In the book, GODDESSES NEVER AGE, which I've chosen to blog about here, Chapter Two focuses on the chemical Nitric Oxide (not Nitrous, which is a whole different thing) Nitric Oxide prevents stroke, and signals white blood cells to destroy tumors, and to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation, you might recall from our last discussion, is the base cause of most illnesses and cancers. Everything that can go wrong in the body seems to start out with inflammation.
And the way we stimulate our brain to release Nitric Oxide, is by experiencing pleasure.
Rushes of NO into our systems soften and expand our cell walls, increasing blood flow. It is what is released when someone takes a nitroglycerin pill to prevent a heart attack. It's what is released when someone takes a Viagra, too.
Nitric Oxide is even what makes fireflies light up!
The more frequently we flood our systems with this stuff, the softer and more flexible those cell walls become, and the healthier we get! Aging reverses as everything in the body heals.
And all of that happens when we experience pleasure.
What we really take away from this chapter is that it's extremely good for us to produce lots of this happy little helper. So we want to start doing the things that trigger our brains to order it up in massive doses. Nitric Oxide is produced when we experience joy, pleasure, laughter, orgasm, exercise, love. Eating fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants aids its production. So does meditation and so does petting your dog. Basically said, the more time you spend doing things you just love, things that give you a rush like nothing else going, the healthier you are going to be.
Who knew life could be this simple?
Exercise: Make a list of as many things that bring you JOY as you can think of. Put it where you can see it often. Add to it as new things come to mind. Whenever you get that feeling of “damn that was good!” remember to add that event to your list. And then try to spend more time doing more things that give you that feeling. I think we should experience a rush of pure joy several times a day, every single day.
Exercise: Begin each day with these three things: a brag, a thank you, and a desire. Each day say or post or write down or just think about something you're proud of (a brag,) something you're grateful for, (a thank you,) and something you want (a desire.)
Here are a few of the things from my list of things that bring me that rush of Nitric Oxide producing bliss and joy:
Listening to the peepers on spring evenings
Sitting outside with my first cup of coffee, early in the morning while birds sing like crazy
Good coffee and chocolate
Jogging. I get that runner's high.
Lakes and rivers and oceans
Finishing a novel
Playing music I love, LOUDLY
Rocking out in the car, dancing around the house
Listening to Abraham seminars
Summer nights that include campfires
There are lots more. Those were just off the top of my head. Tell me some of yours in comments or head on over to my Facebook Readers Group and we'll discuss it there!
As a bonus, I'm posting the Ted Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, who was mentioned in Chapter Two. Dr. Taylor is a neurologist who suffered a stroke and had the deepest insights of her life while it was happening. It's an amazing and inspiring talk and I hope you'll give it a listen.