Thursday, March 31, 2022

DST & Your Dog

I always feed the dog at 5:30 pm. When DST goes into effect, I still feed the dog at 5:30 but for the first few days he doesn’t seem hungry right away. What’s with his brain?”

 I’m chuckling because although I have had the privilege of having several dogs, I can't read their brains!   My guess is that animals and other creatures typically continue to follow the Sun time—and don’t keep checking with the Clock time (if they have even learned to notice where the “hands” are on the clock at any one time). The dog’s brain, at least for the first few days, may wonder how come you’re putting the food out earlier than usual (remember that 5:30 pm Sun time is now 6:30 pm Clock time. My dogs typically adjusted and then all of a sudden (to them), we’re back on Sun time. It’s really quite laughable if you have a good sense of humor and your brain has figured it out. For me, the "Spring forward" into DST is always like a mild case of Jet Lag. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Standard vs DST

“Why are the evenings longer during DST?”

 Evenings are not longer during DST. You are simply living an illusion based on what the clock tells you. The sun still rises and sets on Sun time. However, humans are now living on Clock time, which permits an extra hour of sunshine “by the clock,” and creates the illusion of a longer evening. If you were burning a candle to see by in the evening, having an extra hour of sunshine would likely save burning a candle quite as long. In this era, you might be turning on the lights an hour later, which would save some electricity. If you are an early morning riser, however, you may be turning the electricity on an hour earlier so it may even out over the course of time. DST does not impact the length of your day. That changes gradually as the world turns on its axis and the seasons change during a course of a year. I start going to bed an hour earlier for several days before DST changes in the spring. That way my brain seems to accommodate better as it still gets the same number hours of sleep. More tomorrow.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Sun Time & Clock Time

I do not understand what really happens when DST starts every spring. Can you help me know what is going on in the brain?

I explained this to my boys as “Sun time” & Clock time.” Think of Standard Time as Sun time. When Daylight Saving Time starts, the sun still sets at the same time it did during Standard Time—the difference is that in the spring the Clock time is put forward one hour. We say we lose an hour when ‘we spring forward.’ In the fall, we gain back that hour when we ‘fall back,’ and Clock time again matches Sun time. The brain’s circadian rhythm clock continues to follow the sun. Our life-style changes as we start following Clock time, but the brain wants to continue following Sun time. Depending on the brain, it can take several days for it to adjust to work, school, and other activities now following Clock time. My brain’s opinion is that it would be easier to always follow Sun time OR Clock time, so we didn’t have to feel disrupted as the brain tries to adjust to life running on Clock time for about six months.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Brain & DST

I read that the Senate just passed a bill to stop changing the time twice a year in the USA. I dread going through several days of mental upheaval twice a year—almost like a type of mild Jet Lag. I hope the House passes the bill, too. How did we get into this mess anyway?

 My understanding is that the USA adopted Daylight Saving Time (DST) in 1918 during the World War 1 (a year after Australia and Newfoundland Canada did in 1917). The idea was that it would save electricity and fuel to have more daylight at the end of the day instead of following the sun exactly. In 1920 the USA changed back to Standard time. Since then, there have been multiple changes with some parts of the country choosing not to follow the changes at all. I have no strong opinion about which is better—although I do appreciate an extra hour of sunlight so children have more play time after school, and it may be a bit safer to go out for a walk. I, too, dislike the twice-yearly changes. We’ll have to wait and see what the House decides. Write your congressman and express your views.

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Friday, March 25, 2022

Brain Breathing

 You do not have to imagine looking at a box to do beneficial Brain Breathing (a few brains have extreme difficulty attempting to picture something in their brain). I count and do Brain Breathing slightly differently from Box Breathing.

 1.     Inhale through your nose to a count of 4 – make sure your abdomen extends out, pushed down by your diaphragm

2.     Hold your breath to a count of 12 – this gives more time for the red blood cells to absorb oxygen from the air

3.     Exhale through pursed lips to a count of 8 – this helps to help empty the lungs and exercise those muscles

 I do this when I first get up in the morning and at any time during the day when I need to recharge my brain or let some accumulated stress go. 

 A new audio podcast is posted every Saturday morning

Thursday, March 24, 2022

“Box Breathing”

Box breathing is similar to Brain breathing except that you imagine you are looking at a box.

1.      Starting at the bottom left corner, breathe in through your nose and expand your abdomen to a count of four as you reach the top left corner.

2.     Hold your breath to a count of four as you move to the top right corner.

3.     Exhale through pursed lips to a count of four as you move to the bottom right corner.

4.     Relax for a count of four as you reach the bottom left corner.

Repeat going around the box several times. Throughout the day, whenever you feel tense, repeat the process. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Eustress & Hormetic Stress


I’ve heard you talk about Eustress as positive stress. Now I hear about Hormetic Stress. What is that?

 Hormetic Stress is a type of healthy molecular stress as compared with Eustress that is a type of healthy social stress. According to geneticist David Sinclair, some of the most effective anti-aging efforts involve thoughtful lifestyle adjustments. He reportedly said, “We used to think that aging was just something that was in our genes, something that we couldn’t modify. But very rapidly…you can reverse many aspects of aging. It’s never too late, unless you’re on your last legs. And the fact that it’s that easy to slow down and reverse aspects of aging—just with lifestyle changes—totally fits with our understanding of molecular mechanisms.” For example, intermittent fasting, high-intensity interval training, alternating hot and cold-water temperatures during a shower, and “box breathing.” More about that tomorrow.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Cognitive Reserve

A twin to Cognitive Fitness, Cognitive reserve, it is the brain’s ability to stay functioning on a somewhat even keel, especially during times of stress, free of dementia. Some individuals who have spent years in school and/or who had a cognitively complex job or career and did not retire to just vegetate in front of the TV, the higher their potential cognitive fitness of reserve. Studies have shown that all things being equal, these types of brains are the ones most likely to delay the onset of symptoms of aging including some dementias. For me, that means developing and living a Longevity Lifestyle and giving my brain challenging mental stimulation on a daily basis. Keeping the brain busy learning new things helps the brain to keep learning new things. Eustress or healthy stress is another example. Taking some classes or going back to school, accepting an invitation to make a presentation, or learning to play a musical instrument, etc.

 You can find my explanation of a Longevity Lifestyle in the LLM Program:

Monday, March 21, 2022

Cognitive Fitness

What in the world is Cognitive Fitness? A friend of mine told me yesterday that I needed to work on mine!

 I don’t know how long the term Cognitive fitness has been floating around Planet Earth. Some sources say it was defined by professors Roderick Gilkey and Clint Kilts of Emory University in 2007. In an article for Harvard Business Review, they reportedly defined cognitive fitness as “a state of optimized ability to reason, remember, learn, plan, and adapt.” That means that your brain has the ability to improvise and find alternative ways of getting a job done. According to Harvard School’s Guide to Cognitive Fitness, it is the bedrock of a rewarding and self-sufficient life. More tomorrow

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Friday, March 18, 2022

Power of Belief

A little boy trudged home one day from school—so the story goes—and gave a paper to his mother. “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to you.” His mother’s eyes teared up as she read the letter to her child: "Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself." Years after his mother had died and this little boy had grown, he was sorting through old family things in her desk. When he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer, it read, “Your son is addled. We won’t let him come to school anymore.” That little boy was Thomas Edison, the genius of the 20th Century. He had always been so, but his genius came to the world because of one person—his mother—who believed in him enough to teach him how to believe in himself. Years later, when a reporter from the New York Times asked Edison how it felt to fail 999 times as he looked for the filament of a light bulb, he answered, “I did not fail 999 times! I simply found 999 ways that did not work!” Is there someone who needs you to believe in them? Is it yourself, a child, or a friend? It could change your life!

 A new audio podcast is posted every Saturday morning

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Failing in School

My son and I recently immigrated to the US from a very poor, war-torn country. I now have a decent job and want my son to do better. I was never able to go to school and I found a job where I could use my native language—we speak that at home, too. Yesterday at parent-teacher conference the teach told me that my son is failing in school because he refuses to learn to speak English, therefore, he is not keeping up with the classwork. I am embarrassed but do not know what to do.

 I applaud what you have done to better yours and your son’s life. It is not always easy to learn a second language. It requires a mindset and intention, including speaking every word of English at home as fast as you learn it. Your son takes his cues from you. It is hard for a child to do or become what he or she does not see role modeled. Just because you were deprived of an education as a child, does not mean he must replicate that in his generation. One mother I know in a similar situation, sat her child down and said, “It is easier for children to learn a new language. However, I may need to find a job where I can speak English. I know you have a good brain. I know that you can help me learn English. You can teach me what you learn at school.” Ask the teacher if there are any volunteers that could come to your home once or twice a week and help both of your learn. Affirm your son for what he does know. Thank him for helping you.

A new audio-video podcast is posted every Saturday morning

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Health is a Mindset

Children observe their parents—continually—even when it doesn’t look like they are watching. What you ‘say’ is not nearly as impactful as what you ‘do’ yourself. Trying to get your child to course-correct eating and water-drinking, and exercise habits without you doing the same, is likely doomed to failure. Start creating and living a Longevity Lifestyle yourself and get your child on board with you. Sign up for my Longevity Lifestyle Matters – Online Program. ($12 for a 12-week course) Do a few minutes each day and learn at your own pace. Remember: obesity is a symptom. Health is a Mindset. It begins in your brain.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Stigma of Child Obesity

Studies have shown that obesity does tend to stigmatize a child and not much has changed during the last 40 years. In 1961, Mickey Stunkard, an obesity research veteran, showed children drawings of healthy disabled children and of obese children and
asked how much they liked them. The obese drawings were liked least of all. In 2001 the experiment was repeated. and obese children were liked even less than before. The obese children are at higher risk of serious illnesses such as diabetes type 2 and 3 and/or a shortened lifespan. In addition, children who are obese in childhood are at much higher risk of being obese in adulthood, with a potentially shortened lifespan.  When you feel overwhelmed with raising a family, it’s easy to get in the habit of serving snacks and less-than-healthy junk food—because it is fast and easy. It is not healthy. You can gradually made different and healthier choices. More tomorrow. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Weight Stigma

My child exceeds the weight recommendations for someone of the same age, gender, and size. Significantly exceeds! This is resulting in my kid getting bullied at school and called every mean name you can think of. The teacher suggested I could role-model healthy eating since my child always goes for sweets and deserts at school. Okay, I know I’ve been a poor role-model. I gained 50 pounds with the twins (now 2 years old) and I never took them off. I think I just gave up and probably have almost doubled that weight gain. Thankfully the teacher did not make blunt comments about like parent, like child. What can I do?

It is difficult for a child to become what he or she does not see. Children much more easily can become what they see a parent or an adult doing. Stop concentrating on your weight and telling yourself that you do not want to be fat and on and on. That will simply keep your brain consumed with what you do not want to do. How much you weigh begins in your brain. I suggest you get serious about creating and living a Longevity Lifestyle that will gradually help you be healthier and resculpt your body in the process. More tomorrow.

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Friday, March 11, 2022


I can’t seem to find the Heteronyms you shared a few years ago. Would you include them again?

 A heteronym (or heterophone) as many people already know, is a word that is written identically to another word but which has a different pronunciation and meaning. Of course, it’s crazy-making for someone trying to learn English as a second language. I found it and am happy to share it again. These are a few of my favorites:

·       The weather was beginning to affect her affect.

·       He was an advocate for hiring someone to advocate for them.

·       A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

·       They were too close to the door to close it.

·       Please do not desert me here in the desert!

·       Do you know what a buck does to does?

·       The dove dove into the bushes when it was startled.

·       How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

·       The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

·       I’m sure he could lead if he would just get the lead out.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Headaches, Take 2

Headache? Evaluate what your holiday life was like. Typically, many big holidays are filled with a mixture of activities, some healthy and some not so healthy: visiting family, seeing friends, celebrating, eating, drinking, traveling, shopping, and you name it--but maybe not so much living in balance and getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, regular meals, and a positive mindset. Some individuals report an increase in headaches and migraine headaches as the holiday season approaches—just thinking about it can trigger stress headaches. According to Harvard Medical School, headaches, in many ways, are a reflection of the lives people are leading. For tension headaches, they report that stress is the most common precipitating factor, followed by missed meals, lack of sleep, and fatigue. Migraines have been found to have many of the same triggers. For some individuals, a specific food or additive or even a specific odor can prompt a migraine attack. Think ahead. Make end-of-year activities healthy ones. Keep your life in balance. You just might avoid some of those headaches! I am quite sure your brain would appreciate NOT being in pain.

A new audio-video podcast is posted every Saturday morning

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Headaches, Part 1

 Ever since New Year’s all night party, I have had a headache. I can live with it, but medication just takes the edge off it. To say I am tired of it is an understatement. Any ideas?

 Oh, my, goodness! A headache for over 2 months? Something is not right here. One of the first,  signs of dehydration—you have not been drinking enough water on a daily basis to power your brain function—is a headache. How much pure clean water do you drink every day? Forget the old “drink 8 glasses a day.” Your brain’s need for water, it’s most important energy source, can vary based on the weather, the temperature in your home, what you are wearing, what you are doing, and so on. If I were doing this, I would drink a glass of water every hour of the day for at least two days (unless you are water-restricted).  Yes, you will have to visit the porcelain throne more often, but hopefully that will completely hydrate your brain. If the headache does not let up, there may be more going on than dehydration so I would get yourself to the doctor’s toute suite and get checked out. Problems with the brain are best not avoided . . .  More tomorrow.

A new audio-video podcast is posted every Saturday morning

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Brain sees - Brain does

Not long ago I was in a lively discussion with a colleague about the underpinnings of a rash of shootings in State, along with the impact of television and movies in combination with epigenetics and cellular memory, and so on. We reminded each other of a quote that was attributed to Howard Bloom but that seems to have gotten lost in the passage of time:

One generation’s metaphors become another generation’s realities. A generation without violence needs violent metaphors to exercise the animals in the brain—the instinctual equipment that is languishing unused in the cerebral storehouse. So, in the 1970s and 1980s, bands like AC/DC wrote songs like ‘shoot to kill.’ These songs entertained a generation to which real bloodshed is mere fantasy. But the next generation imprints on the metaphors and turns them into realities. So, in the 90s we have mass shootings by kids who take the previous generation’s fantasies as blueprints for action.” This truly does follow a brain axiom: by watching a person becomes changed.

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Monday, March 7, 2022

Brain see - Monkey do

It seems to me that with every passing year things are getting worse on Planet Earth. Racism is high and crime is exponentially increasing. Do you have any idea why this is?

 I believe it goes back to a basic “monkey see, monkey do,” mentality. By that I mean thatt researchers have discovered mirror neurons in the brain’s prefrontal cortex (directly behind the forehead). When you watch in person or electronically a behavior, those mirror neurons fire as if you were doing the behavior yourself. Electronic programming has become increasingly violent. Watch enough of that and the brain may move to actually exhibiting the behavior as the mirror neurons move what you watched into actual behavior. More tomorrow. 

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Friday, March 4, 2022

Paranoia vs Pronoia

What in the wide, wide world is Pronoia? Someone blithely told me the 
other day that I suffered from Paranoia while he experiences Pronoia.

A person with paranoia feels that persons or entities are conspiring against them. Pronoia is defined as the opposite state of mind to paranoia. A person experiencing pronoia has a sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to support you or any any other person. It is also used to describe a philosophy that the world is set up to secretly benefit people. The more you learn about the infinite connected universe the more pronoia you become.

 Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Affirmation Related To Pronoia
 You are benefiting from every circumstance, situation, and relationship in life. 
You have the opportunity to learn and grown from all that you experience. 

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Thursday, March 3, 2022

Cheating and the Brain

I like a man, but he is married. I wouldn’t mind being his mistress—I don’t need to marry him and break up the family. He has 2 lovely kids. I am pretty sure he likes me and is open to an affair. I feel so special when we are together. If he is willing to have an affair, it must mean he finds me very special, and that I mean a lot to him. What should I do?

You are not the only woman who believes that when a man wants to have an affair or a one-night-stand or says he loves her—it must mean that he thinks the woman is. very special. My brain’s opinion is that this is a huge misconception bordering on a delusion. No doubt  he could give you umpteen reasons for agreeing to this. They might range from 'my wife and I have grown apart, nothing in common any more, it won’t hurt her as we’ll be careful not to get caught, , I never ever really loved her to begin with but married her because she got pregnant.' Those reasons actually have little to do with you and everything to do with him. Cheaters tend to have little or no empathy for their partner and children (if they exist). Cheaters cheat because they are immature opportunists, with no sense of commitment, integrity, or self-control. As one writer put it, it is not that you are so special; it is that he is not. More tomorrow

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Onset of Depression

When do symptoms of depression tend to show up in males and females?

 For women, symptoms of depression are more likely to show up during teens and 20s, and around menopause. For men, symptoms of depression tend to show up at andropause in 40s and 50s (have a three times higher suicide rate). Estimates are that it can take 10 years and three different health-care professionals to diagnose depression in males. The good news: a brain that has been trained to respond with depression can be retrained … Tanzi & Chopra pointed out that: depression makes you overly sensitive to  small triggers, leading to a sense of helpless resignation. But if you act early, before you reach this stage, you have room to manage an everyday stress and the energy to carry out your decision to do so. Head the depression response off at the pass. 

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Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Types of Depression


Dysphoric disorder – episodes of depression that tend to occur with monotonous regularity

 Perinatal depression – full blown depression during pregnancy or during the postpartum period

 Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder – depression that is diagnosed in children and adolescents

 Seasonal affective disorder – annual depression during winter time when there is less sunlight (more in the North)

 Bipolar depression – episodes of very low moods

 Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) - a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years

 Psychotic depression – severe depression plus some psychosis (delusions, hallucinations)

Depression due to a loss (hopefully short term) as in death of a loved one, or loss of a body part, or injuries from an accident, etc.