365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 186: Remember Our Friend, The Amygdala?


The little scaredy-cat, as Dr. Lissa Rankin called the amygdala, is responsible for the effects of stress in our bodies.

So what are we supposed to do with the stress, you will ask.

Life IS stressful, you will say.

And I will respond: life is life. What stresses us out is our uneducated ways of dealing with stress. Uneducated, because the vast majority of us were not educated with respect to understanding life and what we perceive as stress; we were not taught how to quiet our overactive minds and ease the grip of fear in our hearts.

And here’s the truth: most of us continue to ignore the fact that there are ways to learn how to live stress free.

We’ve heard about meditation, but we dismiss it as something out there; something that people with flowers in their hair would do, or the monks in the Himalayas.

How about if Harvard (you know, the actual Harvard University) says that meditation helps?

People taking part in an 8-week program of mindfulness meditation showed results under the MRI that astonished even the most experienced neuroscientists at Harvard University:

“… reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress.”

Our little friend the amygdala gets happier and healthier when we meditate.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 185: Still Running Away From A Tiger?


I am sure that this is not news to you: you’ve heard about the effects of stress on your health.

But here’s how Lissa Rankin M.D., author of ‘’Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself ’’ explains it in a few short and clear sentences:

“The stress response is there to protect you in case a tiger chases you. But these days, we’re pretty safe from tigers, and yet our stress responses get triggered, on average, over 50 times per day. How? The amygdala in your lizard brains perceives negative thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, such as financial fears, relationship worries, work stress, loneliness, or pessimism, as threats equally scary as a tiger. Then boom. The scaredy-cat amygdala goes on red alert, and when this happens, our bodies can’t repair themselves.”

Stress will not let your body heal. A flu will take you down for a few weeks, a broken bone will take too long to heal and if you need to start healing something bigger than a flu or a fracture, you will run out of resources unless you find efficient ways to deal with the stress in your life.

How do you deal with stress?

Let’s share ideas tomorrow.