The Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Body

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The Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Body

Everyone deals with stress some of the time. One of the most popular times? The holidays. Gifts to buy, meals to cook, family drama to dredge up again. It can be a lot to handle. Most of us probably know the telltale symptoms of stress: muscle tension, headaches, sleeplessness, irritability. But it has some more surprising and insidious effects, too.For example, did you know that there's a scientific link between stress and acne? Stress creates an inflammatory response, which can cause otherwise harmlessly clogged pores to turn red and trigger the production of pus, creating unsightly zits. This inflammatory response can also make you more susceptible to colds and other illnesses, according to a 2012 study in PNAS.

Postprandial Somnolence Is The Scientific Term For Food Coma

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Postprandial Somnolence Is The Scientific Term For Food Coma

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" That's how it starts. How it ends: a nap on the couch, or at least a very unproductive afternoon. In everyday language, it's known as a food coma, carb coma, or the itis. In scientific terms, it's called postprandial somnolence ("postprandial" means after a meal, "somnolence" means drowsiness. Scientists are so fancy). But why does it happen?

Mirror Neurons Activate With Your Actions And The Actions Of Others

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Mirror Neurons Activate With Your Actions And The Actions Of Others

In the 1990s, Italian neuroscientists discovered something amazing in the brains of macaque monkeys: there were motor (movement) cells that activated the same way when the monkeys did something as they did when the monkeys watched others do the same thing. They called these "mirror neurons." The idea is that when you watch someone else pick up a glass, kiss a loved one, or perform any other action, mirror neurons are making your brain simulate that activity; acting as if you were doing it yourself even when you're standing still. Other scientists quickly began studying their role in all sorts of areas, from empathy to autism.

Animals Can Be Born With Two Heads

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Animals Can Be Born With Two Heads

You might want to sit down for this one... two-headed sharks are very much a thing. But before you cancel your holiday beach trip for fear of a JAWS-style attack times two, know that the likelihood of a two-headed shark birth is 0.13 percent, and if the shark actually survives, its life will almost surely be brief. Quick—re-book those flights to Florida!The biological phenomena of animals being born with two heads is called dicephalia. Although rare, two-headed animals have been documented since the 1800s. A producer named Todd Ray actually has the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of two-headed animals, including a two-headed goat and a two-headed albino hog-nosed snake. So what causes this defect—could it be man-made?

Neuroscientists Found The Most Relaxing Song

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Neuroscientists Found The Most Relaxing Song

How do you manage your stress? Maybe you blow off steam by going on a run, or practice the art of mindfulness with meditation or a yoga class. You might know that music therapy has been proven effective in managing stress, but did you know that neuroscientists have determined the most relaxing song? Give it a listen in the video below, then decide if you agree with their findings.The song is "Weightless" by English ambient music band, Marconi Union. UK neuroscientists from Mindlab International conducted a study where they instructed participants to solve difficult puzzles while they were attached to sensors. While the puzzles did their magic raising the participants' stress levels, the scientists measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International explains to Inc. that "Weightless" "produced a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date," dropping participants' anxiety rate by 65 percent.