🤗 Welcome to Akesio’s Newsletter! Every week, you’ll receive a short email about mental wellbeing - what science say, what tools and solutions can be of help and many other related topics. In another words you’ll learn more about how to improve your ‘feeling good’ potential and how to tackle stress more efficiently.
❗️Please keep in mind, that this is not a medical advice by any means and if you have any health concerns, you should talk to your healthcare professional.
💞 Not lastly, sharing is caring- if you like what you read, please share! It will be another way to spread love and inspiration to people around you.
Now let’s start learning a few things together!
How the stress can turn hair white
Do you know that hair can rapidly turn grey with stress, not only with age? Maybe the most famous story about it is the one of Marie Antoinette’s, whose hair went completely white on the night before her beheading. Although the mechanism is not yet fully understood, researchers from Harvard University have recently found new clues with this study: the melanocytes regeneration (melanocytes are cell responsible of hair colouring) is depleted by, besides ageing, chronic stress, notably via an over-activation of our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mode).
As with many changes in our bodies, we may wonder what about the possible evolutionary benefit of stressed-induced grey hair. We may have a clue in mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), which get grey hair on their backs after reaching full maturity and then become the group's undisputed leader. Does the fact that the animal has endured a considerable amount of stress in order to ‘earn’ grey hair confer a higher place in the social order than would ordinarily be given by that individual’s age? Does salt & pepper hair make us better leaders? :)
Philosophers’ wisdom for our modern life
One of the sources of our modern stress is the feeling that ‘the world is going crazy’, whether we’re talking about politics, climate or other societal challenges that affect all of us in one way or another. In this blogpost, the World Economic Forum highlighted several philosophers whose wisdom could help us live better in our crazy and changing world.
“But to change the world we may need a more active and combative approach. Instead of trying to escape from or accept what is happening, we can also – as Camus suggested – create a more meaningful world by becoming rebels and fighting injustice in all its forms”.
Mindfulness for a better brain
You might be aware of mindfulness benefits for stress reduction and relaxation. Here are a few more reasons to give meditation a try if it’s not yet part of your daily routine:
meditation increases your grey matter density according to this study- in other words, your brain become ‘thicker’, with more connections, and thus smarter
meditation may help catch your mental mistakes- not that you’ll make less mistakes if you meditate, but that you’ll identify them easier, which is already a big step in problem solving.
Thanks for reading and remember: Let’s fix stress together! Contact us if you want to share your experience about mental wellbeing or if there is any topic of particular interest for you that you would like to read about.
Love your health,
Doctor & Founder | Akesio
To learn more:
Avenuti, G. et al. Reductions in perceived stress following Transcendental Meditation practice are associated with increased brain regional connectivity at rest. Brain and cognition 139, (2020)
Heidt, T. et al. Chronic variable stress activates hematopoietic stem cells. Nat. Med. 20, 754–758 (2014)
Linder, J. 5 Ways Mindfulness Practice Positively Changes Your Brain. Psychology today (2019)
Navarini, A. A., Nobbe, S. & Trüeb, R. M. Marie Antoinette syndrome. Arch. Dermatol. 145, 656 (2009)
Madhumita Murgia. How stress affects your brain (2015)