Why Game of Thrones is Good For You
Have you, like me, started looking forward to Monday night? It’s become the beacon that offsets the Sunday blues, all thanks to Game of Thrones.
So what is it about the hit HBO series – set in the mythical, medieval land of Westeros – that has us in its thrall?
Could it be its ability to catapult us from our ordinary lives into a fantasy epoch; where we can forget, temporarily, our deadlines and to-do lists and lose ourselves in wonder?
When we fully immerse ourselves in an activity and lose track of time, we enter a brain state that health experts are just beginning to recognize as powerfully healing.
‘Do I have enough play in my life?’ That’s what patients need to ask themselves,’ says Dr. Bernie Siegel, best-selling author and cancer surgeon. ‘So find things that help you lose track of time. Because then you’re in a trance state, and that’s the healthiest state to be in.’
It sounds so simple, but with the relentless pressures of 21st century life many of us have forgotten what it means to let go.
Patients often ask Toronto-based physician, Dr. Alexander Mostovoy: ‘What should I do to relax?’
‘I encourage patients to remember a time when they were little – perhaps playing with a doll- when nothing else existed and they had no care. It’s about finding that feeling again, that’s your place of healing,’ says Mostovoy.
We tend to associate getting healthy with slogging it out at the gym and eating a joy-less diet, but the latest research is showing that giving in to pleasure can be just as important.
In fact, having a sense of joy is the second most important factor for predicting cancer survival, according to research from Sandra Levy, associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
In other research, ‘mirthful laughter’ has been compared to ‘internal jogging’ for its ability to lower stress, blood pressure and cholesterol.
INCREASE THE BLISS, FEEL BETTER
Find a Passion
‘You are generally healthier and more alive when you’re in love,’ says Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist who previously taught at Stanford.
In his latest book The Honeymoon Effect Lipton explains that when we’re in love the brain secretes neurochemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin and growth hormone into the blood. When these chemicals are added to cells in a laboratory, the cells exhibit robust, healthy growth.
Currently sleeping alone? Fear not.
These same chemicals can be unleashed by falling in love with a project or following a passion, according to Lipton. That could be as simple as starting a new exercise class, penning the first page of that book you’ve been wanting to write or even babysitting someone else’s puppy – surely the quickest way to induce that ‘fall in love’ feeling.
Enjoy what you Eat
How often have you said something like the following? ‘ I just look at a piece of chocolate cake and gain weight.’ According to Pam Grout author of the New York Times best-selling book E-Squared, we ought to watch our words rather than count calories:
‘What you think and say about yourself, your body, and your food is the hinge upon which your health turns.’
Not buying it? A landmark study from Harvard proved that mind-set matters when it comes to weight loss.
In the 2007 study, researchers informed one group of cleaners working in hotels that the work they did was good exercise. Subjects in the control group were not given this information. Although actual behavior did not change, 4 weeks after the intervention, those who were told their work provided a ‘work-out’ showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index.
Take away tip? Try swapping ‘it’s really hard for me to lose weight’ with ‘I’m getting fitter for summer’ and your subconscious at least will be on your side.
Try beating sugar cravings with these Paleo Banana Muffins with Raw Cacao and Walnuts
Make a New Playlist
I guarantee the process will make you:
A) reflect on happy memories associated with your favourite tunes
B) get your body moving first thing in the morning
C) incentivise you to have friends over for dinner/BBQ; and, according to research from best-selling author Lynne McTaggart, staying socially connected might be a better predictor of health and longevity than diet or whether you smoke.
Laura Bond is a freelance journalist, qualified health coach and author of the acclaimed book ‘Mum’s Not Having Chemo‘. She is now available for one-on-one health coaching sessions and specialises in foods to beat stress and anxiety and pre-natal nutrition. To find out more or to book a session go to www.laura-bond.com
Laura Bond is a journalist, author and health coach. She specialises in helping clients beat stress, reduce their toxic load and prepare their bodies for babies. To find out more, click here.