Showing posts from May 28, 2017

10 Eating Tips to Boost Your Brainpower

Ginseng, Fish, Berries, or Caffeine?

Listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements, and you'll believe they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.

But do they really work? There's no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add "smart" foods and drinks to your diet.

Caffeine Can Make You More Alert

There's no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter -- but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Sugar Can Enhance Alertness

Sugar is your brain's preferred fuel source -- not table sugar, but glucose, which your body proc…

How to Succeed in College and Life

ByJeanette van der Lee

The professors behind NYU’s Science of Happiness course explain how to flourish in life—no matter how old you are.

You should get some exercise, eat healthy, and sleep enough. You should be supportive of your friends. You should do what you’re passionate about. We’ve all gotten such well-meaning advice, and it’s good advice. But there’s one problem: People rarely tell us how to achieve these worthy goals. Luckily, there is a new book that gives you the “how,” and will help you not just survive, but thrive.U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life)by Daniel Lerner and Alan Schlechter—two New York University professors who teach a course on the science of happiness—is the book I (now a grad student) wish I had had when I started college. Based on positive psychology research, it covers a wide range of topics relevant to thriving, bringing them to life with humor, practical exercises, and even college slang. And while the book was written primarily for college stud…

Inspirational Quote – June 2, 2017

“Forgive people who do you wrong….they unknowingly make you strong.”

Although we won’t be thinking along these lines while people are or have done us wrong, this is actually very true. Later, thinking about it, we begin to realize that, in having to cope with what they put us through, we do grow stronger. This could also help us cope better with the same or similar situations that confront us in the future, who would have thought it eh?

Life is the Network Not the Self

What if the fundamental unit of biology is not the self, but the network? What if plants, and really, all species, are made of interacting relationships and networked connections that are intertwined? A simple backyard experiment looking at the biological make-up of a maple leaf revealed to Professor David Haskell that a maple leaf is not an individual made of plant cells, but "a community of cells from many domains and kingdoms of life" -- fungus, bacteria, protist, alga, nematode, and plant. As scientists know, "microbe-free plants likely do not exist in nature and, if they could be constructed, would quickly die for want of the vital connections that sustain life." In this article, Haskell, professor of biology at the University of the South, Tennessee explores these ancient and dynamic biological networks, and the practical and metaphorical consequences of holding the perspective that all life is connected.…

When Is Sacrifice Bad for Your Relationship?

ByAmie M. Gordon

A new study suggests that sacrifice is only problematic when your partner isn't supportive.

You asked your partner to pick up milk, but find no milk in the fridge for your coffee the next morning. The phone rings and you and your partner get invited to dinner with friends of his you don’t really like. It’s the end of a long day and both you and your partner are exhausted, but someone has to put the toddler to bed. These moments of conflicting desires are inevitable in relationships, but it’s not always clear the best way to respond. Do you focus on your own desires, be true to yourself, and complain about the lack of milk, say no to the dinner, or beg your partner to put your toddler to bed? Or do you suppress your desires and put your partner’s needs first—do you stop yourself from complaining, agree to the dinner, and encourage your partner to relax while you read bedtime stories? Some research shows that suppressing your own needsoften backfires, leaving you feelin…

Inspirational Quote – June 1, 2017

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

The image this bring to my mind is of a miner’s lamp! You know what I mean, the lamp they have on their helmets so they can see in the darkness of the tunnels they work in? In life, there will be times when all of us encounter darkness, totally devoid of any welcoming light, and very scary indeed. However, perhaps by focusing and believing in the light, we can turn a tiny, tiny glimmer of light into a light bright enough to banish all the darkness and shadows surrounding us. Remember, this will take total belief and focus, but we are all capable of achieving this, so the next time the darkness begins to close in, you know what you have to do, don’t you?

Addressing Social Justice with Compassion

Professor Rhonda Magee is a faculty member at the University of San Francisco law school, an expert in contemplative pedagogy, the President of the Board of the Center for Contemplative Minds in Society, and a teacher of mindfulness-based stress reduction interventions for lawyers and law students. She has spent her career exploring the interrelationship between law, philosophy, and notions of justice and humanity. Having grown up in a segregated North Carolina, Magee developed an early interest in racial and social justice, as well as a deep sense of spirituality and inner work - both aspects of her personal life that profoundly inform her daily work. In this Awakin call conversation, Professor Magee shares of her commitment to inner transformation work, and the role of the inner dimensions in "ensouling" the justice system and resolving conflicts.

Why Curious People Have Better Relationships

ByJill Suttie

Research suggests that being curious might be a social glue that strengthens our relationships.

There’s an old saying: “Curiosity killed the cat.” It implies curiosity is bad for you and leads to dangerous risk-taking behavior. But this idea of curiosity is pretty outdated—in humans, at least. Curiosity—the desire to approach novel and challenging ideas and experiences in order to increase one’s knowledge—has long been associated withintellectual pursuit, engagement with the world,memory, andlearning. Now, more recent research suggests that curiosity may also play a role in our social relationships. Studies have found that people who are curious are often viewed in social encounters as more interesting and engaging, and they are more apt to reach out to a wider variety of people. In addition, being curious seems to protect people from negative social experiences, like rejection, which could lead to better connection with others over time. Here are some of the ways science sug…