A Brain New Way To Work

Eve Abbott

Archive for February, 2010

I love it when science reveals something new that effects how we treat our selves at work. Our “second brain” is in our digestive system (or gut)!

So, butterflies in the stomach are an immune system reaction to stress. And who doesn’t have stress in their workday?  If you think  it doesn’t make any difference to your well being and mental functions if you eat a donut or a power bar, or herb tea instead of diet soda–this article may make you think again.

No one can take better care of you at work than you can!

Selections from the article follow and a link to the complete article is below:

Think Twice: How the Gut’s ‘Second Brain’ Influences Mood and Well-Being

The emerging and surprising view of how the enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just processing the food we eat. The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system, Gershon says. Scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around.

The enteric nervous system uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowels. Cutting-edge research is currently investigating how the second brain mediates the body’s immune response; after all, at least 70 percent of our immune system is aimed at the gut to expel and kill foreign invaders.

For the complete article see:

Comments are off for this post

Click here for my newest ezine  “Mastering Interruption Intervention”.

The following blog post is the best reason I’ve ever heard to keep photographs in your office. Not to mention your iPhone or whatever handheld you use.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to share some new research showing that  love can act as a powerful pain reducing brain drug. shows that the very sight of a loved one can ease your pain.

In the study, 25 couples in long-term relationships were brought to a lab, and the woman was subjected to a bearable but unpleasant burning pain.

Each woman was asked to rate her pain on a scale while holding her loved one’s hand. were surprised at the results.                (for full article click above)

“We indeed found that women holding their partner’s hand reported significantly less pain than holding a stranger’s hand or inanimate object,” said Master. “But what was really interesting was that we found equal results by using only photographs “. (Ed. of the beloved).

Surrounding yourself with pictures of your loved ones is  a simple, yet powerful way to help your brain and heart have a better performance day at work.

Comments are off for this post

A true story from my book: “When I was working as a lawyer in a windowless office, I got hellacious headaches and thought I was going crazy.  I went to a neurologist who told me the ‘flickering’ from the computer and fluorescent lights were slightly off—so my brain couldn’t handle the different flickerings. 

“I got full spectrum lights and the headaches disappeared.  Once I got an office with a window, I was able to have God-given ‘full spectrum’ light. I’ll never go back to no windows.”         Sandra Shepard, Esquire

 You don’t have to wait for a corner office with windows to improve your mental ability and energy levels!

Full spectrum light will change the way you work and reduce visual fatigue as well as lifting your energy levels. Our eyes are designed to work with sunlight and won’t tire as quickly with this energy-efficient light source.

It is scientifically proven that the quantity and quality of light plays a significant role in mood and work performance. Young people are more affected than elders but everyone responds positively to higher light levels.

Women are affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder) four times more than men. Female brains are not tricked by blue TV or orange bulb light into thinking it is summer all year long. 

I recommend full spectrum light for everywhere you read, write, do computing or close work of any kind. Just install the bulbs  in your office task-lamps. Quality light makes a difference in your attention span and helps keep your brain performing at your personal best!

Comments are off for this post