I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for GOOD NEWS!!
I have good news. It comes from a study completed by Yoshihiko Koga, a professor at Kyorin University in Tokyo. He gave a group of people three spoons of ice cream to eat upon waking and then gave them mental acuity tasks to complete on the computer. The other group simply got up and completed the mental acuity tasks. And guess what?! Those who ate ice cream exhibited improved mental performance and faster reaction times than those who did not eat ice cream. They were better at processing information and exhibited an increase in alpha waves, which are associated with concentration, relaxation, and mental coordination.
Next, Professor Koga compared those who ate ice cream with those who had cold water to make sure the improved performance was not the result of being “shocked into alertness” by the cold of the ice cream. Once again, those eating ice cream performed better than those who simply had cold water.
Professor Koga believes the ice cream may trigger positive emotions and added energy, thus producing the results noted above. (Ahhh…ice cream does bring back wonderful memories and good feelings.)
Another study conducted by neuroscientists at the Institute of Psychiatry in London scanned brains of people as they ate vanilla ice cream. They found that eating ice cream immediately activated the same areas of the brain lit up by winning money or listening to a favorite piece of music. (Imagine how it would light up if we eat ice cream while winning money and listening to our favorite music.)
If you’re like me, you might be rejoicing that science has already shown what I have always wanted to be true: Eating ice cream is good for you. And, even better than I ever imagined, eating ice cream for breakfast is good for you!! Now that’s some good news. Maybe we should all give our children 3 spoons full of ice cream before they go to school in the morning. Can’t hurt, huh?
If you’re hesitant to go the ice cream route, remember that the researchers believed the ice cream had this effect because it triggered positive emotions. So, you can help your children prepare for the day by eliciting positive emotions in the morning. Make the morning a time of positive interactions. Here are some simple ways to do it:
- Lay out clothes and pack any necessary school supplies the night before so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning.
- If you’re not a morning person, get up a little earlier so you can be fully awake and pleasant before your child awakens.
- Keep the conversation encouraging, friendly, and supportive.
- Have a good breakfast. (Add some ice cream in if you want…it will really brighten your children’s morning!)
- Share a simple hug or some show of affection.
- And of course, break out the ice cream!