“Are You Underestimating – Stress?”
Just ten years ago it was a prevailing scientific principle that the brains you entered this world with, were all you would ever see. Adults lost neurons daily, but it was fine because we had a billion of them in our mental treasury. No one except a researcher at Princeton University believed that the brain continued growing new neurons throughout life.
Dr. Elizabeth Gould challenged the international medical establishment by showing clear evidence that neurogenesis (nerve cell rebirth), was an ongoing event.
She’s still at Princeton doing seminal research, while neurogenesis is an international field of study.
Google: neurogenesis; neuroplasticity
The moral of the story is knowledge and good-work wins the Gold, no matter the opposition, your gender or the totem-pole hierarchy. It was her commitment, persistence and determination that caused the scientific establishment to rewrite the textbooks
Dr. Gould has strong views on stress, that chronic-stress changes the anatomy of their brain to produce less learning and memory. Poverty itself is a cause of chronic stress, and the kids growing up in the slums lose their American dream because their brain does not function to grow new brain cells. Yes, really.
Stress produces a steroid called Glucoconticoids, which is toxic to neurons. It weakens, and destroys brain cells. It causes neuronal dendrites to wither, reducing learning and memory to not function properly. Our hippocampus is affected by stress and does not produce long-term memories.
One more once – poverty is not a character issue, about people who are lazy or refuse to learn. Poverty is associated with a sterile environment, and the experience of negative emotions about one’s ability to achieve and succeed. The general rule is children who grew up in poverty do not catch up with their richer cousins.
Most middle-income families provide a rich environment favoring more than a mere survival mentality. Going to museums, access to the Internet, mentors who have track-records of success, produce life-long roadmaps to follow.
Family values that education is economically useful, parents who do leisure reading, motivate children to learn and grow. The lack of role models who require home work and dedicated daily study is a cause of childhood apathy. It leads to early dropouts and the loss of occupational options.
Survey: Stress is Just an Excuse
A majority of participants in leading surveys believe that stress is an excuse for not taking personal responsibility and running away from work.
The Journal of Achievement in Medicine published an article by a team headed by Dr. Glen Rein called: The Physiological and Psychological Effects of Compassion and Anger.
The gist is: negative emotions like anger, fear, anxiety and panic, change the mental and physical chemical balance of both our brain and body. A lack of social-bonding, the absence of adult companionship and modeling, causes a lifetime of social-distancing. You already know the outcome.
Did you know that the immune system, antibodies, and neuropeptides of kids and adults who experience chronic stress such as poverty, are disproportionately susceptible to disease, and die before their natural span of years?
The Good Part
Are you aware that the stressed brain could start producing a cascade of neurons at any stage of life, and strengthen the immune system?
It takes a ritual of brain exercises and mental strategies based on an enriched environment. It includes manual, cognitive and psychological activities to awaken general learning and memory functions. Playing chess, Bridge, even Poker requiring planning and analysis helps active neurogenesis.
Regular viewing and participation with the TV show, Jeopardy, and the Discovery Channel programs, challenge viewers to learn and remember. Regular use of a computer, surfing the Net are important teachers leading to personal youth.
The statistics indicate that the cliché, use-it-or-lose-it, is a reality.
People who maintain diaries listing what they have learned in the past week, improve their vocabulary on a daily basis, and who enroll in seminars, create rituals leading to renewed mental growth.
Speed Reading Strategies
Statistics based on two-million adults and students indicate that massive personal growth occurs within twenty-one days of practice. Speed Reading triples, memory doubles, comprehension and concentration increase up to fifteen-percent.
Two-Minute BIS™ Behavioral Intelligence Strategies
The Guru offers this tested and proven Mudra (hand movement), to increase your Chi (pronounced Chee), with an increase in energy, and a immediate reduction in tension. Test jitters, nervousness prior to an interview or presentation, are reduced up to 85% by the use of this simple BIS requiring only two-minutes.
He calls it the Pran Mudra, we identify it as a V for Victory sign.
Step 1: Please sit down, feet flat on the floor, shoulders back on the chair. Eyes opened, your left hand lying on your top of your left leg.
Step 2: Take a deep diaphragmatic breath; hold it for a count of five, (one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand etc), and slowly exhale.
Step 3: Touch the fingertips of your right pinky, ring-finger and thumb, while making a V-for-Victory sign with the other two-fingers. Raise your right hand and open-and-close your fist slowly one-after-the-other for the first one-minute of this exercise. It’s about a dozen times. Be aware of the sensation of your three fingertips, and outstretched pointer and middle-finger in a V symbol.
Step 4: Double the benefit of this strategy by maintaining a Duchenne (eyes and mouth), Smile during the entire two-minutes. Your endorphins flow for up to four hours after you finish and maintain a stress-free state of mind.
Step 5: Now close your eyes for the second one-minute of this BIS. Raise your left-hand off your leg and duplicate the same hand-movement of your right-hand. Now you have both-hands raised in V for Victory signs, with the thumbs, pinkies and right-fingers opening and closing for the final one-minue.
Simultaneously mentally-visualize both your hands doing the physical exercise. You are activating your Mirror-Neurons and doubling the relaxation benefit by both creatively-seeing and physically doing this strategy.
Step 6: You will be opening your eyes in a few seconds. Mentally say and hear in your mind’s-ear – the expression – And it is so! Hear it said enthusiastically, and you will maintain a positive attitude for up to four hours after you’re done. This target-affirmation raises your vibrational-frequency for a continuing flow of energy.
Chronic stress is the silent-killer because it opens us to diseases and reduces our life-span. This is not an opinion, but scientific research conducted by Dr. Hans Selye over thirty-years, and continuing today.
Is it worth two-minutes of your time to maintain a high energy level of life-force?
copyright © 2006
H. Bernard Wechsler
Author of ‘Speed Reading For Professionals', published by Barron's Educational, partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading, graduating 2 million, including the White House staff of four U. S. Presidents.