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Tag Archive: Self-esteem


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“Why we are the way we are: the Internet of our brains. These are axonal nerve fibers in the real brain as determined by the measured anisotropy (directionality) of water molecules inside them. 3T 30 channel GRAPPA DTI scan protocol, deterministic tractography performed using TrackVis/FACT algorithm. You might know the subject :-)”

jgmarcelino from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Wikimedia . org

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LiveScience

Disaster Survivors: How Stress Changes the Brain

How well a person recovers from traumatic events may depend  in part on their self-esteem, according to researchers who examined the effects of a major earthquake on the survivors’ brains.

The researchers had conducted brain scans of university students for a study before the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011. After the earthquake, they repeated the scans on 37 of the same people, and tracked stress-induced changes in their brains in the following months.

“Most importantly, what these findings show, is that the brain is dynamic — that it’s responding to things that are going on in our environment, or things that are part of our personality,” said Rajita Sinha, professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]

In the brain scans taken immediately after the incident, the researchers found a decrease in the volume of two brain regions, the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, compared with the scans taken before the incident.

One year later, the researchers repeated the scans and found that the hippocampus continued to shrink, and people’s levels of depression and anxiety had not improved.

 

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Japan Quake Shows How Stress Alters the Brain

HealthDay April 29, 2014 SHARE

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A small study of people who experienced the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan shows that although traumatic events can shrink parts of the brain, some of those regions can rebound once a person’s self-esteem returns.

“Higher self-esteem is one of the most important traits of resilience in the context of stressful life events,” said study author Atsushi Sekiguchi, who noted that these latest findings also illustrate that brain changes are dynamic and fluid over time.

Sekiguchi’s prior research had already demonstrated that people with lower self-esteem following a traumatic event are likely to experience a quick, short-term drop in the size of their orbitofrontal cortex and hippocampus. The first brain region is involved in decision-making and emotions, while the second area is involved in memory.

But by tracking the same individuals over time, Sekiguchi’s team observed that the “part of the brain volume which had decreased soon after a stressful life event [ultimately] increased, especially in individuals with [renewed] high self-esteem.”

Sekiguchi, from the division of medical neuroimage analysis at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and his team report the findings in the April 29 online edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

To gain insight into how the 2011 earthquake — and ensuing tsunami that heavily damaged several nuclear reactors in northern Japan — affected its victims, the researchers focused on 37 men and women who were about 21 at the time.

All had MRI brain scans right after the earthquake, and then again one year later.

At the same time, the earthquake victims were given psychological assessments to gauge anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and other characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Investigators concluded that none of the patients ever developed full-blown PTSD.

Yet, the group did experience a big dip in self-esteem immediately following the earthquake. And by comparing their brain scans with those of 11 other people taken before the earthquake, the team determined that the loss of self-esteem was accompanied by a downsizing of the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex.

 

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I Am Happier, Heavier

Posted: 01/06/2014 10:08 am

 

Rachel Oh Uiginn Estapa

It’s not insane to believe that once you lose weight, life gets better.

For years, I heard stories from those who have shed pounds, recharged their lives, never felt better, and speak so confidently that once the weight was gone, they became the person they were meant to be: a thin and happy one.

I do not doubt their happiness when they share their story, but I also don’t believe that by losing weight, they have some superior knowledge about happiness that us heavier-folk don’t. How do I know this? I’ve been fat and thinner. And I’ve been at my happiest, heavier.

End of high school and into college, I was BIG and used to decline attending parties because I didn’t remotely have anything cute to wear, so I hid behind sarcasm and baggy shirts. And dating-wise… wait, WHAT dating life?

Midway through my freshman year of college I joined Weight Watchers and the gym, becoming obsessed with both. Within seven months, I lost 55 pounds, fit into a size ten and even felt sexy for about fifteen minutes!

But as the scale dipped lower and the compliments on my weight-loss wore off, something else emerged: I felt exhausted, disappointed and still unhappy.

“Ugh, I just can’t keep this up…” I recall saying to myself after a Weight Watchers meeting, of which was my lowest weigh-in ever. I felt defeated and broken that after all my effort, not much beyond the scale changed.

 

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Health And Wellness Report

Research shows that spending time with nature has extensive mental health benefits

nature

by: Ben Hirshberg

 

(NaturalNews) Intuitively, many people understand nature’s role in human health. Whether it is walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, or hiking in the mountains, interaction with nature seems to have a positive effect on humans. The sounds, smells, and sights of the great outdoors appear to have an amazing stress-reducing capacity. Research backs up this folk wisdom, showing that spending time with nature can decrease feelings of depression, increase self-esteem, decrease tense feelings, help us to be more caring, less aggressive and violent, be less likely to procrastinate, and better able to work through problems.

One study from 2007 done in the UK compared the mental state of depressed individuals who took a walk in a park outdoors and a walk inside a shopping center. 71 percent of the group who took a walk in the park reported that their levels of depression decreased, compared to only 45 percent of the group who walked inside the shopping center. Additionally, 22 percent of the group who walked in the shopping center reported their depression levels increasing.

The same study also showed that 71 percent of the participants who walked in the park reported feeling less tense, compared to 50 percent of those who walked in the shopping center. Additionally, a whopping 90 percent of participants who walked in the park reported an increased self-esteem, compared to only 44 percent of the participants who walked in the shopping center.

A 2009 study from the University of Rochester found that when study participants were exposed to pictures of nature, they were more likely to list connectedness and community higher as life aspirations than wealth and fame than when the participants were exposed to urban pictures. The same study also found that when participants were exposed to pictures of nature, they were more likely to share money with others than when they were exposed to urban pictures.

Research done by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studied public housing in Chicago and randomly assigned each subject to a room with a view of grass and trees or a view of a barren courtyard. They found that subjects who were assigned to rooms with a view of nature had fewer aggressive conflicts, incidents of domestic violence, procrastinated less on goals they deemed important, and were less likely to believe that they had unsolvable problems than subjects who had views of the courtyard.

These studies underscore the importance of not losing touch with nature. In many modern societies where depression levels are soaring, an effective tool to help can be found in their own backyards.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.mind.org.uk/news/1795_go_green_to_beat_the_blues
http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=3450
http://www.msnbc.msn.com

About the author:
My name is Ben Hirshberg and I am a student from Seattle. I am very passionate about living healthfully and am constantly learning. Nutrition is a big part of my health philosophy so I am always experimenting in the kitchen with different foods. A result of this experimentation is my ebook “Paleo Ice Cream: 31 healthy recipes for the primal sweet tooth that are so easy even a modern caveman can do it” which can be found at www.paleoicecreamrecipes.com
Physical activity is also something that I believe strongly in, and I received my personal trainer certification from WITS. You can find more of my articles on nutrition, physical activity, recipes, and mental health at www.BenHirshberg.com