YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS WHEN you feel stressed. Instead you inhale a doughnut (or five). Strange? Not at all. Your strained brain craves instant gratification, often in the form of a quick fix like food or alcohol, says neuroscientist Dr James Herman. “These things activate reward pathways while quieting the amygdala – the emotional, overwrought area of your brain,” he explains.
The trouble with the Krispy Kreme cure – besides the inevitable risk of obesity and the powdered sugar on your neckties – is that it’s really just a stress Band-Aid. In the long-term you may feel more mentally steamrolled than ever. And when your psyche suffers, so does your body. In fact, in an Oregon State University study, researchers found that chronically stressed middle-aged men were almost 50 per cent more likely to die during an 18-year period than those who experienced fewer stressful events. Which of these guys do you want to be?
Good choice. Now follow this plan for replacing your current so-called coping strategies with techniques that’ll feel like a shiatsu massage for your mind.
Jan 24, 2013