid simple carbohydrates containing sugar and white flour pastries, white bread, and pasta, for example.
Rely on the complex carbohydrates found in fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Protein is important: Instead of starting your day with coffee and a Danish, try tea and an egg or a piece of smoked salmon on wheat toast. Take a multivitamin every day as well as supplementary omega-3 fatty acids, an excellent source of which is fish oil.