Music is a universal language and is listened to, interpreted, and performed around the world. Every culture adds different genres to the ever-growing span of music. People use music as a tool to communicate a range of feelings; for example excitement, love, anger, and sadness. A song can hold unique meaning for each individual performing or listening to it. Music can also be used as a tool in therapy. “Music therapy is a very popular relaxation technique. In a national study called the Mitchum Report on Stress in the ‘90s, over 75 percent of those questioned indicated that listening to music was their most common way to reduce stress” writes Brian Luke Seaward (“Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being”). He also notes music’s ability to work as a coping technique- increasing the conscious awareness of a person’s inner self, and its ability to enhance creativity through spontaneous mental imagery. Mental imagery occurs when you close your eyes while listening to music and let your mind freely visualize the pictures that come to mind, as well as the feelings. This exercise makes music a fantastic relaxation technique. Music also has the potential to:
Ease pain: Music reduces the perceived intensity of pain you feel when working out.
Increase motivation: Upbeat music can encourage you to keep going and boosts your physical endurance by 15%.
Improve sleep quality: Listening to classical music has been shown to effectively treat insomnia.
Elevate mood: Music helps people get in touch with their feelings and, depending on the kind of music, can relieve symptoms of depression.
Improve cognitive performance: Listening to music while you do homework can put you in a calm state and enable you to do well in high-pressure situations.
Whether it is during a road trip across the country, on an afternoon walk, or if you happen to be relaxing in a quiet place, put on some music during Spring Break and experience its therapeutic effects. Let the music can inspire you and encourage you to persevere through the rest of the semester!
Read more about music’s unexpected health benefits from Greatist here.
MSU’s Health4U sponsors “Rest with Music” sessions, a collection of live performances to promote relaxation and health. You can find more information here.
Here are some songs to get you started. Enjoy the tunes!
1/2 cup drained, thinly sliced jarred roasted red peppers
1/2 cup sliced pitted Spanish olives
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup shredded Manchego
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. chopped Marcona almonds
1. Place an oven rack 3 inches from heat source; preheat broiler. Brush bread with oil and broil, flipping once, until lightly charred on both sides, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Leave broiler on.
2. In a bowl, mix tuna with lemon zest and juice and reserved tuna oil; gently break into large flakes with a fork. Fold in peppers, olives and onion; mound onto toasted bread. Top with cheese. Broil just until melted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with chives and almonds; serve.
Check out a large array of other great recipes at Health.com!
Knowing yourself is the first step to living a healthy lifestyle, and the best way to be healthy is to eat well and exercise.
February 23rd to March 1st is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and unfortunately over 30 million men and women suffer from an eating disorder. “The public at-large is uneducated about the prevalence of a disease that is taking the lives of beautiful and intelligent men, women and children. The lack of education is allowing the perpetuation of unhealthy body images.” writes Samantha Artley. (Read more in this thought-provoking State News article). Eating disorders have many root causes, but they could be reduced if more people are educated on the proper ways to sustain a healthy weight and to cook well. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder please take a minute to check out the resources offered by the MSU Counseling Center.
I am the first to admit that I sometimes substitute granola bars for breakfast when I’m running out the door for campus, or a quick bowl of honey bunches of oatsinstead of making a ‘real’ dinner when I get home late. When my days are already scheduled down to the minute with research team meetings, thesis writing, teaching and class it is difficult to find time to grab a snack let along figure out what I’m going to make for dinner later that day. But taking the time every weekend to plan my meals and grocery list helps me avoid the last minute unhealthy meal choices, stress, hunger and overspending.
So what should you do? PLAN IN ADVANCE!
Experts have shown that having your meals planned in advance helps you make good food choices in the long-run. When you are on-the-go and have large stretches of time before your next meal the best way to keep energy is “to plan well-rounded meals with a good amount of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to satisfy hunger and keep you full for hours”, says Tina Haubert of Health.com. When your meals are planned ahead of time you can be sure to include the proper amount of food from each food group. Planning meals and having a set shopping list will also help you save money on groceries because you won’t end up buying foods you don’t need. Here is a round-up of a few websites devoted to help those who are planning meals and shopping on a budget:
The Best Ways to Plan Healthy Meals: Steps on how to incorporate the necessary protein, fiber, and healthy fats into your meals.
Be creative! There might be a new recipe or meal you try that you don’t like, but that’s okay. Buy your standard ingredients and have fun putting different meals together. Perfecting these meals gives you a chance to invite friends over and cook for them, not to mention it helps you to fully capture your inner foodie.
When people eat well-balanced meals they have maintain strong bones, have a reduced chance of heart disease, gain a sense of well-being from having more energy and reduced anxiety and depression, and improve their self-esteem. We hope that these tips and tricks for meal planning will be simple and helpful ways for grad students to keep their health a priority in the busy life of graduate school.
Health.com features this healthy brownie recipe where the sugar content is half of what is found in a normal brownie recipe, but the chocolate is just as delicious as always.
Nonstick cooking spray
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
2 teaspoons 1% low-fat milk
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt butter with chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove pan from heat, and stir in sour cream, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until well-combined. Stir in flour, salt, and chocolate chips.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake in middle of oven until a toothpick comes out clean (about 35 minutes).
4. Cool brownies in a pan; cut into 16 squares. Melt butterscotch chips in a small pan over low heat, stirring (about 4 minutes). Add milk, and whisk until smooth. Pour butterscotch into a ziptop plastic bag; snip end off one of the bottom corners. Stack brownies (2-4 in each stack); drizzle each stack with butterscotch.
Check out a large array of other great recipes at Health.com!
Love is part of human nature. It is what drives us and what gives our lives meaning. For many it is unexplainable, a feeling or an action, that brings great joy. Yet much of the time people scoff at the idea of love, because to them it represents only romantic relationships. The majority of people write off the holiday as one that only couples can enjoy. Yet we want to urge readers to realize that other relationships and passions are equally as important. Love can appear in a variety of forms and Valentine’s Day works is a great excuse to recognize and appreciate it.
Interpretations of love are unique to each individual. When asking co-workers about their ideas, I was struck by how far-reaching the landscape of love expands. Some defined love as action, taking your passions and doing something with them while expressing the inner-workings of your soul. Others described their love of nature, for the tranquility and peace that it brings. Some linked love directly to empathy and kindness, respecting all people and treating them with compassion. Love is found with family, while reading a good book, when outside taking a hike, or in pursuing a career path. Love is found in the simple moments and in the grand gestures. Love boils down to comes down to your relationships with others and with yourself. Social connections give us a sense of belonging; reaching personal goals gives us self-worth; both of these things are rooted in love.
How can love be cultivated? People can look for love in each area of their lives; the physical, emotional, mental, activities (both occupational and intellectual), and spiritual sectors, says Huffington Post blogger Robert C. Jameson. “I want you to look at what we can do more of and what we can do less of in these basic areas of our lives to create love and joy”. He suggests that people take the time to realize what makes them happy, and what things are harmful to this happiness. (Read more of his blog here: http://huff.to/1nyLngb). However, doing self-reflection and pursuing new things takes risk. Make yourself vulnerable. Being vulnerable is what opens us up to pursuing certain goals and discovering our true passions. What is love without a bit of risk?
Love can seem like the most natural thing in the world at times, but in other moments can be extremely difficult to maintain. Love has the potential to fail regardless of the time and effort we invest. We need to realize this and grow from it.
Love is essential to human existence. Therefore we urge you to spend the day doing meaningful actions of love in any of its forms. Most importantly love yourself, do something you love each day, recognize your strengths and cultivate them to be the best you can be. Celebrate love today in all of its forms and Happy Valentine’s Day!
“Here’s my secret. It’s quite simple: one sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”- Antoine de Saint Exupery
Did you miss Dr. Lori Badura’s brown bag talk on transitioning from academia to industry on January 24th? Not to worry, thanks to the MSU Alumni Association you can watch the recorded presentation here!
Lori Badura graduated with a doctorate in neuroscience from MSU in 1988. She spent the early part of her career in academia specializing in reproductive neuroendocrinology, first at the University of Connecticut where she was on faculty in the Neurobiology and Physiology department, and then at the State University of New York at Buffalo where she was head of the Behavioral Neuroscience Division. She subsequently moved to an industry position with Pfizer where she held positions in both discovery and clinical development functions from 2001-2011. She was instrumental in launching Translational Medicine as a discipline at Pfizer, and served as Head of the Translational Medicine line within the Neuroscience Research Unit from 2009-2011. She has a global reputation as a leader of Translational Medicine initiatives across numerous therapeutic areas, with expertise in neuroimaging, genomic, and proteomic platform biomarkers. Since 2011, she has pursued career opportunities in Business Development functions, and currently serves as the Director of Search and Evaluation for Neurology at EMD Serono. In this role, she applies deep scientific knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases and her experience across the drug development process to identify high value assets with potential for addressing significant areas of unmet medical need, with special emphasis on neurological disorders such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease, and Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy.
Any questions? If so, please contact PhD Career Services at 517-884-1332 or 884-1344. Additional information can be found by clicking on the icons below: