Source: You Accomplished Something Great. So Now What? – The New York Times
“The No. 1 predictor of happiness,” he said, is the “quality time we spend with people we care about and who care about us. In other words, relationships.”
I think this is an important reminder about what really counts in life: relationships. Money and accomplishments are important, but relationships with those we love and care about matter most and seem to provide the most happiness in life.
Source: How a PTSD expert developed a viable cure for heartbreak | WIRED UK
Ever feel like you don’t want to remember “that” relationship, situation, or event? This was a fascinating article about a therapy that combines a drug (propranolol) with a talk-style therapy to remove the pain of a memory (a break-up or other trauma) without removing the memory itself.
Source: Overprocessed foods add 500 calories to your diet every day – CNN
During the past year, I’ve been adding strength training to my weekly routine for both my physical and mental health. I want to look and feel better, and I’ve been reaching my goals. This article on “calories” caught my attention because I’m cutting approximately 500 calories a day to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.
According to this study, eating ultra-processed foods add approximately 500 calories to our diet each day in part because these foods taste better. Study participants could eat as much as they wanted, and those who ate ultra-processed foods ended up eating more of it. Ultra-processed foods taste better and they’re more convenient but the downside is that we tend to eat more of these foods as a result.
What struck me about ultra-processed foods is that it‘s probably no accident that corporations that make these foods profit more as we eat more. And while there’s nothing wrong with profit, profiting at the expense of our health is morally wrong. But once we’re aware, we give ourselves power to choose healthier options.
Whatever food we choose to buy, it can never hurt to become more aware of our motives and other reasons for buying ultra-processed foods. When we become aware, we immediately give ourselves power to make better choices for ourselves and the ones we love.
Source: How Parents Are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood – The New York Times
Making it easy on kids prepares them for failure in the real world! Rather than expose them to difficulties early in life, many parents shield their kids, thinking that this gives them advantages in adulthood. As this article reveals, these kids often aren’t prepared to cope with reality and life as it is. They’ve only been prepared to deal with life as they want it to be! As we all know, life isn’t fair. We must learn to cope with reality as it is, not as we want it to be, and removing obstacles from kids’ path may harm them in the long term. Let’s teach kids to make lemonade out of lemons.
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.