Neuroscience around the Web – Issue 12

Here's some interesting research I found on the web recently:

Why Stress and Anxiety Aren't Always Bad

Stress and anxiety don't need to be bad. What's bad is when we stress about our stress and are anxious about our anxiety. "Stress is a given in daily life, working at the edge of our abilities often builds those capacities and moderate levels of stress can have an inoculating function, which leads to higher than average resilience when we are faced with new difficulties." "If you are under the impression that you should always be joyful, your day-to-day experience may ultimately turn out to be pretty miserable."


Music Can Make You Work Out Harder

Working out to music can "result in a dramatic boost in endurance - akin to a performance-enhancing drug." More specifically, exercising in sync to a musical rhythm can increase the release of endorphins, the body's natural opiate, increase endurance.With fast music, our heart rhythm may increase by 5 - 15 beats per minute, and music can help us "produce more efficient movements, with less energy."

That Frog in Your Throat May Be Due to Stress

When asked to give a speech, a new study has found that stress altered brain activity that affected the larynx region in the brain of the participants, which could lead to the feeling of "having a frog in your throat". And this was more likely to happen with participants who were more introverted. What to do? Other research has shown that accepting or naming our feelings can reduce the emotional charge and reduce amygdala activity.

How Do You Get Yourself to Exercise Regularly?

By starting to see yourself as an exerciser. "When we adopt an exercise identity, physical activity becomes a part of who we are and a powerful standard that can drive behaviour. "The more we identify with exercise or physical activity, the more we do it. And if you "need some behavioural proof that you are an exerciser: Fake it until you make it — simply start working out."

How Do You Handle Someone Who Is Violating Your Boundaries?

How do you handle someone who "is violating your boundaries, whether intentionally or not, or being aggressive and manipulative toward you?" Be ultra-assertive to "halt aggressive, manipulative, or ill-meaning people in their tracks."

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