Reads for Wellness in 2017: On Telomeres, Behavior, and Brain Science.

We all start the year with resolutions to improve habits, accomplish goals, change the world, etc.  Many give up on their resolutions within 15 to 90 days of making them.  I recommend these three books to strengthen your resolve to be your best and achieve your goals in 2017.

1) The Telomere Effect by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel.  Dr. Blackburn won the Nobel prize for discovering telomeres and, the enzyme that maintains them healthy, telomerase. This book tells you about the telomeres, which are the end caps of your chromosomes. Telomeres are similar to the aglets at the ends of your shoe laces, as they shorten or brake with time the shoe lace ends become frayed and unusable.  The length of telomeres is directly associated with how we are aging and how long we live. People with longer telomere lengths live longer, conversely people with chronic health conditions have shorter telomeres. Inflammation, high oxidative stress, and high sugar and insulin, all  shorten telomere length. The data from this book shows evidence that environmental factors, such as prolonged caretaker stress, can also shorten telomere length.  Conversely, their findings suggest that healthy lifestyle and stress management protects telomeres from premature shortening (or aging) which translates to living a longer and healthier life.  By the way, I was gratified to find that my current and past yearly wellness advice pieces (advice link on this website beatrizolson.com) have been right on when it comes to actionable steps you can take to improve lifestyle, and now it turns out also to protect telomere length!

2) Changeology: 5 steps to realizing your goals and resolutions, by John C Norcross. This book shows evidenced-based approaches to changing habits and behaviors that are not supportive or conducive to your wellness and best health. Examples of these problems are not exercising, eating or drinking too much, spending too much, internet-related or other addictive behaviors, smoking, or whatever it is that gives transient reward, but is followed by negative feelings, regrets, and consequences. This book gives the tools to actively work through these conditioned or habitual behaviors over a 90-day period offering a higher likelihood of success. The data shows that 3 months are required to make new behavior changes become routine. See also www.changeologybook.com where you can learn if you are ready or not to begin to make change now!

3) Neurowisdom by Mark R Waldman. This, as are his other books, is a gem for learning the latest neuroscience behind behaviors, effect of stress, motivation or lack thereof, and how to retrain the brain to experience more happiness and pleasure despite past conditioning and inevitable stress. I know Mark personally as a friend and mentor. I have studied his work and recommended his work last year under links and recommended sites for 2016.  I fully endorse his mindfulness approach and efforts, work, and intension to help others. See also www.neurowisdom.com or http://markrobertwaldman.com

 

Posted in Book, Lifestyle, Mindfulness, Wellness & Prevention