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  • midlifelove 4:38 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anxiety, brain cells, calm, , remodels brain, running good for brain cells,   

    Exercise Makes You Less Anxious 

    Next time you slip into your track shoes and head out the gate for a run, you can take heart. You are not only burning off unwanted calories, you are also growing new brain cells that help you keep calm under stress.

    New research is showing that the ‘positive stress’ of aerobic exercise remodels the brain, creating neurons in active animals that remain calm when more slothful creatures get anxious.

    So far, the research has all been done on rats. But researchers are confident the human brain is likely to respond in a similar way.

    New Brain Cells From Running

    You may not feel a magical reduction of stress after your first jog, if you haven’t been exercising. But the molecular biochemical changes will happen if you keep exercising, says Dr. Benjamin Greenwood, a research associate in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado says.

    In one Princeton University experiment reported in the New York Times scientists found rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm.

    The scientists noted the “cells born from running,” appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.”

    Anxiety in rodents and people has been linked with excessive oxidative stress, which can lead to cell death, including in the brain.

    More Adventurous Attitude

    In a University of Houston experiment rats who had exercised coped with unfamiliar surroundings much better than others, even when both groups were injected with chemicals that artificially raised stress levels.

    When placed in the unfamiliar space, the exercised rats went out fearlessly exploring their new surroundings, while the unexercised rats ran into dark corners to hide.

    “It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms,” says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student affiliated with the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth, who has been studying how exercise differently affects thinking and emotion.

    “It’s pretty amazing, really, that you can get this translation from the realm of purely physical stresses to the realm of psychological stressors.”

    Won’t Happen Overnight

    The stress-reducing changes wrought by exercise don’t happen overnight.

    In the University of Colorado experiments, for instance, rats that ran for only three weeks did not show much reduction in stress-induced anxiety, but those that ran for at least six weeks did.

    “Something happened between three and six weeks,” says Dr Greenwood, who helped conduct the experiments.

    He says it is “not clear how that translates” into an exercise prescription for humans. We may require more weeks of working out, or maybe less. And no one has yet studied how intense the exercise needs to be. But the lesson, Dr. Greenwood says, is “don’t quit.”

    Keep running or cycling or swimming. As Rachel Hunter says in the hair ad, “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.” Says Dr Greenwood: The molecular biochemical changes will begin, and eventually they become “profound.”

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  • midlifelove 1:42 am on June 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anxiety, , , , cocaine, , , , , , , , , , , , , , organ, , , , , , , ,   

    Breaking Love Addiction 

    breaking love addiction

    He – or she – is the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night. He’s – or she’s – your lover, your soul mate. You can read each other’s minds.  You are just meant for each other. It’s uncanny – almost a spiritual thing.

    That’s what you thought until little cracks started appearing in your dream of ‘together forever’. When he or she decided they weren’t that into you anymore and they departed, taking your heart/world/future with them.

    The ‘love of your life’ has walked out and you’re about to discover the dark side of romantic love. Of being devoured by unsatisfied desire – for as Plato said 2000 years ago “The God of Love lives in a state of need.”

    Love Like Cocaine

    That need is a dopamine-fuelled ‘high’ which brain imaging shows activates the reward/pleasure centres in the brain in ways very similar to cocaine and heroin.

    And that’s the first important key to getting over love sickness, says Dr Helen Fisher, an expert on romantic love. Understand it is an addiction and some of the principles of the addiction counselling – like 12 Step programs – are helpful in getting over it.

    Romantic love is associated with high levels of dopamine and probably also norepinephrine – brain substances that drive down serotonin.  And low levels of serotonin are associated with despair, and even suicide.

    If nothing else, hankering after “what-might-have-been” can waste years of your life. It also kills some people. When a love affair turns sour, the human brain is set up for depression, and perhaps, self annihilation… The Japanese even glorified “love suicide” as evidence of one’s devotion.

    Tricky Thinking

    The idea, says Dr Fisher, is to ‘trick your brain’ into producing dopamine in response to new stimuli.

    Despair from unrequited love will most likely also mean plummeting dopamine levels.  As you focus your attention and do novel things, you elevate this feel-good substance, boosting energy and hope. We can also utilise new research on brain functioning which shows we are wired to integrate thoughts and feelings. We can in other words, control our drive to love.

    Woody Allen (in Sleepers) quipped “My brain? It’s my second favourite organ” – and he isn’t alone.  In this “golden age of the brain” neuroscientists are gaining increased understanding of our decision-making processes – and what they are learning can help us take control of our thoughts and feelings. We are wired so we can choose to think before we act (the high road) or we can allow our emotions to dictate our actions (the low road).

    The love addiction can be conquered. It takes determination, time and some understanding of brain function and human nature. Says Dr Fisher:  “Someone is camping in your brain; you must throw the scoundrel out.”

    Foods to beat love addiction

    Many of the neurochemicals involved in sex and love – including dopamine, serotonin and testosterone – are affected by the stress of  severe loss. Divorce can add ten years to a man’s testosterone levels in just a few months. The good news is, the ‘chemicals of love’ can be boosted by eating the right foods – including cottage cheese, chicken, dark chocolate, yoghurt, eggs, and oats, or by herbal and nutritional supplements like Herbal Ignite. Visit http://www.herbalignite.com to find out more about.

     
    • Elvira Lind 9:54 am on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      DOCUMENTARY ON LOVE ADDICTION

      We are looking for people who would like to participate in a documentary on love addiction.

      If you are addicted to love, love becomes more of a struggle than something great and joyful.

      Love addiction can rule your life in a destructive way. As someone addicted to love, you ignore your own boundaries and needs, and your attempts to loving someone are seldom returned. Love addiction can lead to obsessive thinking, anxiety, despair and loneliness.

      With this film we would like to tell the world around us more about love addiction and help people understand. We hope you would like to help with your insights and experiences. There are many types and stages of love addiction, and we are interested in hearing about any one of them.

      We will be in the US in November and December 2009.

      Learn more: http://www.loveaddictiondoc.com

      Write us: loveaddiction@danishdocumentary.com

      Warm regards

      Elvira (research) and Pernille Rose (director)

  • midlifelove 3:15 am on June 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anxiety, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Why is love addictive? 

    love-addiction copy

    Brain imaging has confirmed what lovers have long-known. The crazy fixation we call romantic love is an addiction. . . maybe that’s why the Greeks called romantic love “the madness of the gods.”

    Anyone who has ever been in the clutches of irrational infatuation knows the symptoms. Seemingly inexhaustible energy allows you to talk until dawn.  Satiated with love, you don’t need to eat; you feel you can live on air. Elated when things are going well, you sink into despair when things look like collapsing.

    Noticeably there is a real dependence on the relationship, says Dr Helen Fisher, an expert on romantic love whose books including Why We Love trace the physical and psychological dependence of this primary human drive.

    And dependence it is. Brain scans of love-stricken couples compared with men and women injected with cocaine, show many of the same brain regions become active.  So how does this happen?

    Three Classic Symptoms

    Directly or indirectly, all “drugs of abuse” affect a single pathway in the brain, the reward centres activated by dopamine. Romantic love stimulates parts of the same pathway with the same chemical.

    In response to dopamine, the bewitched lover shows three classic symptoms of addiction: tolerance, withdrawal and relapse.

    Tolerance: At first you’re happy to see loved one now and then… but very quickly you need them more and more until you “can’t live without them.”

    Withdrawal: Dropped by your lover? The rejected one shows all the classic signs of drug withdrawal – depression, crying, anxiety, insomnia, loss or appetite or binge eating, irritability and chronic loneliness. You’ll also go to humiliating lengths to “procure a fix” – to see your lover, and try and renew the relationship.

    Relapse: Long after the affair is over, hearing a particular song, or revisiting an old haunt can trigger the craving and initiate compulsive calling or writing to get another “high”. The lover is “a slave of passion.” Or rather – a slave to dopamine.

    The Dopamine High

    Dopamine. It’s at the core of our sexual drives and survival needs, and it motivates us to do just about everything. This mechanism within the reward circuitry of the primitive brain has been around for millions of years.

    It’s behind a lot of the desire we associate with eating and sexual intercourse. Similarly, all addictive drugs trigger dopamine (the “craving neurochemical”) to stimulate the pleasure/reward circuitry. So do gambling, shopping, overeating, sexual climax and other, seemingly unrelated, activities. They all work somewhat differently on the brain, but all raise your dopamine.

    You get a bigger blast of dopamine eating high-calorie, high-fat foods than eating low-calorie vegetables. You may believe that you love ice cream, but you really love your blast of dopamine. You’re genetically programmed to seek out high-calorie foods over others. Similarly, dopamine drives you to have sex over most other activities.

    Boost Sexual Health

    Many of the hormones involved in sex and love – including dopamine, serotonin and testosterone – are susceptible to stress or aging. They can be boosted by eating the right foods – including cottage cheese, chicken, dark chocolate, yoghurt, eggs, and oats, or by herbal and nutritional supplements like Herbal Ignite.

     
  • midlifelove 2:13 am on May 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anxiety, bettina arendt, british columbia, , deeper level, germany, , , , intimate, juicy tomatoes, , , pornography, , , , women's liberation   

    Men’s Sex Secrets Revealed 

    A flood of New Zealand men have contacted Australian sex researcher Bettina Arendt eager to talk about their sex lives following publicity of her latest book The Sex Diaries, based on the sex diaries of 98 couples written over six to nine months.

    The intimate personal records uncovered a problem one man described as “one of society’s best kept secrets” – the reluctance of many married women to engage in regular sex with their partners.

    Now Bettina plans to take her research to a deeper level for her next book, Male Sex Diaries, and she is looking for men willing to take part in her research.

    Time to Ask – What Do Men Want?

    Men wanting to share their personal experience on a whole range of topics – from ‘What men look for in a lover’ ; ‘Are women hard to please?’ ; ‘Ripped off by the impotence industry?’ ; and ‘Using pornography and what women feel about it’ are encouraged to get in touch with Bettina Arndt through her website http://www.bettinaarndt.com.au

    The author’s sympathy with male frustration and her suggestion that women adopt more of a “just do it” attitude to sex has angered some women’s groups, but Bettina is unrepentant.

    “I find it outrageous we have reached the state of affairs where women think it’s OK for men to just put up with having no sex or intermittent sex,” she says. “Many women seem able to conclude sex is an optional extra in the relationship.”

    Say ‘Yes’ More Often

    The problem is that many women seem biologically programmed to lose interest in sex a few years into a relationship, says Bettina Arndt.  “Research in Germany showed that four years into a relationship fewer than half of 30-year-old women wanted steady regular sex.

    “It simply hasn’t worked to have a couple’s sex life hinge on the fragile female libido. The right to say “no” needs to give way to the right to say “yes” more often – provided both men and women end up enjoying the experience.”

    Research by Professor Rosemary Basson from British Columbia has shown many people can experience arousal and orgasm without prior desire, she says. Provided there’s a willingness to be receptive, the rest follows.

    More and Better Sex

    “Once the canoe is in the water, everyone starts happily paddling. For couples to experience regular, pleasurable sex and sustain loving relationships women must get over that ideological roadblock of assumptions about desire and ”just do it”. The result will be both men and women will enjoy more, better sex.

    The Sex Diaries argues that 50 years of feminism has led women to think that if they don’t feel desire, there’s no need to have sex. The right to say ‘no’ is one of the outstanding achievements of feminism, the book suggests.

    Battle of the Sexes Power Shift

    ‘‘The control of the sex supply nicely demonstrates the shift in the past 40 years between men and women,” says Bettina Arndt. “Before, women had to tolerate sex because they had no choice if the men wanted it. Then along came the ’60s, the women’s movement, economic independence and the notion that women were entitled to happiness.

    “So now it is men who are more emotionally dependent on their relationships . . . choosing to bite their tongues. Men are very conscious that the woman might leave if they put too much pressure on her.’’

    No Sex No Laughing Matterfrustrated-man

    Men really welcomed the opportunity to express their feelings about this in the sex diaries, she says.

    “Men might tell jokes about sexually deprived husbands, but talk to them privately and they aren’t laughing. Many feel duped, disappointed, in despair at finding themselves spending their lives begging for sex from their loved partners. They are stunned they find their needs so totally ignored.”

    In some cases, keeping the diaries helped couples open up communication on what had become a tense topic, says Bettina.

    Low Libido Answers

    Not all women suffer from low libido.  Some women – dubbed “juicy tomatoes” by Bettina Arndt – maintain a high sex drive within secure relationships.  And for those who do experience a fall in sexual interest, “just putting up with it” is not the only solution. Herbal supplements like Herbal Ignite http://www.herbalignite.com help increase sexual interest and desire in men and women in a natural, non-invasive way. Herbal Ignite also contains at herbal anti stress component to help reduce anxiety around “the sex question”.

     
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