The Least Stressful Way to Get Rid of Stress


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Tons of products and treatments in the wellness category seek to treat stress and inflammation with everything from relaxing massage to acupuncture to restrictive anti-inflammatory diets. But in doing so, it’s easy to fall into fear-based marketing. What happens when I can’t follow a restrictive anti-inflammatory diet? Once, when I asked a paragon of alternative health this very question, she shrugged, “You don’t really have a choice.” Cortisol shot up my spine like a geyser.

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Brennan Kilbane — GQ

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The Surprisingly Intolerant History of Milk


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But even with these deep cultural connections, milk held a peculiar status among early civilizations. The Greeks castigated barbarians for their gluttonous desire for dairy, and in Rome, milk was widely regarded as low-status food because it was something only farmers drank. Northern Europeans would earn similar ridicule for their love of reindeer milk, and Japanese Buddhists later rebuked Europeans as “butter stinkers.”

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Daniel Fernandez — Smithsonian

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The Alzheimer’s enigma


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The cause of Alzheimer’s still remains a mystery. Are we nearer to figuring it out?

Those who have lost a relative or friend to Alzheimer’s disease often say it is as if the person dies twice – the mind first and then the body, unaware of who they are, what they are or where they are. Faced with a disease that traps people in their own degenerative brain, our inclination might be to reconstruct that disease in all its complexity in the hope of understanding it. But scientists will tell you that what you really need to do is construct a thread that will guide you out of the labyrinth.

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Michael Regnier — Mosaic

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When a Stress Expert Battles Mental Illness


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Mental illness is an illness. It can happen to anybody. A stress expert shares his experience.

Even so, it’s hard to come to terms with an illness that affects my mind. When I injure my body, it’s easy to say “my calf is pulled” or “I have a stress fracture in my heel.” But if I don’t have control over my mind, I can’t help but wonder who am “I.” I’ve found some consolation in meditation, which has helped me realize that perhaps “I” am the awareness that lies underneath not just physical pain, but also thoughts and feelings.

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Brad Stulberg — Outside

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IN SOLITUDE WHAT HAPPINESS?


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Have you ever felt an inexplicable sadness because you were alone? I felt such a sadness on a weekend when I was in London away from my family during Holi, one of the biggest festivals in India.

We live in a society that admires independence but derides isolation. Yet for many old people the two go hand in hand. Back in the summer of 1960, following the death of his wife, Joy, C.S. Lewis wrote of the agony of becoming a free agent. “I’d like to meet,” he wrote to Peter Bide, the priest who had married them, “for I am – Oh God that I were not – very free now. One doesn’t realise in early life that the price of freedom is loneliness. To be happy is to be tied.” This was exactly Barry’s experience. He finds it hard to say where grief ends and loneliness begins, but together he experienced them as “a penetrating hurt that doesn’t dissipate – a mental thing that becomes physical and robs you of all motivation. I got very near to losing the will to live: despair is always knocking on the door for the lonely.”

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Maggie Fergusson — 1843

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How to Accept Anxious Feelings So You Can Let Them Pass


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This last one is the most difficult but the most important. Often anxiety is so painful that we become fascinated, obsessed even, with understanding and solving our worries. We want to get rid of the pain of anxiety as soon as possible.

Sometimes this is useful, as we come up with strategies to manage our emotions, but a lot of the time it validates the power of our anxiety and adds fuel to the fire. The mind will only focus on what it values; if you can manage to become bored with your anxiety, it will loosen its grip on your life.

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Benjamin Fishel — Tiny Buddha

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The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease


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We all know this intuitively, but ignore the consequences of excess stress.

These effects of stress exist on a bell curve — that is, some is good, but too much becomes bad: As the nervous system secretes more and more stress hormones, performance increases, but up to a point; after that tipping point, performance begins to suffer as the hormones continue to flow. What makes stress “bad” — that is, what makes it render us more pervious to disease — is the disparity between the nervous system and immune system’s respective pace.

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Maria Popova — Brain Pickings

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