Habits To Keep Thrills Alive All Your Life

Why do the majority of people lose the joy of living that they displayed in our youth?

Is there a reason that there are so many grumpy old men?

Are the depressing lyrics of John Mellencamp’s song Jack and Diane a reality for most? – “Oh, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.”

Well researchers have been studying this and there is an excuse:-

An MRI scan study by the National Institute of Mental Health in the US has found that youthful joie de vivre depends on the number of reward circuits at the front of your brain that can become stimulated by dopamine, a key chemical reward messenger.

Apparently at my age – 60 – when I am undertaking a thrilling passtime only the parietal of my brain gets a rewarded with a dompamine shot – whereas those 20 year olds as usual get all the luck and have dopamine delivered to three areas of the brain – giving them their buzzy response to the stimulus.

Is there anything to be done? – (more…)

How Little Relatively We Know About The Brain

I seem to have had a week of listening to, watching or reading pretty highbrow stuff. 

Not deliberately – just seemed to have happened that way.  Probably chaos theory at work.

A friend lent me “A Brief History Of Time” just after Christmas so I decided it was about time (no pun intended) I read it.  My strongest subject at school was maths and so I had wanted for some time to check out this big time seller by Stephen Hawking.  The Easter weekend was therefore a mixture of Big Bangs, Black Holes and The Passion.

Then quite by chance lolling in the bath I caught a radio discussion on the M and String Theory.  Now – that is all about trying to get a ‘Theory of Everything’.  The 20th Century was dominated by Quantum Mechanics (the functioning of things that are very very small) and Einsteins Relativity (everything massively big – space, the bending of time  and all that)   (more…)

Changed My Mind – Meditation

There is an interesting discussion to be found at http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=239361 all about the differences between meditation, self-hypnosis and day dreaming.

In this scientific age we have to experiment and prove that things work before the professionals will take things on board.  The monks of Kathmandu and 10 million westerners who meditate every day will sware to the positive results they get from focusing the mind.

Professor Kathy Sykes  of Bristol University has known for a long time that she needed to find time in her frantic days and schedules to set aside 30 minutes for just lying and listening to music, or she would become grumpy, tired and unable to concentrate.

Kathy Sykes realised recently that she was in fact practising a crude form of meditation.   Scientist that she is she began to study the subject and discovered that there is growing evidence that this ancient practice can make people healthier, and happier.  It may even increase life span, alter brain structure and change personality.  (more…)