Source: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: What people who are right a lot do differently
Source: 15 Common Cognitive Distortions: https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-cognitive-distortions/
People who are right a lot change their minds! They aren’t rigid thinkers who get stuck in the details that only support their opinion. They don’t feel a deep need to be right and argue for a position just because they came up with the idea. They can be flexible in their thinking and adjust their thinking and behaviors when they encounter new information or perspectives.
The need to always be right is also a cognitive distortion that can hamper our ability to be effective decision-makers and leaders in our diverse communities. The need to always be right, may also cause stress in relationships too when we favor our own feelings at the expense of reality–reality, perhaps offered in the form of an alternate perspective from a friend, co-worker, or family member.
At the end of the day, we need to understand that we don’t know it all, we need to consider the experiences of people not like us, and practice being flexible thinkers, because ultimately these traits only benefit us and our communities.
Source: If You Can Do This Many Pushups, You’ll Probably Live Longer
Imagine being part of a group that had a 96% less chance of getting heart conditions! I’d jump at that! Although being able to perform a bunch of push ups doesn’t guarantee that you’ll avoid heart conditions, it seems likely to decrease the odds. So, get out there and do some pushups, eat healthy foods, and take care of your mental health. After all, exercise has long been associated with improved mood and overall psychological well-being. If you can avoid heart problems, why not add this exercise to your routine?
Together, the studies offer a strong argument that seasonal mood changes, which affect about 1 in 5 people, have a biological cause.
This is great new if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because biological causes can be treated, and hopefully in the future, cured. The research supports light therapy as the treatment of choice–a treatment where you are exposed to light from a lamp, which over time improves mood. Now researchers know why: there’s a biological circuit triggered by photoreceptor cells in the eye. Evidently, there are at least three types of cells in the retina: rods, cones, and photoreceptor cells not found in rods and cones. It’s the third type of cell that holds the key to mood because it triggers the brain. So, if you get moody in the winter, there’s a biological cause that can be treated by more light. This is just one more excuse to go on vacation to somewhere tropical; it’s good for your health!
Source: Specialized Cells In Eye Linked To Mood Regions In Brain : Shots – Health News : NPR
Source: [1806.02404] Dissolving the Fermi Paradox
Is there intelligent life in the universe besides our own? Famous scientists such as the late Steven Hawking conclude that intelligent life probably exists.
From a statistical perspective, the sheer number of galaxies, solar systems, and habitable planets in existence means that in all likelihood we are not alone. And we’re fascinated by the possibility.
We watch extraterrestrials of all kinds on television and at the movies: ET, Alien, Predator, Alien versus Predator, Star Wars, the Fifth Element, [insert favorite movie here]. There’s a ton of them and we love these kinds of movies. But the big question remains: where’s the evidence of ET? If there are so many planets that can harbor life, why don’t we have any evidence?
That’s the Fermi Paradox. The authors of the linked article (Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, Toby Ord) examine the Fermi Paradox and “dissolve” it, concluding that the paradox isn’t real and there is in fact no life in the universe apart from our own because there’s no evidence for it. It’s not as fun as a movie, but if you’re wondering if aliens exist or not, this paper actually delves into the “guts” of this paradox and the ultimate question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe.
Whether or not we’re alone in the universe, we can find meaning in our relationships within our communities. If you’re feeling alone, know that isolation isn’t the answer. Take that step, get out there, and connect with friends and people in your community. If it just isn’t working, try something different and go see a counselor or a trusted provider. You might discover a new you.
Source: Dads Pass On More Than Genetics in Their Sperm | Science | Smithsonian
This is a very interesting article on how a man’s lifestyle can affect his kids. The way a man lives today actually changes the expression of his child’s DNA. It’s yet another reminder to care for ourselves, our minds and bodies, and not just for ourselves but for our kids. How we live today will directly affect them.
Source: Even a 10-Minute Walk May Be Good for the Brain – The New York Times
Lightly working out can give your brain a boost. Scientists studied the memory recall of college students in this study and found that after ligh exercise, their memory was better after exercise than not. Even light exercise improves brain function, especially as we age.
Source: What to Do When a Loved One Is Severely Depressed – The New York Times
With the passing Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, suicide prevention is back in the spotlight. For the average person, it can be tough to talk with someone who is having suicidal thoughts, perhaps because we feel like we don’t want to make mistakes. Or it can just be scary to feel our own feelings. Here is a great article about what you can do when someone is severely depressed.
Source: Anthony Bourdain, Chef, Travel Host and Author, Is Dead at 61 – The New York Times
I’m very sad today to read about the passing of Anthony Bourdain, a talented chef (a food artist) who I resonated with because of my own love of art, food, and cooking. More than ever we need to:
- Reduce stigma against mental health issues such as depression.
- Get educated on the warning signs and get involved as soon as you can.
- Increase federal funding for mental health research and intervention.
I’ve added some additional hotlines to my own Suicide Prevention Hotlines page. And I am praying for his family and others who are suffering.
Source: Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy
The American Psychology Association has put together a great summary of the current research into gun violence and mental illness, how to predict who will commit acts of gun violence, current ways to prevent gun violence, and suggestions for public policy.
Predicting who will commit gun violence is not an easy task. Currently, it seems that more research must be done and that the task of prediction may need to fall to trained clinicians, teachers, law enforcement and others.
Overall, this paper is packed with information and strategy for moving forward in our society where gun violence (violence that takes place in many forums and contexts) seems to occur with striking regularity.
Source: What happens to your brain on sex? – Vox
This is an interesting article that discusses the differences between “love” and “sex” and the different parts of the brain that are involved. One of the big ideas behind this research is that casual sex isn’t so casual. In fact, one third of people who have friends “with benefits” end up falling in love, precisely because of the brain systems with their chemicals and attachment systems that are activated. Love and sex can in many ways appear and perhaps feel the same as an addiction. In fact, the same chemicals and brain systems are at work in both. Interesting stuff!