Mind – New Research Focuses on the Power of Physical Contact – NYTimes.com

Mind – New Research Focuses on the Power of Physical Contact – NYTimes.com.

“Momentary touches” lead to clear, almost immediate changes in how people think and act.  This was one of the topics “touched on” at the Healing the Brain seminar from which I just returned.  In fact, if you combine the sense of touch with the sense of smell, you can increase your dopamine levels 400% within minutes, and it will last about an hour.  Any fragrance will do as long as it is something you enjoy: an essential oil or a loaf of fresh bread.  (more on this approach shortly, in another blog)  Pleasurable visual, auditory or touch also instantly increase serotonin levels, making us more relaxed, motivated and happy.  And enhanced stimulation also improves brain function: increasing cortical thickness, synaptic connection, and neurotransmitter and receptor levels.  That means improved learning and immune response, and decreased anxiety.

More and more, we are learning that brain structure can continue to be modified in positive ways long after development is complete.  One of the simplest ways to boost both your mood and your brain health is to enjoy pleasurable sights, sounds, touch, and fragrances.  I can’t imagine a simpler prescription, so what are you waiting for?

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