Newsletter Archive

Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

The Professional Brain Newsletter Archives

Join the email list for a weekly nudge designed to help professionals enhance their brain health and mental strength.  

Processed Food Harms the Brain

A diet high in processed foods impairs cognitive function, likely by increasing inflammation.  Processed food also contributes to weight gain and the development chronic diseases.  Processed food contains high levels of refined carbohydrates (sugars and high fructose corn syrup), saturated fats, and minimal fiber.  Prior research has shown that processed

Read More »

Mental Strength Training Reduces Stress Hormones

The fight-or-flight stress response involves the release of stress hormones designed to help us rise to short-term challenges.  Persistent activation of the stress response, where the stress hormone cortisol is continuously released, causes numerous negative health outcomes.  Researchers examined the long-term impacts of consistent mental strength practices on stress hormone

Read More »

Blood Pressure Impacts Brain Age

Globally, about 31% of people suffer from high blood pressure, and 25-50% suffer from pre-hypertension.  All of these people are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.  Researchers examined the relationship between blood pressure and brain age, applying the validated BrainAGE Framework, using MRI brain scan data collected over

Read More »

Sugar May Cripple Exercise Benefits

Strong aerobic fitness is associated with longevity.  Exercise is the best way to improve aerobic fitness.  Scientists have discovered that eating sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods may make your workouts less effective.  Simple carbs include honey, high fructose corn syrup, and table sugar. Researchers used diet and medicine to

Read More »

Exercise Reduces Anxiety

Anxiety impacts about 10% of people, and about twice as many women suffer from anxiety than men.  People with anxiety often have other mental health issues, such as depression, as well as poorer physical health and a shorter lifespan.  Medications and therapy are sometimes unsuccessful in relieving all the symptoms

Read More »

Stress & Cardiovascular Health

The American Heart Association recently published a statement for the healthcare community about the impact of mental health on cardiovascular health.  An interdisciplinary panel of experts reviewed the research and discovered that mental health interventions can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The World Health Organization

Read More »

Memory Boosters

If your work requires memorization, findings from research may help boost your memory. Words spoken aloud were better recalled than words read silently by study participants.  Performance predictions, reflecting on whether you will remember something, improves recall.  The study asked half the participants to answer 6 questions that started with

Read More »

Power of Posture

Posture influences our mood, and negative emotions are associated with a stooped body posture.  Research has examined whether posture impacts emotion regulation and stress resilience.  Participants were asked to imagine a negative or neutral situation while sitting in a slumped, straight, or self-selected position.  People in a stooped posture experienced

Read More »

Resilience & Stress Exposure

Resilience is positive adaptation to adversity.  It has been considered an individual character trait.  Recent research explored resilience as a pattern of responses during ongoing challenges within a group culture.  A meta-analysis of 57 prior studies found that 66% of people responded with resilience to extremely challenging or traumatic events. 

Read More »

Meditation Enhances Mental Pliancy

Focused attention meditation can increase connectivity within and among brain networks.  Meditation involves sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing, noticing if your mind wanders, and then gently returning your attention to your breath.  Meditation has been shown to improve cognition in the elderly, anxiety in stressed out people, and

Read More »

Optimism is a Mental Superpower

Cultivating optimism can improve health and counteract the negative impacts of stress. The frustrations and the losses associated with the pandemic, racial violence, or wildfire smoke may have challenged your capacity for staying positive.  They may cause disenfranchised grief, which is a feeling of loss that is hard to understand

Read More »

Slow Aging with Adequate Sleep

Insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality have been linked to accelerated aging and increased risk of illness.  A healthy sleep duration is 7 or more hours of sleep.  Biological aging differs from chronological aging and involves increased risk for disease and early death.  A single night of partial sleep deprivation

Read More »

Join The Professional Brain Newsletter!

A weekly nudge designed to help professionals enhance their brain health and mental strength.  

The Professional Brain Logo

Copyright Debra Austin. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: