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But, these are not your life. Just parts of it. You are an expert on one thing in the Universe. YOU. Who else, after all, could you ask if you want to find out what makes you happy? So what does make you happy? The things that you have come up with on your list are a clarification of your values. Value systems also evolve as we develop. At one end of the scale are short-term survival values based on "dog eat dog" and at the other, a more global understanding. You will need to be in alignment with your values to get you happiness, but just because you are, doesn't mean that you will be happy. You will need to decide on your direction. And you will find that happiness is more readily achievable when your movement is in line with your values. So, are you moving in a direction that is making you happy? Are there adjustments that you want to make? Have you noticed how often you label these adjustments as "problems"? So, what is an alternative? It's when you have an attitude that "problems are opportunities in disguise" that you can look upon them differently. Problems are situations. Every action you take is not certain to give you want you want, but when you take action in the right direction, you are more likely to get it. But, how do we know that walking has all these multifarious benefits for our minds, bodies and quality of life?

What's the evidence? The evidence is extensive and, as we will see in the course of this book, shows that walking enhances every aspect of our being, from our physical health, to our mental health, to our social lives and beyond. This may seem an obvious point, but when we're walking our brains are in motion too. In fact, as we shall see, we evolved as a mobile species: we walk about, we move, we seek new sources of information from the world. In other words, we are not just brains locked in a skull, we are minds in motion - we are cognitively mobile'. <a href=''>The</a> study of how we think, how we reason, how we remember, how we read, how we write, is known as the study of cognition. <a href=''>Typically,</a> the scientific investigation of cognition occurs in a laboratory, using carefully controlled experiments and a range of methods and tests that measure cognitive abilities. <a href=''>Almost</a> anything that moves in a reliable and consistent way can probably be measured somehow. <a href=''>The</a> movements made can be various and manifold. <a href=''>They</a> might be the pattern of eye movements that a person makes: where they look, and for how long, at particular locations on the screen can be captured; the rapid flickering of increases and decreases in pupil size might be measured; the electrical responses of the brain might be analysed; reaction times might be assayed; how much the person fidgets in the experimental chair ascertained. <a href=''>And,</a> in the latest generation of experiments, participants might perform these complex tasks while lying in a brain-scanning machine, which uses a variety of advanced methods to measure and to localise activity in the brain associated with the performance of a particular cognitive task. <a href=''>If</a> glucose levels in our bloodstream are too low, such as when we are exercising or have not eaten for a while, glucagon is secreted by the pancreas to release stored glucose from the liver into the bloodstream. <a href=''>Insulin</a> and glucagon must always be in proper balance. <a href=''>When</a> one hormone goes up, the other goes down. <a href=''>Carbohydrates</a> stimulate the release of insulin. <a href=''>Dietary</a> protein stimulates the release of glucagon. <a href=''>Without</a> adequate levels of glucagon you will feel hungry and tired because you are not getting enough fuel. <a href=''>If</a> we eat a proper balance of protein to carbohydrate at every meal and snack, we can keep our levels of glucagon and insulin in balance. <a href=''>When</a> these two hormones are in balance, blood glucose is stabilized and our bodies will perform optimally. <a href=''>Your</a> glucose levels should be tested yearly. <br /><br /><a href=''>Fasting</a> blood glucose levels should be maintained in the proper range. <a href=''>If</a> you are producing excess glucose, you are considered to be hyperglycemic and if you have insufficient glucose in your bloodstream, you are considered to be hypoglycemic. <a href=''>Keeping</a> glucose in the healthy range is imperative to your health and to avoid age-related diseases. <a href=''>Again,</a> the same goes with any other thing you want attract: success, money, great friends, and so on. <a href=''>Make</a> it a habit to be fully aware of your finances: check your account activity regularly, create an excel-sheet of your expenses, etc. <a href=''>Make</a> it a habit to always carry money in your pocket. <a href=''>Place</a> a dollar bill on your desk where you can always see it. <a href=''>Do</a> things that make you feel abundant in some way: go to the mountains, the sea, forests, look at the stars. <a href=''>These</a> actions may seem quite small, yet it is the cumulative effect over time that is very beneficial for attracting what you want. <a href=''>Studies</a> have shown that overweight people who follow a moderate diet containing a lot of nuts like almonds lose more weight than people who do not consume nuts. <a href=''>Eating</a> small snacks once or twice a day helps control cravings and keep your body satiated. <a href=''>Carrots</a> and hiker nut mixtures containing dried fruits and seeds are excellent choices. <a href=''>Studies</a> have shown that the more you eat in the morning, the less you eat in the evening. <a href=''>Also,</a> you will have many more opportunities to burn the calories you consumed during the day than during the night! <a href=''>The</a> feeling of cleanliness and freshness after brushing your teeth will send a signal to your body and your brain that it is no longer time to eat. <a href=''>You</a> will have less desire to give in to your greed and you will lose weight. <a href=''>Actions</a> which require a lot of effort or getting out of your comfort zone can have a much bigger positive effect. <a href=''>It</a> is best to take at least some small action every day in addition to acting AS IF. <a href=''>The</a> more regular you do youraligned' actions, the better. And as an aside, taking aligned action is also pretty good for raising your energy level and increasing your personal power.

More on that later. Have you ever had a problem that was hanging around for a long time? Did you realise that it is necessary is to move on to a positive alternative to solve it? If you don't you will remain focused on the problem or, in this example, the title of one the book "Don't think of Purple Spotted Oranges!" Have you ever gone to a shop without a list? Did you end up getting things that you didn't really need? This is similar. So, what do you want to change? It is very simple when you start with a clear problem or issue to reach a stage when you can take action. If you are at all wishy-washy at the start, you will only get a watered down result. There are two principal methods of brain imaging. The first and by far the most popular is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which comes in two principal flavours: functional (thus, fMRI) and structural (sMRI). MRI is a medically safe, non-invasive procedure that allows you to (in principle) see the brain at work with details down to the millimetre. The other major brain-imaging tool is positron emission tomography (PET), which involves the injection of radioactive tracers into the blood, and mapping their uptake in differing brain regions during differing tasks. PET is a technique with comparatively poor spatial localisation, compared with MRI, and is a little unpleasant, especially if you have a needle phobia. PET has found specialised uses particularly in the development of new drug treatments for brain and other disorders. MRI, by contrast, does not involve any injections, and offers much greater localisation in terms of structure and function. MRI and PET have allowed us an unprecedented view of the brain at work - and especially of the human brain at work. Let's now imagine you are asked to participate in an fMRI experiment. You are placed on the bed of the MRI scanner, and slowly inserted into the bore at the centre of the machine. First up, an sMRI: a picture of multiple slices through your brain, to check that there are no abnormalities or other problems present.

Assuming this goes smoothly, you will then be instructed in the task you will perform in the fMRI. Here, you will first gaze at a small cross on a screen (this is called eye fixation), and then you will be asked to perform a task. Keeping to the theme of this book, this task might be a spatial navigation task. You might have a joystick, and you have to find your way around a complex three-dimensional maze. We can predict, based on what we know from experiments on rats and on humans, that we will see a very high degree of activity in the hippocampal formation, as well as activity in brain regions involved in motor movements. How do we show there is activity in the hippocampal formation, specific to the task, and not to other aspects of the task? Here is where control experiments are absolutely essential. Often, a subtractive logic is employed: task-irrelevant activity is subtracted from the task of interest. You might ask the subject to move the joystick according to a verbal instruction, but not while exploring the maze, so that they are engaged largely in visuo-motor behaviour. Cortisol is considered to be one of our major hormones. It is often called the stress hormone because this is the hormone released by the body in response to stressful situations. Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands which are small glands located adjacent to the kidneys. A little stress is good for the body because it stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Our bodies need cortisol to be able to cope with stressful situations. Without some stress, the adrenal glands would begin to atrophy and reduce production of cortisol. But too much stress is not a good situation. If our bodies remain under constant stress for long periods of time without the opportunity to recover, the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, become overworked and eventually burn out. Cortisol production is stopped. It is important to keep this hormone in balance. Cortisol levels that are too low can cause us to become irritable, lethargic and extremely fatigued.