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Quick bits of therapeutic info and learning, ideas, concepts, and quotes.
Brought to you by Better Wellness Naturally
1: Quick Article
"Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results."
- Robin Sharma
Always Fatigued? Three Top Reasons for Persistent Tiredness
Feeling tired all the time, also known as fatigue, is something many people experience, and it can have various underlying reasons (—and cause some serious ripple effects in our life and on our health.)
Sleep Concerns: Sleep is crucial for our physical and emotional well-being—more so than most of us understand. You may think you only require a certain amount of sleep because Dr. Google says so…however, sleep requirements truly do vary from person to person. Your ‘normal’ may equal hours more than someone else.
Medical Considerations: Medical conditions are often at the root of ongoing fatigue. Conditions such as anemia, thyroid disorders, and infections may impact your energy levels more than you realize. By discussing your medical history and symptoms, we can collaborate on identifying any potential underlying medical concerns and explore appropriate approaches to address them.
Lifestyle Choices: Our lifestyle habits play a significant role in our energy levels. Exercise is a must… are you exercising? Maintaining a balanced diet is hugely impactful, yet how many of us are on the grab and go with what we eat?
A Couple of Concepts:
*Fast Fun Facts About the Prefrontal Cortex:
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for complex cognitive functions, including decision-making, planning, and social behavior. One interesting fact is that this brain region continues to develop and mature throughout adolescence and early adulthood.
The prefrontal cortex is one of the last brain areas to fully develop, with its development continuing into a person's mid-20s.
This prolonged maturation period is thought to contribute to the typical characteristics of adolescence, such as impulsivity and risk-taking behavior, as individuals are still refining their ability to control impulses and make well-considered decisions during this time. (So, if you ever wondered why teenagers might sometimes make impulsive decisions, you can thank their developing prefrontal cortex!)
*And, While We’re At It…The Neocortex!
The neocortex is the outer layer of the cerebral cortex, and it is the most recent addition to the brain in evolutionary terms. It is responsible for higher cognitive functions, such as conscious thought, sensory perception, language processing, and reasoning.
The neocortex is much more developed in humans compared to other animals and is believed to be a key factor contributing to our advanced cognitive abilities.
Unraveling the Pleasure Chemical
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in various physiological and behavioral processes within the brain. As one of the most well-known brain chemicals, dopamine has garnered significant attention, sometimes leading to misconceptions about its functions.
At its core, dopamine is involved in the brain's reward system and plays a crucial role in motivation, pleasure, and reinforcement.
When we experience something enjoyable or rewarding, dopamine is released in specific brain regions, creating a sense of pleasure and reinforcing behaviors associated with the rewarding stimuli. This aspect of dopamine's function is often linked to its popular reputation as the "pleasure chemical."
However, dopamine's role extends beyond pleasure and reward. It also plays a role in various cognitive functions, such as attention, learning, and decision-making. Research by Wise (2008) suggests that dopamine modulates the saliency of stimuli, helping the brain prioritize and process information efficiently.
Dopamine is implicated in several neurological and psychiatric conditions as well. For instance, in Parkinson's disease, there is a significant reduction in dopamine-producing neurons, leading to motor impairments. On the other hand, conditions like schizophrenia have been associated with abnormalities in dopamine receptor function, leading to disturbances in cognition and perception.
The relationship between dopamine and mental health, particularly in conditions like depression and addiction, is complex and multifaceted.
While dopamine dysregulation has been linked to certain aspects of these disorders, it is essential to recognize that mental health is also influenced by a combination of biological, environmental, and genetic factors.
Wise, R. A. (2008). Dopamine and reward: The anhedonia hypothesis 30 years on. Neurotoxicity Research, 14(2-3), 169-183. doi: 10.1007/BF03033808.
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