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5 Surprising, Science-Backed Ways To Get Smarter Today

5 Surprising, Science-Backed Ways To Get Smarter Today | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Your intelligence isn't fixed it's fluid. Here's a handful of ways to improve your brain flow. This fluidity comes from all sorts of things: the way we think about ourselves, the expertise we develop, the people we surround ourselves with. In short, the way we live our lives shapes our minds, in some seriously mysterious ways.


Via Sandeep Gautam
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Don't set limits for yourself. Be smarter today!

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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, October 21, 2013 11:17 AM

being smart is a choice!!

David Hain's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:14 PM

If so, I choose to get smarter!

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Depression Alleviated By Feeling Connected to a Group

Depression Alleviated By Feeling Connected to a Group | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

It has long been known that social connections are vital for a person who is experiencing depression. Now, though, new research finds that it’s not just social groups which help those with depression, crucially it’s identifying with that group which helps alleviate depression. The conclusions come from an Australian study of patients both at risk and diagnosed with depression who had joined a number of local groups. Some did yoga, other sports, art or sewing. Another group of people in a separate study visited the hospital for group therapy. In all the cases, though, people were joining a new social group — whether it was in a clinical setting or otherwise. Around three months after they joined the group, participants had their levels of depression measured, along with how much they identified with the group they’d joined. In comparison to beforehand, those who did not strongly associate with the group, had a 50% chance of continuing to be depressed. However, those who identified with their group — who saw the other members of the group as ‘us’ rather than ‘them’ — had just a one-third chance of experiencing depression.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Social identification is particularly important for social networks to be preventive against depression.

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Risky behavior by teens can be explained in part by how their brains change

Risky behavior by teens can be explained in part by how their brains change | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Teenagers can do the craziest things. They drive at high speeds. They stand around outside loud parties and smoke weed in front of cops. They guzzle liquor. They insult their parents — or lie to them — and feel no remorse, because, of course, their parents are idiots. It is easy to blame peer pressure or willfulness, but scientific studies suggest that at least some of this out-there behavior has a physiological tie-in: Brain mapping technologies show that the average teenager’s brain looks slightly different from an adult’s. The biggest differences lie in the prefrontal cortex — a part of the brain associated with reasoning — and in the networks of brain cells that link the cortex to regions of the brain that are less about reasoning and thinking and more about emotion.

 

Would simply reminding teens that their brains work differently from those of adults help them make better decisions?

 

See The teen brain: Wired for risk and responsive to an audience: http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2014/sep/05/teen-brain-wired-risk-and-responsive-audience/

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Parents can attribute teens’ risky, sometimes crazy, behavior to rapid changes in the brain.

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People’s Surprising Reaction To The Pain of Their Enemies

People’s Surprising Reaction To The Pain of Their Enemies | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Jewish people asked to watch the pain of neo-Nazis in brain imaging study. The part of the brain that is involved in empathising with the pain of others is more highly activated by seeing the suffering of hateful people than those we like, a recent study finds. While we might imagine we would empathise more with the suffering of those we like, we may focus on the hateful person’s pain because we need to monitor our enemies carefully. For the study, the researchers specifically chose Jewish participants and showed them videos of anti-Semitic individuals in pain, as well as videos of non-racist, more likeable individuals in pain. Their brains were scanned using fMRI to measure the activity of the pain matrix. The results revealed that the Jewish participants’ pain matrices were activated more when they saw the anti-Semitic individuals in pain. At the same time, however, the reward centres of the brain were more active for participants when they saw the anti-Semites in pain.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Witnessing hateful people in pain modulates brain activity in regions associated with physical pain and reward."

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10 Ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

10 Ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

By 2050 there could be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Some of the most frequent early symptoms of Alzheimer’s are short-term memory loss, getting lost and problems finding words. Later on it can lead to mood swings, confusion, long-term memory loss and a withdrawal from friends and family. Whilst there is no cure, there are a number of lifestyle and dietary factors that have been associated with preventing dementia...

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Clock is ticking! I may need to start to consider adjusting my health behaviours (or the lack of them)...

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The Surprising Impact of Weight Loss on the Emotions

The Surprising Impact of Weight Loss on the Emotions | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

A new study of almost 2,000 overweight and obese adults in the UK has found that those who lost weight were unhappier than those who remained within 5% of their original weight (Jackson et al., 2014).

Although they were physically healthier four years later — with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease — those who lost weight were likely to be less happy. The finding still held after things like bereavements and serious health issues, which may have affected both weight loss and mood, were taken into account. Although clinical trials have shown that weight loss is associated with improved mood, this could have been related to a supportive environment in the clinic. It may work differently for people who lose weight without visiting a clinic — as most people do.

 

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

People should not expect weight loss to instantly improve all aspects of life.

 

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7 Nutritional Deficiencies That Cause Depression & Mood Disorders

7 Nutritional Deficiencies That Cause Depression & Mood Disorders | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

If you suffer from depression or mood disorders you may be deficient in one of these nutrients. Depression and mood disorders are devastating health problems today. When you go to your doctor, their answer is often a prescription for one of the various popular anti-depressant drugs. Many doctors do not investigate for metabolic or nutritional deficiencies that may be the ‘real problem’ for your depression. Patients have no idea why they feel so awful or where to start looking for the answer. They expect their doctor to give them real solutions. Instead they get drugs as the easy fix. Drugs are not an easy fix because of the serious side effects that come with taking them.


Via PAT NOVAK
Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Take your vitamins. Eat right. Avoid the Prozac!

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Donovan Baldwin's curator insight, August 28, 9:14 AM

What we eat has a major effect on how, and who, we are. Simply taking a daily multivitamin can help "fill in the blanks" if you feel your nutritional choices are not a good as they could be.

H2O Alkalizer's curator insight, August 28, 9:53 AM

Just another example of where nutrition should be considered before medication.

Ellen Diane's curator insight, August 28, 6:09 PM

thanks;)

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The Lethality of Loneliness

The Lethality of Loneliness | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

 

For the first time in history, we understand how isolation can ravage the body and brain. Over the past half-century, academic psychologists have largely abandoned psychoanalysis and made themselves over as biologists. And as they delve deeper into the workings of cells and nerves, they are confirming that loneliness is as monstrous as Fromm-Reichmann said it was. It has now been linked with a wide array of bodily ailments as well as the old mental ones. Long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking. A partial list of the physical diseases thought to be caused or exacerbated by loneliness would include Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"The ducklings did as they were bid, but the other duck stared, and said, “Look, here comes another brood, as if there were not enough of us already! and what a queer looking object one of them is; we don’t want him here,” and then one flew out and bit him in the neck.

“Let him alone,” said the mother; “he is not doing any harm.”

“Yes, but he is so big and ugly,” said the spiteful duck “and therefore he must be turned out...”

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12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away From You

12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away From You | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Let’s be honest – we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another.  None of us are immune to occasional toxic mood swings, but many people are more evolved, balanced and aware, and such occurrences happen only rarely in their lives. Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or just a once in a blue moon phenomena, it’s critical for your long-term happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving negatively, and consciously shift your mindset when necessary.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Your behavior is a little thing that makes a big difference."

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Work Stress Can Hike Diabetes Risk by Nearly Half

Work Stress Can Hike Diabetes Risk by Nearly Half | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Experts say that now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers. Although work-related stress has been known to increase risk of cardiovascular disease, the far-reaching effects of stress are still being uncovered as a new population-based German study finds evidence for a strong association between work stress and type II diabetes mellitus. Dr. Cornelia Huth and Professor Karl-Heinz Ladwig lead a team of researchers who discovered that individuals who are under a high level of pressure at work and at the same time perceive little control over the activities they perform face an about 45 percent higher risk of developing type II diabetes than those who are subjected to less stress at their workplace.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Carefully evaluate stress levels in your current job.

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Musical Training Offsets Some Academic Achievement Gaps, Research Says

Musical Training Offsets Some Academic Achievement Gaps, Research Says | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Learning to play a musical instrument or to sing can help disadvantaged children strengthen their reading and language skills, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention. The findings, which involved hundreds of kids participating in musical training programs in Chicago and Los Angeles public schools, highlight the role learning music can have on the brains of youth in impoverished areas. Kraus’s lab research has concluded that musical training appears to enhance the way children’s nervous systems process sounds in a busy environment, such as a classroom or a playground. This improved neural function may lead to enhanced memory and attention spans which, in turn, allow kids to focus better in the classroom and improve their communication skills, she said.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

“We’re spending millions of dollars on drugs to help kids focus and here we have a non-pharmacologic intervention that thousands of disadvantaged kids devote themselves to in their non-school hours — that works. Learning to make music appears to remodel our kids’ brains in ways that facilitates and improves their ability to learn.”

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People who implicitly think of relationships as perfect unity between soulmates have worse relationships

People who implicitly think of relationships as perfect unity between soulmates have worse relationships | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Aristotle said, "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." Poetic as it is, thinking that you and your partner were made in heaven for each other can hurt your relationship, says a new study. "Our findings corroborate prior research showing that people who implicitly think of relationships as perfect unity between soulmates have worse relationships than people who implicitly think of relationships as a journey of growing and working things out," says Prof. Lee. "Apparently, different ways of talking and thinking about love relationship lead to different ways of evaluating it."

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Success in relationships is something that occurs through a process of trial and error. Thus, it becomes perfect over time, rather than being perfect from the beginning.

 

Apart from the psychological problems with believing in "soulmates", it also does not correspond to the way marriage and relationships are understood from a Christian perspective: http://sco.lt/8fC8I5

 

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Are you raising nice kids? 5 ways to raise them to be kind

Are you raising nice kids? 5 ways to raise them to be kind | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Weissbourd and his cohorts have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, we have to, well, raise them that way. “Children are not born simply good or bad and we should never give up on them. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood,” the researchers write. Here are five strategies to raise moral, caring children, according to Making Caring Common.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"About 80 percent of youth say their parents are more concerned with their achievement or happiness than whether they care for others. They are also likely to agree that “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

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Study Shows The Power Of Social Influence: 5 Ways To Avoid The Herd Mentality

Study Shows The Power Of Social Influence: 5 Ways To Avoid The Herd Mentality | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Mom was right when she said, “Be careful who you surround yourself with.” Although those words of wisdom are usually handed out during adolescence, there’s evidence that suggests we need to follow that advice into adulthood. Apparently, we’re still easily influenced by those around us. A new study shows that we have a natural tendency to copy other people's product choices.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Here are five strategies to decrease the likelihood that you’ll simply defer to the “social default,” when making choices.

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Nature or nurture? With intelligence it's all about the message

Nature or nurture? With intelligence it's all about the message | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Were Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci born brilliant or did they acquire their intelligence through effort? No one knows for sure, but telling people the latter - that hard work trumps genes - causes instant changes in the brain and may make them more willing to strive for success, indicates a new study from Michigan State University. The findings suggest the human brain is more receptive to the message that intelligence comes from the environment, regardless of whether it's true. And this simple message, said lead investigator Hans Schroder, may ultimately prompt us to work harder.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Giving people messages that encourage learning and motivation may promote more efficient performance. In contrast, telling people that intelligence is genetically fixed may inadvertently hamper learning."

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Childhood Diet Habits Set in Infancy

Childhood Diet Habits Set in Infancy | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Efforts to improve what children eat should begin before they even learn to walk, a series of nutritional studies published on Tuesday has found. Taken together, the data indicate that infant feeding patterns persist far longer than has been appreciated. Research published in the journal Pediatrics indicates that early preferences for fruits and vegetables or, conversely, sugary drinks last into age 6. “Our early taste preferences, particularly for fruits and vegetables, and on the flip side for sugary beverages, are lasting,” said Dr. Elsie M. Taveras, chief of the division of general pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, who was not involved in the new research. “These studies are suggesting that in terms of diet quality, the die might be cast in the first year,” she added....

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Get the little ones interested in fruits and veggies between 10 and 12 months for lasting benefits.

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Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication Demonstrated Over The Internet

Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication Demonstrated Over The Internet | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

An international team of roboticists and neuroscientists have demonstrated brain-to-brain communication between two people over the internet for the first time. The scientists in France and Spain used EEG (electroencephalogram) and TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) technology. The EEG allows you to read brain waves, so it can do the transmitting end; while the TMS allows you to ‘inject’ the message in the brain, so it can do the receiving end. The person receiving the message ‘saw’ a series of flashes at the edge of their peripheral vision: this is the result of the magnetic stimulation of their visual cortex, which is located at the back of the brain. The sequence of flashes allowed the receiver to decode the message. Three different people sat under the TMS machine as receivers and successfully received the simple messages with only a 15% error rate.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Freaky...

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Study finds cognitive benefits for those who realise they are in a dream while dreaming

Study finds cognitive benefits for those who realise they are in a dream while dreaming | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

People who realise they are in a dream while they are dreaming — a lucid dream — have better problem-solving abilities, new research finds. This may be because the ability to step outside a dream after noticing it doesn’t make sense reflects a higher level of insight.

Around 82% of people are thought to have experienced a lucid dream in their life, while the number experiencing a lucid dream at least once a month may be as high as 37%...

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Gotta learn this stuff...!

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The Irritating Reason That Overconfident People Get All The Breaks

The Irritating Reason That Overconfident People Get All The Breaks | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

People who are overconfident in their own abilities are considered more talented by others than they really are, a new study finds.

These overconfident individuals are probably more likely to get promoted, to become the leaders of organisations and even nations.

On the other hand, people who are not so confident in their abilities are judged as less competent than they actually are. The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, provide evidence for a controversial theory of the evolution of self-deception (Lamba & Nityananda, 2014). Being better at deceiving yourself makes you better at deceiving others, some have argued, and this study provides evidence for the theory.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

It all comes down to a delicate balance of humility and arrogance!

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Abusive leadership infects entire team

Abusive leadership infects entire team | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Supervisors who are abusive to individual employees can actually throw the entire work team into conflict, hurting productivity, finds new research led by a Michigan State University business scholar. The study, conducted in China and the United States, suggests the toxic effect of nonphysical abuse by a supervisor is much broader than believed. Published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology, it's one of the first studies to examine the effect of bad bosses in employee teams. Teams are increasingly popular in the business world. Lead investigator Crystal Farh said supervisors who belittle and ridicule workers not only negatively affect those workers' attitudes and behaviors, but also cause team members to act in a similar hostile manner toward one another. "That's the most disturbing finding," Farh said, "because it's not just about individual victims now, it's about creating a context where everybody suffers, regardless of whether you were individually abused or not."

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough (Gal 5:9).

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How do I keep my children safe online? What the security experts tell their kids

How do I keep my children safe online? What the security experts tell their kids | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

How can you teach your children to use the internet safely? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot, as the father of five and seven year-old sons who are already adept with parental tablets and laptops alike. They know the internet is a magical entity capable of answering obscure questions; providing printable templates of pretty much any animal to colour in; and serving up endlessly-repeatable videos of startled cats, Stampy’s Minecraft exploits and loom band tutorials. What they don’t know is anything about viruses, online privacy, phishing, social networking etiquette, and any other internet safety and/or security issue you can think of. Teaching them about this now and in the future is my job, and the challenge of getting it right is intimidating – even for someone who writes about a lot of these issues for a living. But then I remembered that there’s a whole industry of internet safety and security experts, many of whom have children of their own, and have to face the same task of rearing safe, responsible internet citizens. The advice that these people are giving their own kids should be top-drawer, so what is it? I put a call out, and was overwhelmed by responses. Here are edited versions of 21 of the most useful.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Better teach your kids as early as possible, or you may find yourself regretting you didn't take that opportunity...

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7 Habits of Remarkably Happy People

7 Habits of Remarkably Happy People | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Want to be happier? Great--but don't just wish for a greater sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy. Do something about it. Take a different approach. Adopt a different mindset. And then let those beliefs guide your actions. Here are some of the habits of remarkably happy people.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Happiness is a state of mind. If you're willing to adopt a different approach to your actions, you can achieve it."

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Positive Thinking Isn't A Substitute For Positive Action

Positive Thinking Isn't A Substitute For Positive Action | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Positive thinking is a valuable tool that can help you overcome obstacles, deal with pain, and reach new goals. The benefits of looking on the bright have been clearly documented. Research studies have discovered that optimistic people tend to enjoy increased marital satisfaction, better physical health, and higher incomes. All the buzz about the benefits of positivity, has led to some misunderstandings about the concept of positive thinking. Unfortunately,misconceptions about positive thinking could actually do more harm than good. Positive thinking is a powerful tool - but it isn't a magical power. It only works when it's combined with positive action.

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Be positive! No - Be realistically optimistic!!

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21 reasons why you should have SEX.. tonight!

21 reasons why you should have SEX.. tonight! | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Partner “not in the mood” again? Then it might be worth sharing the following to change their mind! According to the latest studies, regular sex – that’s one to two lovemaking sessions per week – can provide some incredible boosts to your health and wellbeing. Forget anti-wrinkle creams, research claims SEX can make you look seven years younger - but that's not the only benefit...

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

Far too many couples have far too little sex. Apart from just pleasure, many health benefits can be gained from having sex on a regular basis, ideally a minimum of once or twice a week. YOU can raise the population health level today by having sex with your partner!

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Want Happiness? Science Says You Should Stop Looking for It

Want Happiness? Science Says You Should Stop Looking for It | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

As we muddle through our days, the quest for happiness looms large. In the U.S., citizens are granted three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In the kingdom of Bhutan, there’s a national index to measure happiness. But what if searching for happiness actually prevents us from finding it? There’s reason to believe that the quest for happiness might be a recipe for misery.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"If you truly want to experience joy or meaning, you need to shift your attention away from joy or meaning, and toward projects and relationships that bring joy and meaning as byproducts."

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What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen

What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen | Psychology, Health and Happiness | Scoop.it

Parentingteens is tricky. Some parents, worried their teens will make bad decisions, micromanage their behavior. They set a slew of rules and parent with iron fists, lectures and fear-based tactics. This, however, tends to drive teens away and disconnects them from their parents. In the second edition of his book The Available Parent: Expert Advice for Raising Successful and Resilient Teens and Tweens, clinical psychologist and parenting expert John Duffy, Ph.D, advocates for a different approach.

 

Ziggi Ivan Santini's insight:

"Effective discipline includes clear-cut rules and consequences. It separates the behavior from the child."

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