How to cope with stress?

On a daily basis, individuals confront unpleasant situations. They often find themselves at a cross roads where they have difficulties accomplishing the simplest of tasks.

Whether these situations are social or economic issues- they can be all linked to health problems.

For example, an individual’s appetite can become altered from consistent pressures of meeting deadlines or frustrations of being unable to complete several tasks on time. As a result they can become emotional, depressed, and paranoid. Chronic stress can develop and the human body can become affected mentally, psychologically, and physically for a prolonged time.

According to, Psychology Today, the human body reacts to threats by the process of “fight or flight,” response. The stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol play an essential role in the response to the threats. It prepares the human body to make an attempt to react to the negative threats by resisting them or by escaping the challenge. Psychology Today, has defined stress as a stimulus that can react not only negatively but sometimes also positively within us. The ‘acute stress,’ also known as ‘short-term stress,’ keeps us alert and awake. However, the long-term/prolonged or ‘chronic stress’ can be really harmful to our bodies.

There are a number of ways that help us to manage and prevent stress. It is proven that exercising helps us to improve the stress levels and prevents us from having anxiety or depression because endorphins are released into our body system that help us to cope with our daily concerns. Getting necessary sleep of eight hours is also vital for our health and well-being. Sleeping is associated with mental and physical performance.

Another method that facilitates in the stress reduction is to eat a healthy balanced diet. A diet composed of frequent small meals of antioxidants, vitamins, carbohydrates, amino acids and healthy fats. Carbohydrates’ role to produce serotonin serves in amelioration of our emotional state, hunger, sleep and acquiring knowledge. A Mediterranean diet in the Dr.Oz Show from the Director of Research, Marco Di Buono, Ph.D. is proven to be effective in reduction of stress but also in overall health. It consists of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and healthy fats. This diet lowers the risk of heart diseases, stroke, blood cholesterol levels, cancers and a large number of other diseases.

Buono M., (2011). Science of the Mediterranean Diet. Dr. Oz Show. Retrieved from http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/science-mediterranean-diet (Jan, 2014)

Stress. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/stress (Jan, 2014)

Nuclear Fusion- Power of the Sun

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National laboratory have just reached a milestone in the quest for nuclear fusion power. For the first time ever, they’ve been able to produce fusion reactions that produced more energy than put in by using a giant laser called the National Ignition Facility or NIF. This laser can use 500 trillion watts of power and was used by the researchers to compress hydrogen atoms together to form helium. However they haven’t been able to achieve “ignition”, the point where the reaction can match the entire power of the lasers being used to create it. Although nearly 2 mega-joules of energy are focused onto the target, only a small fraction of this energy reaches the hydrogen fuel.

So why should we care? Modern nuclear reactors employ nuclear fission. This involves the splitting of uranium atoms and utilizing the heat created by the splitting of atoms to produce steam which then generates electricity. This method of producing energy produces radioactive waste that must be buried as the technology to recycle and destroy them does not yet exist. Furthermore, nuclear fission reactors require the mining and enrichment of uranium. Nuclear fusion on the other hand doesn’t produce radioactive waste, creates zero carbon emissions and provides almost unlimited energy. Most importantly, there is absolutely no risk of a nuclear meltdown or release of radioactivity like nuclear fission reactors. This is because the conditions required to produce nuclear fusion are so stringent that if anything went wrong, the entire reaction would cease. Therefore there would be no radioactive decay.

Harnessing the true power of the sun is nuclear fusion. It is estimated that the obtainable hydrogen fuel reserves in the ocean would be able to power nuclear fusion for 150 billion years or 30 years longer than the Sun is believed to last.

Sources

http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sun.html#sunlife

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/giant-leap-for-nuclear-fusion-as-scientists-get-more-energy-out-than-fuel-put-in/

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/feb/12/nuclear-fusion-breakthrough-green-energy-source