Fatty foods decrease brain activity in areas responsible for sadness.
Using MRI technology, brain researchers may have found why fatty foods such as ice cream, french fries, twinkies etc, seem to comfort us when we are feeling down. Fats appear to decrease brain activity in the areas associated with sadness. Participants were infused with either saline or fatty acids. The saline produced no change in sadness ratings or brain activity, while fatty acids did.
PositiveTip: Eating fatty foods may feel temporarily comforting but isn't the best way to deal with emotions. Exercise can help lift our mood without packing on the pounds.
Inadequate sleep has serious risks for teens and young adults.
Teens and young adults who don't get adequate sleep are at higher risk for automobile crashes, poor grades and performance in school, depressed moods, and problems with peer and adult relationships.
PositiveTip: Take sleep seriously, set regular times for going to sleep and waking up, and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
A few minutes invested in exercise returns hours in improved mood.
It's no secret that exercise gives us a mental/emotional boost. But how long does that last? Forty-eight healthy men and women were randomly divided into two groups at the University of Vermont. The first group rested and the second group moderately rode an exercise bicycle for 20 minutes. After the exercise or rest period each subject completed a standard mood questionnaire at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 24 hours. The researchers found the exercisers had significantly less mood disturbances up to 12 hours following exercise compared to the rest group which saw no improvements.
PositiveTip: The emotional boost of 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise extends well into the rest of the day!
Tired and exhausted most of the time? Try some moderate exercise!
Many humans today report they feel exhausted and tired most of the time. People who have well-defined medical conditions such as heart disease or cancer consistently report improved feelings of energy and less fatigue when they exercise regularly.
A recent six week randomized controlled trial of healthy young adults who reported persistent fatigue found improvements in feelings of energy. The subjects were randomly assigned to a moderate-intensity, low-intensity, or no treatment group. Participants visited the exercise lab three times per week for their exercise depending on which group they were in. Aerobic fitness was measured before and after the intervention.