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The 180 Blog: Back to Basics

Our bodies and brains are integrated systems. In the Back to Basics blog series, Sheila Ohlsson Walker, Ph.D. illuminates how and why a handful of synergistic, simple, and scientifically grounded lifestyle choices offer protection from the novel coronavirus and fortify mental and physical health for life.

The Back to Basics blog series originally appeared in Turnaround’s 180 Blog and has been republished by Psychology Today.

Photo by Madison Lavern on Unsplash

The Recipe for Reducing Stress and Boosting Health

The first blog post in the series focuses on what we can do, starting right now, to emerge from this time of crisis with new lifestyle habits that will empower us and our families to flourish, mind and body, from now on.


 

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Mother Nature’s Magic Pill

The second in the series delves into the science of exercise. The biochemistry of exercise protects your body against illness and frees up the warm glow of your inner sunlight, providing a healthy dose of the most powerful of all vitamins – “Vitamin L” (LOVE!) – to yourself and the people in your life.


Photo by Vera Kratochvi

Why Sleep is the Clean-Up Crew for Your Brain

The third in the series explores the science of sleep. Our bodies and brains are integrated systems. Sleep deprivation spurs system-wide biochemical changes which, over weeks, months or years, can significantly impair our health, cognition and mood.


Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

Use Your Fork Wisely to Clean up Your MMES

The fourth blog post in the series explains how thoughtful nutritional choices can help supercharge the intelligence of our immune systems.


Photo by Bryan Hatton Photography

Why Meditation is a Medically Proven Vaccine For Chronic Stress

The fifth post in the series focuses on the science of meditation and its holistic benefits. As students integrate meditation and mindful breathing practices into their daily routines, they gain competence in mood regulation, improve relationship skills, and reinforce one of the most vital survival skills of all: resilience (The Three Rs).


Setting Gratitude As Your Magnetic North

The sixth entry in the series spotlights the healing qualities of gratitude. Gratitude is defined as thankful appreciation for what we receive – whether tangible or intangible. It is a vehicle that transports us into feeling that we are part of something larger than ourselves.


Photo by Andre Ouellet on Unsplash

The Neurobiology of Service — How 1+1 Can Equal 3

The seventh post in the series is about the emotional fueling power of service. By making service a part of your narrative, modeling it in your home, classroom, and community, you are a light to others who follow your lead.


Photo by NDABCREATIVITY

Back to Basics: Quality Time – How Connection Is The New Vitamin C

The eighth post in the series explains why spending quality time with those we love and ourselves is essential to our health. Whether in the workplace, at school, or home with our family, we social animals operate not in isolation, but in the context of relationships with others – where emotions are contagious – for better and for worse.


Photo by Strelciuc

Why Staying Close to People Who Feel Like Sunlight is as Important as Food and Water

The ninth entry in the series examines the important role of positive relationships in our lives. Like a game of neurobiological “tag,” positive human connection catalyzes a powerful chain reaction which enhances well-being, productivity and quality of life.


Photo by Vitaliy Melnik

Visualize Success – Start with Your Now to Create Your Future

The tenth and final post in the series explains how we can take the extraordinarily powerful, scientifically grounded lifestyle choices we’ve learned about over the past nine weeks and set them into motion, optimizing our best-possible-self capacities, and providing the sense of control that steadies our sea legs amidst stormy weather.