Showing posts from February 5, 2017

Suffering May Lead to Extreme Political Beliefs

ByTom Jacobs

According to a new study, experiencing adversity may contribute to politically polarized attitudes.

Many reasons have been offered for theincreasing polarization of political attitudes. Now,a new studyuncovers a different, more personal catalyst for moving to the far left or right. It finds people who have experienced significant adversity in their lives are more likely to gravitate toward an extreme spot on the ideological spectrum. This appears to be an example of “compensatory affirmation” — the widely reported tendency of people to respond to uncertainty or fear by clinging more closely to the belief systems that give their lives meaning. It appears that need to believe moves many to a more extreme position. A demonstrator throws stones at riot police during an anti-government protest in eastern Caracas, Venezuela, on February 27th, 2014.Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images A research team led byDaniel Randlesof the University of Toronto andRoxane Cohen Silverof the University of …

Inspirational Quote – February 9, 2017

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

I don’t think this means to literally scare you but more that you should do something that gets the blood pumping through your veins. Something along the lines of perhaps joining a group that you’ve wanted to join for a while but getting to know a bunch of new people scares you. Or just getting on a bus or train to somewhere you’ve never been before but have always wanted to explore, etc. You get the picture? We all put off or dismiss things we’d like to do but are too scared or nervous about the reaction of others. Why put it off any longer, make a resolution to do something every day that scares you. Even if you only do it for a week, a month, won’t it be fun and, who knows, what it could lead to in the future. Exciting times.

Welcome to Canada: A Refugee's Story

"I think that facing death changes people. Which is what happened with me." Mohammed Alsaleh was a young medical student in Syria, dreaming of one day treating patients with cancer. Under the Assad regime he was arrested three times, held in 5 different detention centers, and tortured for 120 days before being released. In 2014 he was granted asylum in Canada where he began to rebuild his life. Now, the former medical student counsels newly-arrived Syrian refugee families with the same Vancouver-based NGO that helped his own resettlement. Like him, these families have left beloved ones behind and struggle with the pain and uncertainty of separation even as they try to rebuild their lives. Mohammed lives in hope that his family will one day be reunited in Canada. This short film captures not just his story, but through it, the story of thousands of displaced Syrians whose strength and humanity in the face of unspeakable horrors, has moved hearts all over the world.


What’s Good about Lying?

ByJeremy Adam Smith

New research reveals how we learn to lie for the benefit of other people.

Do you teach children to lie? I do. All the time. And you do, too! If you’re like most American parents, you point to presents under the Christmas tree and claim that a man named Santa Claus put them there. Or, you insinuate that a creature called the Tooth Fairy swapped out your child’s fallen tooth for a dollar. Those are false statements, deliberately made to people who trust us adults. But your lying probably goes beyond these benign deceptions. How many of us tell our kids (or students) that everything is fine when, in fact, everything is totally wrong, in order to preserve their sense of security? Have you been honest about everything having to do with, say, your love life, or what happens at work? We don’t just lie to protect our kids from hard truths, either; we actually coach them to lie, as when we ask them to express delight at tube socks from Aunt Judy or Uncle Bob’s not-so-delicious …

Inspirational Quote – February 8, 2017

“Some people are going to reject you, simply because you shine too brightly for them, and that’s okay, keep shining."

If you are reading this quote you are probably a very spiritual, sensitive soul and, as such, possess your own “inner light.” You may be on your own spiritual journey and therefore constantly learning and growing in knowledge and becoming comfortable in your own power. In a perfect world everybody you know would be encouraging you and proud of what you are accomplishing. However, in our less than perfect world, this is often not the case as one person or several people around you can become envious of your newfound wisdom and focus in your life and may gradually distance themselves or indeed may attempt to deter you from staying on your spiritual path. Stay focused and do not allow anybody, no matter who they are, to have the power to dim your precious “light.”

To Heal the Human Heart

The science of empathy is now one of the most celebrated subjects of psychological and neuro-psychological enquiry and it has the potential to transform human society in spectacular ways. For instance, if a human being's central nervous system carries blueprints for empathy, and if the health and vitality of one's empathy circuits depend on one's environment from conception through adulthood, what does that mean about our moralistic judgments of good and evil, and of punishment and reward? This well-written piece on the latest findings on empathy and on its limitations offers some surprising and heartening answers.

Annoying Aches and Pains and How to Fix Them

Sprains and Strains

People who play sports or are physically active are familiar with stretched or torn ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Both cause swelling and inflammation. Sprains can give you bruises. Strains may trigger muscle spasms. Use RICE for early treatment -- rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. See a doctor if it's numb or tingles, you can’t move a joint, or it doesn't get better within a week.

Tension Headache

This common type of headache feels like a band is squeezing your head. OTC painkillers, rest, and drinking water will often do the trick. Your headache should go away within hours, but it could last a couple of days. Plenty of rest, proper posture, less stress, and lots of fluids (without caffeine) may help you avoid one.


Throbbing pain in the front or side of your head can put a hold on your daily activities. You might feel sick to your stomach, be sensitive to light, or have other symptoms. Find somewher…

What We Still Don’t Know about Mindfulness Meditation

ByHooria Jazaieri

Despite the hype, researchers are still exploring the benefits of meditation and how much practice we need to achieve them.

During the past two decades, we’ve discovered a lot about mindfulness—and specifically meditation, which is one of the best ways to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment.  Research has suggested that in a few short weeks, mindfulness meditation practice can bring about physiological, psychological, and social benefits in our lives. From increases ingray matter in the brainto alleviating physical ailments such asmigrainesandfibromyalgia, the benefits of mindfulness and meditation practice more generally have been touted for everyone ranging fromexecutivestoschoolchildren. While some have been critical of the science behind mindfulness meditation due topoor study designsandsmall effect sizes, this hasn’t curbed mainstream interest. Arecently published studysought to examine the print media coverage of meditation between…