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Health

106 STASHED IDEAS

One dream cycle is usually 90 minutes, where delta waves slowly increase frequency to morph into theta waves, which is the REM state of dreams. The awakening cycle in the morning, when the transition takes place from theta to alpha and finally beta (when we hit the snooze button!)

This precious morning time can be made highly productive as it is ripe with new ideas and insights related to the events of the day before and the forthcoming day.

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@gabrielagg80

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Health

Many people in the β€˜theta’ state happen to get good ideas, as do people who are mentally relaxed due to being in the alpha state.

The repetitive task becomes automatic and disengages itself from the mind, leading to a free flow of ideas.

Our Brainwaves

The human brain is a highly complex electrochemical organ, generating as much as 10 watts of electricity.

This electrical activity is displayed in the form of four types of brainwaves: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta which correspond with focus, rest, creativity and deep sleep.

  • Beta waves (15 to 40 cycles per second) are generated during a highly engaged or aroused state of mind, like talking, debating or making a speech.
  • Alpha waves (a frequency of 9 to 14 cycles per second) are slower, with the brain in rest mode, happening when a person is reflecting, sitting down and resting, or walking in the park.
  • The Theta waves are generated during an even slower state of mind (5 to 8 cycles per second) usually when a person is daydreaming or is on a long freeway drive.
  • Delta waves (1.5 to 4 cycles per second) are the slowest, happening when we are in deep sleep.

Ageing has often been associated with negative tropes, like calling the empty home(due to the children going away to start their own life) an empty nest.

We need to rephrase and reframe such negative tropes, calling them a re-feathered nest instead, a place of creativity, possibility and delight.

An intriguing experiment called the Time Warp involves being in a special zone where everything is as it was a few decades ago. Gadgets, furniture, news and sports, photos and surroundings, all create an illusion of being in a different era, like the 70s.

The participants of the Time Warp experiment reported better vision, greater cognitive dexterity, better posture, and even better looks, just by living in the zone for a week.

Everyone cannot create such elaborate zones, but we can create mini time wraps by reading old books, meeting with old friends, or visiting old places that remind us of how we were.

We have mistakenly made ageing, a natural process, into a battle, something that we have to defeat and conquer.

We could embrace our growing old and enjoy the wisdom and respect that comes from having years of life experience, but we chose to hide our years, clinging on to the last strands of youth, or going under the knife and becoming a joke to others.

Attending cultural events, social activities church, movies, sporting events, or cards is said to decrease the mortality rate among senior citizens.

This is because of the good experiences, along with forming deep relationships and social connections, that increase the feeling of belongingness.

Ageing Is Inevitable

We are always as young as we would ever be in the course of our lives.

Society is youth-obsessed and gives us constant signals that having grey hair, and showing other signs of ageing means our value has declined. But as we grow old, we become expansive and confident, as we understand the world better, can communicate more effectively and are wiser than in our teens.

Seeking out experiences of awe and wonder, like a long stroll in nature, can increase our happiness levels. Smiling more often and more intensely has the same positive effect on older adults.

Enrich your life with colour, nature, fresh air, art, and other elements that stimulate the senses. Buy yourself some flowers, or take up gardening, as it is proven to have mental, psychological and physical benefits.

Older adults are not that good with technology, and that leads to an increased feeling of disconnection, and even doubt and disempowerment.

Once they learn the tech skill sets, senior citizens feel an increased cognitive function, interpersonal skills, and a sense of freedom and independence.

Our brain shrinks as we age, and exercise prevents that from happening as fast as it would if one was living a sedentary life.

Apart from better brain health and healthier heart, exercising provides joy by releasing dopamine inside our brain and body. We need to take care of our bodies, as it is the only thing that will last us our lifetime.

Modern-day chewing gum

Modern-day chewing gum was invented by Thomas Adams Sr., who got a supply of chicle. They first tried to vulcanize the chicle into some useful industrial substance but found a better idea of boiling and hand-rolling it into pieces of chewing gum.

They sold out their first batch at a local drugstore in hours, then decided to go into the manufacturing business. By the 1880s, Adams gum produced five tons of chewing gum daily.

Chewing gum: the Mayans and Aztecs

Chewing gum has been around for hundreds of years in the form of chicle, a resin obtained from the sapodilla tree in southern Mexico and Central America.

Long ago, the Mayans and the Aztecs knew that by cutting the bark, they could collect this resin and create a chewable substance from it. The Mayans cooked and dried it into "cha" to quench thirst and prevent hunger. The Aztecs used it as a breath freshener but viewed public gum chewing as unacceptable.

Chewing gum: Unsustainable harvesting

By the mid-1930s, unsustainable harvesting methods used to increase yields killed almost a quarter of Mexico's sapodilla trees, and scientists predicted total forest depletion within four decades.

Chewing gum manufacturers turned to cheaper synthetic bases made from petroleum, wax and other substances.

Becoming rich from chewing gum

As a marketing gimmick, young soap salesman Wiliam Wrigley Jr.decided that his company would give free chewing gum to vendors who place large soap orders.

The gum was more popular than the soap, and he switched careers. By the time he died in 1932, Wrigley was one of the richest men in America.

Green smoothies are a great way to get vegetables. Research suggests that plant-based diets reduce the risk of chronic disease and cancer.

Green, leafy vegetables, in particular, are linked to a lower risk of developing Type-2 diabetes and decrease age-related cognitive decline.

When you eat a fruit or vegetable in its whole form, digestion starts with chewing. Smoothies don't involve chewing, as the blender does the chewing for you.

This sometimes results in feeling slightly bloated. To solve it, consider eating a smoothie with a spoon like you would a whole-food meal.

Smoothies could fit into a diet, but it's best to consider all of the behaviours that support a healthy body, such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough physical activity, ensuring adequate sleep, building social connections and practising stress management.

To make a healthy smoothie, ensure the smoothie contains a mix of foods similar to a meal. Only blending some fruit is not an adequate meal.

A well-rounded smoothie usually contains the following:

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of fat
  • 1 cup of fruit
  • A handful or two of greens
  • 1 cup of protein.
How to make healthy smoothies

The key to a healthy smoothie is to get the right balance of vegetables, fruit, protein, and fat and embrace variety.

You can put almost anything into a smoothie, such as water, non-dairy milk or kefir, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, protein powder, maca or matcha, and toppings such as coconut, granola, and cacao nibs.

Smoothies often become hyper-concentrated sources of fruit sugars. It should be balanced by adding fibre, calcium, vitamins A, C, and K, and protein from dark leafy greens like spinach, kale or swiss chard.

Store-bought smoothies may use artificial sweeteners, fruit juice, too much fat or sweetened dairy products. While they are not a problem if consumed occasionally, it could lead to excessive sugar intake or digestive distress.

People reported significantly higher anxiety levels during lockdown. About 20 percent said their symptoms, such as experiencing dread and feeling unable to control or stop their worrying, were sever enough to interfere with their daily activities.

People reported that their sleep worsened during the pandemic. Only 10 percent of people said their sleep had improved.

A shift in our health behaviors
  • Researchers found the pandemic and resulting lockdowns caused people worldwide to change their health behaviours, cut back on physical activity and eat more comfort foods. Anxiety levels increased while sleep became disrupted.
  • The researchers also found that most people became more sedentary and gave in to their food cravings, such as sugary snack foods. People classified as obese gained more weight and had the largest declines in physical activity.

This is a good time to assess the healthy habits we let slip and to find new ways to be proactive about our physical and mental health.

Being aware of how our health behaviors changed during the stay-at-home orders could help us prevent it if another lockdown is enforced.

Researchers found some people actually lost weight during the pandemic. They increased their physical activity levels and improved their diets.

Lockdown prompted people to prepare more food at home. Despite snacking on more junk foods, they showed an increase in their "healthy eating scores," a measure of their overall diet quality, including eating more fruits.

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