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Christina Hendricks on Loving Your Body

Most famous as curvalicious Joan on Mad Men (and starring in two new movies), Christina Hendricks reveals her secrets for enjoying life.

Music and the Mind continued...

The importance of additional neural pathways can be likened to having alternative routes when driving on a traffic-jammed highway: "If you don't have another way to get where you need to go," says Hanna-Pladdy, "you just sit in the traffic jam."

For those like Hendricks who come to music later, says Hanna-Pladdy, "our study shows the most important element is the length of time the person studied music, rather than the age they started. So if one began in one's mid-30s and studied until age 65, that's a significant amount of time."

Perhaps even more important: "Music engages both hemispheres of the brain, it's not a drug, it has no side effects, and it's enjoyable." If Hendricks wishes she had more time to play music, she is a woman who otherwise has few regrets, thanks to discovering the secret to her own happiness. "I want to be a great actor and a great wife and a great friend, and that's what I focus on," she says.

"I don't sit around and think about myself too much."

Hendricks' Other Shortcuts to Serenity

Working 15-hour days doesn't have to result in climbing the walls at the end of them. Hendricks shares her surefire tips for feeling good, despite the daily pressure of to-do lists and stressors.

Unplug. Just because the world seems wired for Wi-Fi doesn't mean you have to use it. Hendricks spends her time on airplanes lost in books. "Reading a novel is such a treat for me," she says.

Skip the shower. Beginning each day with a bath is a soothing way to awake and doesn't need to take any more time than a shower. When it comes to de-stressing, "A hot bath helps for sure," says Hendricks.

Sleep in. Given the opportunity, Hendricks catches up on sleep. "If you let me sleep for 14 hours, I will do so without hesitation!" she says with a laugh.

Indulge in your comfort food. "For me, it's spaghetti with red sauce," says Hendricks. "It's not that hard to make, and it's one thing you can order from room service that they won't mess up."

Find a hobby you can enjoyat home. Hendricks chills out by knitting, which she calls "relaxing and meditative," as well as by listening to music and practicing her accordion.

Stay connected. The less time you have to catch up with friends and family, says Hendricks, the more you probably need them -- especially if they're hands-on. Says the actor, "My husband is good at rubbing my shoulders when I need it!"

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Reviewed on August 21, 2011

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