Heat, Anger & Appetite

Police staff have known for decades that aggression-based (violent) crimes increase dramatically in the hot summer months. The burning question is this: Why? Are summer months more stressful than the period of snow covered skies? The answer seems to be related to a small, but very important part of the brain called the hypothalamus. As ambient temperatures increase (causing fluctuations in body temperature) so to do tempers—sometimes violently (pay attention to the news, but more importantly, pay attention to your own emotional thermometer). It has also been noticed that people’s appetites tend to wane during the hot summer months and guess what part of your brain controls appetite? That’s right! The Hypothalamus. This small part of your brain controls both body temperature and appetite. But wait… there’s more: the Hypothalamus is also called the seat of the emotions for its role associated (in conjunction with the amygdala) with stress (specifically anger). The expression, “Chill out” takes on a whole new meaning with this knowledge. If there is a Bermuda Triangle brewing a perfect storm of stress, it’s the hypothalamus! The good news is that meditation seems to keep this part of the brain in check (balance), but you have to meditate regularly, you cannot just wish it.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Since the advent of air conditioning and its proliferation in the American society, we have seen a corresponding increase in obesity (a correlation you don’t hear about on the news!) Here is the connection. Restaurants know that people eat more when the temperature inside is cool so they often set the room temperature a bit lower than normal to help customers eat more food (more than they might otherwise!) Have you ever noticed this when eating out? Sneaky, huh? So consider choosing healthy restaurants that have outdoor seating and chose to sit outdoors (this way you are likely only to eat what you body needs and not pack on the calories to satisfy the temporary thermometer adjustments of the hypothalamus!).

• Links Worth Noting:
I just returned from the ISSSEEM (Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine Conference in Boulder, CO (where, by the way, the hotel conference center was more than cool. One lady I swear was suffering from hypothermia. Lynne McTaggert was one of the keynote speakers (Lynne had written the best seller, The Field and The Intention Experiment. She mentioned a few websites that I thought were worth checking out and so I wanted to pass them along to you (great conference by the way):

• Photo of the Day:
After many wonderful weeks of cool wet, spring weather here in Colorado, temps hit the low 90’s today and are expected to remain so all week (ergo the inspiration for today’s blog). To balance things out, I decided to highlight a photo of the cool Caribbean waters of the Bahamas (from 40,000 feet above while flying to the island of St. Lucia). Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:
“Gravity is not responsible for people falling in love.”
—Albert Einstein

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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