Tuesday 5 November 2019

List of Habitutdes that Make a Difference

I love the way English allows us to play with words.  We can (hopefully creatively) smash together two words, and the new work can hopefully relay the meaning in a fun, novel way.

As I was writing the title to this reminder post, out popped the word "Habitutdes"... these are the attitudes and habits one wants to cultivate into an inspirational, wise old-growth forest!

I'm working on using microsteps to adopt new habitudes.  For the past few weeks, it's been me doing increasingly long planks.  That's all I need to do.  Forget about my money dreams, work stress, school calendars, diet, social... everything.  All I need to do differently is a 3 or 4 minute plank. 

This has been tough to acclimatize to!

Anyway, as part of this web page's role of being a collection point for my random (yes oddly specific) findings, I'm going to start a list of what "successful" people say is necessary to be "successful", however one may choose to experience it.

Bill Gates:
Remain Curious / Read and research lots
Delegate tasks you're less good at.
Optimism.  Remember successes to get you through the down times.


Wednesday 23 October 2019

Your Brain During the Experience of Awe

recent study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping by examined what the brain is doing when people have an awe experience, which has revealed “Awe” is capable of moving us out of our self-conscious mind.

According to an article in the “Greater Good Magazine “... awe may help stop us from ruminating on our problems and daily stressors. Instead, awe seems to pull us out of ourselves and make us feel immersed in our surroundings and the larger world (which may help explain its tendency to inspire generosity and a sense of connection with others).”

Through MRI studies, we can see that the default mode network... or how our brain behaves in everyday activities, is shut off, just as it is when people meditate, take psychedelics, or are in a state of flow. 

Monday 9 September 2019

Avoid Online "Toxic Positivity"

Most people online appear to be living an ideal life; we're awash in pictures of beautiful vacations, ideal happy children or a perfect slice of lemon meringue pie!  These are rarely balanced with pictures of the long waits at airport security, the children throwing up and crying, or all the mundane meals of Tuna casserole somebody may eat.  (For the record, I actually rather LOVE tuna casserole!) 

This is being called "Toxic Positivty"... an unending deluge of stories about the perfect state of everybody else's life which can make us feel less thrilled about our own mundane experiences, with all of its normal ups and downs.

“Social media can make us feel like we have to be happy all the time,” Timothy Bono, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis and author of When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness in an article in the August 28, 2019 edition of "Thrive Global".

Another form of toxic positivity can also be in people's reactions when bad news IS shared on social media.  All the complex nuances of human emotion and interactions are missing when somebody replies to a family death by saying something like "It'll be brighter tomorrow." type of trite response.  There is a sense on social media that people aren't welcome to share the truly painful moments of their lives.  

According to the detailed article in Thrive Global, (Link will open in a new window), there are steps you can take to reduce the effects of toxic positivity.

Be aware of how much time you're spending on social media, and how it makes you feel.  Try adjusting the time you spend, and see how that changes your mood afterwards.  Maybe there's a sweet spot where you can get all the good news, without feeling too worn out. 

If you do decide to share when you're feeling less than great, don't put too much weight on the responses your friends may give you.  People often feel they need to try to cheer you up, and that may be the last thing you need at that moment.  Realize your friends don't quite know what to say, and that it's okay to not feel okay sometimes.

And "Trade Likes and Follows for Pen and Paper".  I'll let you read the article in the link for more details on this last one. 

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Optimistic People (Statistically) Live Longer

As I read this article in Paychology Today, I wondered “Would pessimistic people WANT to live longer?  Seems like an optimist’s mindset to want to extend this “horrible” existence!” 

However, if somebody is going to live a long time, they will hopefully be optimistic enough to enjoy it! 

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Your Mantra is Your Life

Turns out that the little sayings we have in our mind about life... or our “mantras”... have a scientifically discernible impact on our happiness and life satisfaction.  

My mantras are:

“Live life as though there are no coincidences and be amazed”.

“If you’re going thru hell, then don’t stop until you get to the other side.”

“HAIL... Health, Abundance, Inspiration, Love”

When something weird or annoying happens, 
“If this situation will be a funny story someday, then I might as well laugh at it now.”

When somebody / something is pissing me off... 
“Take the high road. Don’t react or judge... ask a question.” 

Saturday 25 May 2019

Life Purpose more important than exercise

A recent study says middle aged people with life purpose less likely to die than those without one.  More telling than smoking, drinking or exercise.  And it doesn’t really matter what your purpose is!

Thursday 4 April 2019

Finding friends after 40

Okay, not just after 40... my marketing brain couldn’t resist the Consonance of the Triple F.  It’s for anybody who is an adult!  

We lose friends after we move, leave school, get married, have kids.

Sometimes you just need a crew of people you can go camping or host a monthly book club with. My trick to friendship dating is to ask a trusted friend to introduce you to two people they think would be a good fit with your personality and interests and then take that person out for coffee or lunch. If you like that person, ask them for two more introductions.  

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Documentary About US’s reduced lifespan due to stress

Sanjay Gupta has a documentary on HBO called “One Nation Under Stress” which tries to discern the causes of the growing health crisis in the US, where the average lifespan is going down.  

There is an upcoming 6 part mini-series in HBO, where he’ll look at countries where it’s different, to discover what they’re doing differently. 

Saturday 9 February 2019

Can Simple Positivity Apps Improve Your Mood?

A great article about the surprising (and embarrassing) benefit of a simple smart device app, as well as some critique of unbridled Positive Psychology

Understanding and Recreating Our Sense of Touch

Science has come a long way in decoding the sense of touch, and being able to mimic touch for our brain.  There are thousands of touch receptors on our fingertips for everything from heat, intensity, to stretch etc, and with the help of Artificial Intelligence,  we now understand how to recreate the code necessary to signal specific touches to the brain.