1. DECLUTTER YOUR MIND – Dr. Kate Mullin says, “I find that the more that is in my brain, the more frazzled I am and the less I actually do. So, write things down and get things off your brain. And then one by one you get yourself organized, you put a check in each box and that helps your brain just clear out and let’s you really focus on the present and not all the things you have to do in the future.”
  2. DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE – Dr. Peter McAllister says, “Music, art, reading, meditation, yoga, etc. It’s good for your brain.” Q. “How so, what’s going on?” A. “It actually reduces the pain areas in the brain. We’ve seen with functional MRIs and PET scanning an actual shrinkage in those areas that we know subserve pain when you’re doing pleasurable activities… So the opposite set of chemicals in the brain for pain are those for pleasure. And so pleasure, to some extent, can cancel out pain.” 
  3. DON’T TAKE MEDICAL INFO YOU FIND ON GOOGLE AS GOSPEL – Dr. Mullin says, “Having information at your fingertips is a blessing and a curse. It’s wonderful we can be proactive and look into things. But everyone has to keep in mind that Google did not get an MD. You have to read through the informaiton on the internet with a serious grain of salt. They often tell the worst case scenarios and that’s all you see.” Q. “The horror stories.” A. “The horror stories, right. People think this is so interesting, my story was so terrible, let me tell the world. And then for the reader who’s just sifting through, they’re just seeing one terrible story after another.”
  4. TAKE TIME TO BREATHE – Clinical psychologist Steven Baskin, PhD says, “Whenever you think of it, 20 minutes a day, 10 times a day, take a slow easy breath. On the exhale, let your jaw release, let your shoulders drop, kind of a nice abdominal breath and on the exhale release, slow down and take six seconds. It invigorates you, rejuvenates you and maybe once a day sit quietly for five minutes and do some slow, easy, rhythmic breathing.”
  5. GIVE YOUR BODY WHAT IT NEEDS – “8 real hours of sleep and it matters if it’s 12 to 8 AM or 2 to 10 AM. It really should be roughly the same 8 hours every night. Also, don’t skip meals, drink water consistently, try to keep your mood level consistent. Your body likes things to be consistent. So everyone should take that into the New Year,” says Dr. Mullin.

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Emmy-winning reporter Gillian Neff has been covering health topics for 16 years. She is currently a freelance reporter and anchor at News 12 Connecticut and also pursues her passion for medical news through Gillian Neff Health Reports’ blogs and videos.

Gillian Neff

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