April catch-up: Mental Health, Wellness, and Neuroscience

April catch-up: Mental Health, Wellness, and Neuroscience

Stress Awareness Month is the perfect time to explore the exciting discoveries in 2024 that reveal the complex and interconnected ways our bodies, minds, and even planet interact. So, let’s sit down with a Sentia, dig in, and perhaps come out understanding ourselves a little better. 

What’s your Anxiety? 

Firstly, recent studies have been peering into the complexities of anxiety, an emotion we’ve all experienced but may not fully understand. Scientists have been piecing together what anxiety really is, finding that it could stem from a misalignment between our physical states and our mental perceptions. With new insights, we’re beginning to see anxiety not as a monolithic experience, but as a spectrum influenced by myriad factors including our physiology and life experience. Researchers are also unravelling why anxiety affects people differently. It turns out, our genes, environment, and even our gut health play significant roles. This interplay can make some individuals more susceptible to anxiety than others. Such insights open the door to personalised approaches to managing anxiety, moving us towards more effective, tailored treatments. 

The Healing Touch 

Physical exercise and mental health have never been separate realms and recent research indicates that the benefit of caring for our body resonates deeply within our minds. Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience conducted a large-scale analysis to understand the benefits of touch on mental and physical health. They found that consensual touch can substantially improve physical and mental well-being by reducing pain, anxiety, depression, and stress in adults.

Picking apart Memory 

Our journey through the cerebral landscape brings us to an astonishing aspect of memory. Memories can vary in longevity, with some lasting a lifetime while others fade away. The dynamic nature of our brains is such that synaptic plasticity (the way the brain can strengthen or weaken neuronal connections over time) may involve the breaking and repairing of DNA as a way to form and preserve long-lasting memories. This finding not only adds a new chapter to our understanding of memory formation but also underscores the incredible adaptability and complexity of our brains.

A Climate of Change 

But the scope of our neurological health doesn't end there. Surprisingly, the shifting global climate has been linked to changes in how our brain functions. Researchers in the Pacific Northwest suggest that our cognitive processes and mental health may indeed be influenced by climate change, highlighting an unexpected intersection between environmental and neurological health. 

A little knowledge goes a long way 

We hope you’ve found our little news round-up enlightening. For more information on health, wellness & neuroscience, or how to shake up a Sentia cocktail or five, head on over to our journal and mixology pages, or check in on our socials.