Life in the big smoke’s fast lane may be life in the happy lane?

Monday, 3 February, 2014

While outsiders may not envy the fast paced lifestyle big city dwellers find themselves leading, it could be the inhabitants of large metropolitan areas are generally happier, in their frantic lives, than those residing in smaller centres where the pace of life is far slower:

So as you might expect, fast-moving people are associated with fast-moving economies. But does that faster life translate into greater happiness? In faster places (specifically, economically developed areas of North America, Western Europe, and Asia), people were more likely to smoke, less likely to take the time to help strangers in need, and more likely to die from coronary heart disease. Yet Levine and his colleagues found that residents in faster places tended to report feeling somewhat happier with their lives than those who lived in slower places. A city’s pace of life was indeed “significantly related” to the physical, social, and psychological well-being of its inhabitants.

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2014, it’s not all doom and gloom in the world…

Friday, 10 January, 2014

A counterbalance hopefully, similarities to 1914, and the possible prospect of a Great War like conflict notwithstanding, the outlook is not all despair. For instance, literacy rates are rising, diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis are on the wane, while poverty and hunger are in decline globally, among other positive trends.

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Get excited and carry on

Monday, 6 January, 2014

Rather than trying to calm down in an attempt to abate anxiety, say ahead of a driving test, public speaking engagement, or a job interview, the idea may instead be to go in the other direction, and become animated and excited:

“Anxiety is incredibly pervasive. People have a very strong intuition that trying to calm down is the best way to cope with their anxiety, but that can be very difficult and ineffective,” said study author Alison Wood Brooks, PhD, of Harvard Business School. “When people feel anxious and try to calm down, they are thinking about all the things that could go badly. When they are excited, they are thinking about how things could go well.”

The power of positive thinking?

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The key to happiness is being hard to reach on the phone, or is it?

Wednesday, 18 December, 2013

Some University of Michigan research, drawn from various consumer surveys that they conduct, appears to gauge an individuals level of happiness based on how easy, or difficult, they are to contact for said surveys.

Notably, easy-to-reach women are happier than easy-to-reach men, but hard-to-reach men are happier than hard-to-reach women, and conclusions of a survey could reverse with more attempted calls.

Ok, that’s it. I’m setting my phone to divert all calls straight to voicemail.

Via Marginal Revolution.

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Smoking, and the damage done

Tuesday, 17 December, 2013

Tobacco Body is a website created by the Cancer Society of Finland, that sets out, all to plainly, the toll that smoking can take, by comparing images of a non-smoker with a smoker.

Via Feel Desain.

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Experience instant and deferred gratification by being thankful

Thursday, 12 December, 2013

Offering gratitude is replete with all sorts of benefits. In fact I didn’t realise being thankful was such a positively powerful force:

Since the year 2000, psychological research has tied gratitude to a host of benefits: the tendency to feel more hopeful and optimistic about one’s own future, better coping mechanisms for dealing with adversity and stress, less instances of depression and addiction, exercising more, and even sleeping better.

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If being normal breaks the law we’d all have to turn ourselves in

Thursday, 31 October, 2013

What’s so bad then with a little egotism, women troubles, laziness, over action of the mind, political excitement, religious enthusiasm, superstition, greediness, grief, hard study, and business nerves (whatever that means exactly)?

It was enough, and I’m talking about just one item from the list, not necessarily more, for you to be committed to West Virginia’s Hospital for the Insane during the latter decades of the nineteenth century.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s guide to life for boys, well, all of us, really

Thursday, 31 October, 2013

A guide to becoming a man, or adult, by retired US basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. All good stuff, so good that I’ve itemised each of his points… if only wisdom could be acquired by merely reading an article though.

  • Learn who you are as an individual
  • Stand up for yourself and your beliefs
  • Avoid a physical fight – if you can
  • Play a team sport
  • Choose your friends for the right reasons
  • Fight your fear of the unknown
  • Listen to advice
  • Be politically aware
  • Mind your manners
  • Be patient in love
  • Stay fit
  • Never, never do something on a dare
  • Get organized
  • Find heroes to copy
  • Be independent
  • Question authority
  • Get smart
  • Express yourself
  • Pay attention to the short run…
  • …but keep your eye on the long run

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Bad decisions come about from a bad thinking process

Tuesday, 29 October, 2013

Why are so many bad decisions made? Often it comes down to a refusal to look objectively at the situation at hand, and fully weigh up all available options in finding a resolution.

We need to acknowledge our tendency to incorrectly process challenging news and actively push ourselves to hear the bad as well as the good. It felt great when I stumbled across information that implied I didn’t need any serious treatment at all. When we find data that supports our hopes we appear to get a dopamine rush similar to the one we get if we eat chocolate, have sex or fall in love. But it’s often information that challenges our existing opinions or wishful desires that yields the greatest insights. I was lucky that my boyfriend alerted me to my most dopamine-drugged moments. The dangerous allure of the information we want to hear is something we need to be more vigilant about, in the medical consulting room and beyond.

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Calling time on the mid life crisis… any time can be crisis time

Tuesday, 15 October, 2013

Is that a mid-life crisis you’re having, or could it all be a misconception, built up by the media, and film producers with big budgets? While mid-life angst may be a figment of our imaginations, the news is not all good, a life crisis can still come along at any age, during any decade.

At any decade in your life, our results suggest that there is a 40 to 50 percent chance of having a life crisis. There’s a slight increase with age and in general women tend to experience more than men – but that could be because they may be more open to admitting that they have had a hard time.

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