Midweek chill out
We are life coaches and financial coaches here at Living Money. We want to do what we can to help you (whether you are a client of ours or not) to be happy, wealthy and effective.
This isn't easy if you are stressed, so take a few moments out with our midweek chill out, a short piece of laughter, music and something to help you think, for a while, about something completely different.
(There is an explanation for the science behind the laughs at the end of this post.)
Laugh out loud
We write this on Sunday, and this Sunday is Holocaust Memorial Day. Unlike For Armistice Day, where the last few minutes of the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth manages to be both funny and deeply respectful of, and a tribute to, those who died in the First World War, there is nothing to compare for today’s memorial, so we’ll leave it for this week.
However, we’ve selected this clip from Newsnight for music. Its a tribute to Anita Lasker-Wallfish, the ‘cellist of Auschwitz’ and included a short excerpt from Caroline Moorhead’s outstanding book ‘Village of Secrets’
The magic of music
Magic may not be the right word, but this clip shows how music can shed light in the darkest places
Something to think about
Caroline Moorhead’s book ‘Village of Secrets‘ tells the story of a group of villages on the high plateau Vivrais-Lignon southwest of Lyons, where the villagers risked their own lives to save jews, especially jewish children, from the Nazis. here is a brief extract taken from towards the end of the book, as life on the plateau become more and more perilous and difficult.
“With Nice occupied, and no safe zone left anywhere in France, the need for hiding places and for getting people across the border intensified dramatically. The Jewish scouts, the EIF, quickly closed their children’s homes and dispersed the 400 children there, taking them in groups of 10 to Loinger in Annemasse, though the former sports instructor was finding the task of negotiating the border ever more hazardous. ‘The entire Jewish community,’ wrote one woman later, ‘gradually built itself deeper and deeper into an underground existence.’ It had become, the rescuers told each other, a race against time, for the war was at last turning in the Allies’ favour; but how many people, and in particular how many children, could they keep safe until France was liberated? A sort of frenzy enveloped them all. They hardly slept, filling their days and nights with audacious plans, the forging of ever more documents, scouring the countryside for people still willing to help. ‘Whatever else we do,’ they repeated to each other, ‘we must save the children.’”
The science behind the laughs…
There is some good science behind all this. When you are in 'fight or flight' mode your adrenal glands secrete cortisol. This gives you the energy boost, reduced pain threshold and increased blood pressure to help you deal with the immediate situation. However, prolonged periods of high cortisol levels can have a distressing impact on your lifestyle and ability to perceive and understand your environment.
Cortisol release can be triggered by any number of stressful situations, including challenging work conditions, caffeine, a shortage of sleep, even travelling by train.
Researchers have found that laughter and music both help reduce stress hormones, hence our mid-week chill-out.
Seratonin is the neurotransmitter active in regulating your mood, appetite, sleep and memory. If cortisol is the stress hormone, then serotonin is the happy hormone!
Low levels of serotonin can result in feeling low, depression and anxiety. Keep serotonin levels up by eating bananas, dates, yoghurt, milk and seeds. Find the sun. Get a massage. Exercise and water are also important. Let your intuition tell you what your body needs to be happy and effective.
(With thanks to Amy Brann, neuroscientist and author)
Until next week…
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