Tag Archives: Health

Summary from the Longest Study on Happiness – The Harvard Study of Adult Development

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TED Talk video at the bottom of this page

– Over 80 percent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich and another 50 percent of those same young adults said that another major life goal was to become famous.

– For 75 years the lives of 724 men were tracked, asking about their work, their home lives, their health, and of course asking all along the way without knowing how their life stories were going to turn out.

– About 60 of the original 724 men are still alive, still participating in the study, most of them in their 90s. And we are now beginning to study the more than 2,000 children of these men.

– Since 1938 the lives of two groups of men were tracked. The first group started in the study when they were sophomores at Harvard College. They all finished college during World War II, and then most went off to serve in the war. And the second group that we’ve followed was a group of boys from Boston’s poorest neighborhoods, boys who were chosen for the study specifically because they were from some of the most troubled and disadvantaged families in the Boston of the 1930s. Most lived in tenements, many without hot and cold running water.

– Every two years, patient and dedicated research staff call the men and asks them if one more set of questions about their lives can be sent to them.

– They are interviewed in their living rooms. Medical records from their doctors are acquired. Drawing blood, brain scans, talks with their children, video taping them talking with loved ones about their deepest concerns. About a decade ago, the wives were asked if they would like to be interviewed, many of the women said, “You know, it’s about time.”

– The lessons aren’t about wealth or fame or working harder and harder. The clearest message is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.

– 3 big lessons about relationships. The first is that social connections are really good for us, and that loneliness kills. It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they’re physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected. And the experience of loneliness turns out to be toxic. People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd and you can be lonely in a marriage, so the second big lesson that we learned is that it’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, but it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. It turns out that living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health. High-conflict marriages, for example, without much affection, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced. And living in the midst of good, warm relationships is protective. Following the men all the way into their 80s to see if we could predict who was going to grow into a happy, healthy octogenarian and who wasn’t. It was how satisfied they were in their relationships that predicted how they were going to grow old. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. And good, close relationships seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old. The most happily partnered men and women reported, in their 80s, that on the days when they had more physical pain, their mood stayed just as happy. But the people who were in unhappy relationships, on the days when they reported more physical pain, it was magnified by more emotional pain. And the third big lesson that we learned about relationships and our health is that good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. It turns out that being in a securely attached relationship to another person in your 80s is protective, that the people who are in relationships where they really feel they can count on the other person in times of need, those people’s memories stay sharper longer. And the people in relationships where they feel they really can’t count on the other one, those are the people who experience earlier memory decline. And those good relationships, they don’t have to be smooth all the time. Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker with each other day in and day out, but as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.

– The people who were the happiest in retirement were the people who had actively worked to replace workmates with new playmates. Just like the millennials in that recent survey, many of the men when they were starting out as young adults really believed that fame and wealth and high achievement were what they needed to go after to have a good life. But over and over, over these 75 years, the study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned in to relationships, with family, with friends, with community.

– Solutions for you right now are endless. It might be something as simple as replacing screen time with people time or livening up a stale relationship by doing something new together, long walks or date nights, or reaching out to that family member who you haven’t spoken to in years, because those all-too-common family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges.

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger

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The myth of self-control & Here’s what actually works … thanks Poppy

“THERE’S A STRONG ASSUMPTION STILL THAT EXERTING SELF-CONTROL IS BENEFICIAL … AND WE’RE SHOWING IN THE LONG TERM, IT’S NOT”

Studies have found that trying to teach people to resist temptation either only has short-term gains or can be an outright failure. “We don’t seem to be all that good at [self-control],” Brian Galla, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh, says.

If we accept that brute willpower doesn’t work, we can feel less bad about ourselves when we succumb to temptation. And we might also be able refocus our efforts on solving problems like obesity. A recent national survey from the University of Chicago finds that 75 percent of Americans say a lack of willpower is a barrier to weight loss. And yet the emerging scientific consensus is that the obesity crisis is the result of a number of factors, including genes and the food environment — and, crucially, not a lack of willpower. 

If we could stop worshiping self-control, maybe we could start thinking about diluting the power of temptation — and helping people meet their goals in new ways with less effort. 

The case against willpower

 Photo by Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for De Re Gallery

Many of us assume that if we want to make big changes in our lives, we have to sweat for it. But if, for example, the change is to eat fewer sweets, and then you find yourself in front of a pile of cookies, researchers say the pile of cookies has already won. 

“Our prototypical model of self-control is angel on one side and devil on the other, and they battle it out,” Fujita says. “We tend to think of people with strong willpower as people who are able to fight this battle effectively. Actually, the people who are really good at self-control never have these battles in the first place.” 

This idea was crystallized in the results of a 2011 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The study tracked 205 people for one week in Germany. The study participants were given BlackBerrys that would go off at random, asking them questions about what desires, temptations, and self-control they were experiencing in the moment. 

The paper stumbled on a paradox: The people who were the best at self-control — the ones who most readily agreed to survey questions like “I am good at resisting temptations” — reported fewer temptations throughout the study period. 

To put it more simply: The people who said they excel at self-control were hardly using it at all. Psychologists Marina Milyavskaya and Michael Inzlicht recently confirmed and expanded on this idea. In their study, they monitored 159 students at McGill University in Canada in a similar manner for a week.

If resisting temptation is a virtue, then more resistance should lead to greater achievement, right? That’s not what the results, pending publication in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Sciencefound. 

The students who exerted more self-control were not more successful in accomplishing their goals. It was the students who experienced fewer temptations overall who were more successful when the researchers checked back in at the end of the semester. What’s more, the people who exercised more effortful self-control also reported feeling more depleted. So not only were they not meeting their goals, they were also exhausted from trying. 

“There’s a strong assumption still that exerting self-control is beneficial,” Milyavskaya, a professor at Carleton University, tells me. “And we’re showing in the long term, it’s not.” 

What we can learn from people who are good at self-control

 Max Griboedov / Shutterstock

So who are these people who are rarely tested by temptations? And what can we learn from them? There are a few overlapping lessons from this new science:

1) People who are better at self-control actually enjoy the activities some of us resist— like eating healthy, studying, or exercising.

So engaging in these activities isn’t a chore for them. It’s fun. “‘Want-to’ goals are more likely to be obtained than ‘have-to’ goals,” Milyavskaya says. “Want-to goals lead to experiences of fewer temptations. It’s easier to pursue those goals. It feels more effortless.”

If you’re running because you “have to” get in shape, but find running to be a miserable activity, you’re probably not going to keep it up. That means than an activity you like is more likely to be repeated than an activity you hate. 

2) People who are good at self-control have learned better habits 

In 2015, psychologists Brian Galla and Angela Duckworth published a paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, finding across six studies and more than 2,000 participants that people who are good at self-control also tend to have good habits — like exercising regularly, eating healthy, sleeping well, and studying.

“People who are good at self-control … seem to be structuring their lives in a way to avoid having to make a self-control decision in the first place,” Galla tells me. And structuring your life is a skill. People who do the same activity — like running or meditating — at the same time each day have an easier time accomplishing their goals, he says. Not because of their willpower, but because the routine makes it easier. 

A trick to wake up more quickly in the morning is to set the alarm on the other side of the room. That’s not in-the-moment willpower at play. It’s planning.

This theory harks back to one of the classic studies on self-control: Walter Mischel’s “marshmallow test,” conducted in the 1960s and ’70s. In these tests, kids were told they could either eat one marshmallow sitting in front of them immediately or eat two later. The ability to resist was found to correlate with all sorts of positive life outcomes, like SAT scores and BMIs. But the kids who were best at the test weren’t necessarily intrinsically better at resisting temptation. They might have been employing a critical strategy. 

“Mischel has consistently found that the crucial factor in delaying gratification is the ability to change your perception of the object or action you want to resist,” the New Yorker reportedin 2014. That means kids who avoided eating the first marshmallow would find ways not to look at the candy, or imagine it as something else. 

“The really good dieter wouldn’t buy a cupcake,” Fujita explains. “They wouldn’t have passed in front of a bakery; when they saw the cupcake, they would have figured out a way to say yuck instead of yum; they might have an automatic reaction of moving away instead of moving close.” 

3) Some people just experience fewer temptations 

Our dispositions are determined in part by our genetics. Some people are hungrier than others. Some people love gambling and shopping. People high in conscientiousness — a personality trait largely set by genetics — tend to be more vigilant students and tend to be healthier. When it comes to self-control, they won the genetic lottery. 

4) It’s easier to have self-control when you’re wealthy 

When Mischel’s marshmallow test is repeated on poorer kids, there’s a clear trend: They perform worse, and appear less able to resist the treat in front of them. 

But there’s a good reason for this. As University of Oregon neuroscientist Elliot Berkman argues, people who grow up in poverty are more likely to focus on immediate rewards than long-term rewards. Because when you’re poor, the future is less certain. 

Researchers want to figure out if self-control could feel effortless

 Tetiana Yurchenko / Shutterstock

The new research on self-control demonstrates that eating an extra slice of cake isn’t a moral failing. It’s what we ought to expect when a hungry person is in front of a slice of cake. “Self-control isn’t a special moral muscle,” Galla says. It’s like any decision. And to improve the decision, we need to improve the environment, and give people the skills needed to avoid cake in the first place. 

“There are many ways of achieving successful self-control, and we’ve really only been looking at one of them,” which is effortful restraint, Berkman tells me. The previous leading theory on willpower, called ego depletion, has recently come under intense scrutiny for not replicating.

(Berkman argues that the term “self-control” ought to be abolished altogether. “It’s no different than any other decision making,” he says.)

The new research isn’t yet conclusive on whether it’s really possible to teach people the skills needed to make self-control feel effortless. More work needs to be done — designing interventions and evaluating their outcomes over time. But it at least gives researchers a fresh perspective to test out new solutions. 

In Berkman’s lab, he’s testing out an idea called “motivational boost.” Participants write essays explaining how their goals (like losing weight) fit into their core values. Berkman will periodically text study participants to remind them why their goals matter, which may increase motivation. “We are still gathering data, but I cannot say yet whether it works or not,” he says. 

Another intriguing idea is called “temptation bundling,” in which people make activities more enjoyable by adding a fun component to them. One paper showed that participants were more likely to work out when they could listen to an audio copy of The Hunger Games while at the gym. 

Researchers are excited about their new perspective on self-control. “It’s exciting because we’re maybe [about to] break through on a whole variety of new strategies and interventions that we would have never thought about,” Galla says. He and others are looking beyond the “just say no” approach of the past to boost motivation with the help of smartphone apps and other technology.

This is not to say all effortful restraint is useless, but rather that it should be seen as a last-ditch effort to save ourselves from bad behavior. 

“Because even if the angel loses most of the time, there’s a chance every now and again the angel will win,” Fujita says. “It’s a defense of last resort.”

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Nutritional Myths, Intermittent Fasting and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Dr. Mike (Dr. Michael VanDerschelden) … thanks John Bergman

Nutritional Myths, Intermittent Fasting and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Dr. Mike (Dr. Michael VanDerschelden) … thanks John Bergman

I just want to say I don’t know if it’s cool or if it’s not professional for a Doctor to say things like incisor teeths (pronounced teets) and using hip-hop language like ‘haters’. Yes that is what confused me. Anyway, I’ve summarised the points under each video.

Nutrional Myths with Dr. Mike Part 1 of 2

– Healthiest diet is low-fat. High-carb diet with lots of grains (Myth). The food pyramid is designed to make you sick.
– Restrict salt in order to lower blood pressure and prevent hearth attack and stroke (Myth) Insufficient evidence. Salt took the blame for what fructose should have been blamed for.
– It is best to eat many small meals throughout the day to increase metabolism (Myth). Breaks down the hunters diet and how starvation mode is good.
– Egg yolks should be avoided because they are high in cholesterol which drives heart disease (Myth). There is more evidence of the benefits. The darker deep orange the egg yolk the healthier the egg. Not pale yellow.
– Ancel Keys studies 22 countries and hand picked only 7 to chart high saturated fat intake results when the graph plotted with all countries showed the stats to be really random.
– He doesn’t support isolated proteins as it’s not WHOLEfood.
– People who reduce or stop meat get healthier also because they stopped eating crappy meat so look for grass fed.
– People in France get a baguette everyday because it will get hard quick because it doesn’t have preservatives.

Nutrional Myths with Dr. Mike Part 2 of 2

– Meat is bad for you (Myth). Insufficient evidence. Overcooked meat is cancerous so cook at lower temps and cut off burnt part. Paras note: I love the burnt part! Also processed meats are bad for you and not unprocessed meats. Make sure you get organic and grass-fed beef.
– All hunter gatherer sites showed high meat content. This is his argument for humans being designed to eat meat. The consumption of animal foods is also linked to large and complex brain evolution. Other arguments are the digestive system and acid to break down animal protein and of course incisor ‘teets’.
– Coffee is actually good for you. More coffee less liver cancer. 4 or more cups a day lowered cancer recurrence by 52%. 2-3 cups daily = 31%. It reduced the risk of 11 other cancers. Drinks are less likely to have coronary artery calcium which is a predictor or heart disease. 1-6 cups daily reduces stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, infections, etc. BUT you need to get the right coffee otherwise you’re going to get all the sicknesses. Get certified organic, fair trade.
– Whole grains are good for you (Myth). None of them are really ‘whole’ because they’re all ground so you get more blood sugar and a faster hit of it. It’s bad for you ‘straight up’.
– Gluten-free means healthy (Myth). Choose things that are naturally gluten-free or you’re just replacing the gluten possibly worse chemicals.

Intermittent Fasting

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Note: The main reason I’m sharing this is because I’ve been doing it and feel like it’s a good way to go personally but I also feel your diet is like your fashion sense and personal tastes… only you can experiment and figure out what is best for you. I believe some people will not do well without meat (like Michael Clarke Duncan) while some don’t do well with intermittent fasting. It’s all on your epigenetics ;o)

– Not one research article on eating 6 small meals a day.
– You need to go through ‘starvation mode’. Hunters and gatherers did this while hunting which burns your stored fat. It takes 6-8 hours to metabolise the glycogen.
– Goes through a whole load of health benifits. (Time 9:06 – 10)
– Human growth hormone can release if insulin is not being released so fasting helps the process.
– Preserves health of the brain, better memory. Ketones are good for you.
– Insulin sensitivity is improved. You just need a little released but when you lose sensitivity you release more and more. This is what the body does if you do the 6 small meals a day. Paras note: I’ve been doing the 6 small meals for as long as I can remember. Been fine so far. I also switched to intermittent fasting last year and been find this way too!
– Shares his routine and goes into a Q&A.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

– Does the usual comparison between a long distance runner and sprinters physique.
– So the study between HIIT and steady-state cardio showed. HIIT achieved 7 x more fat loss and 2lbs more muscle. While steady-state cardio lost 1lb of muscle.
– Your body is not designed to slow run for 60 mins. Hunters ran in sprints then rest. Cardiac risk increases with excessive aerobic activity.
– With HIIT you’re using all muscle fibres. Fast twitch and slow twitch. With aerobic you’re only using 40%.
– HIIT reduces telomere shortening. When the telomere can’t shorten anymore you die so you’re reducing that. Lots of benefits with HIIT.
– The workout. You only workout for 20 minutes. Paras note: I do about 30. You can do any workout from swimming, cycling, walking, weights etc. 1: 3 minute warmup, 2: 30 seconds exercise as hard as you can, 3: 90 seconds rest, 4: repeat 7 more times. (Paras note: I’d say repeat as many times as you feel fit to do so. Give it 2-3 days to recover. Workout about 3 times a week.
– Goes into intermittent fasting.

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Community Movie Night – ‘Streetfilms: Bikes and Open Streets’ by Transition Town Mount Hawthorn Oct 12th 2016

Short films
Community Movie Night – ‘Streetfilms: Bikes and Open Streets’ by Transition Town Mount Hawthorn
Notes:
– The event was held at Foyer Oxford which itself does a lot of great and interesting things which I will look into later.
– City of Vincent’s Mayor John Carey had a chat with us after the movies and got us very inspired. What they’ve been doing is: how streets are shaped determine our lives. Educational programs, bike hire programs, triples investment in trees, 40 speed zone trial, write to Perth voice and demand change, push the boundaries, don’t do a study of consequences do a trial.
– Half way through we took a break to talk about why and how much we cycle and what were the obstacles or what would get more people cycling.
– I’ll just copy and paste the write up from the facebook event below as I want to get the videos in first.

1. Bicycle Anecdotes from Amsterdam

2. Cargo Bikes in Copenhagen

3. Cambridge: Britain’s Cycling Capital

4. Vancouver’s Breathtaking Network of Safe, Protected Bike Lanes

5. Bikes are Freedom: Inspiration from the Experts

Second Half – The Global Open Streets Movement (33min)
6. Ciclovia: Bogota, Colombia

7. The Rise of Open Streets

8. “The Better Block” Celebrates Four Years of Re-imagining Streets

9. The Metamophosis of NYC Street

10. Playstreets (1968)
(Can’t find it but basically lots of kids playing around and enjoying the open streets way way way back in the day.)

 

 

Be prepared to be truly INSPIRED by these AMAZING short films by Streetfilms – the go-to organization for educational films about sustainable transportation, car-free streets, traffic calming and much more.
We will be showing the following STREETFILMS at 630pm on Wednesday 12 October 2016 at Foyer Oxford, 196 Oxford Street, Leederville.
First Half – Bike Initiatives Around the World (33min)
1. Bicycle Anecdotes from Amsterdam
2. Cargo Bikes in Copenhagen
3. Cambridge: Britain’s Cycling Capital
4. Vancouver’s Breathtaking Network of Safe, Protected Bike Lanes
5. Bikes are Freedom: Inspiration from the Experts
Second Half – The Global Open Streets Movement (33min)
6. Ciclovia: Bogota, Colombia
7. The Rise of Open Streets
8. “The Better Block” Celebrates Four Years of Re-imagining Streets
9. The Metamophosis of NYC Street
10. Playstreets (1968)

“All of you are great human beings who are planting seeds all over to make a better world, where people are happier and we have healthier communities. Thanks for your enthusiastic and most creative work.”-Gil Peñalosa (former Parks Commissioner Bogota, Colombia)Executive Director, Walk & Bike For LifeOntario, Canada
” Showing the [Ciclovia] Streetfilm to our Mayor was the next best thing to flying him to Bogota to witness the joys of Ciclovia firsthand. The success of San Francisco’s Sunday Streets owes a great debt to Streetfilms’ pioneering work.” – Leah Shahum (Executive Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition)
Event Details
Doors open at 630pm. Films start at 7pm.
Running time approx 88 minutes (including breaks in between films).
Bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Gold coin donations welcome (for cost of future screenings).
We look forward to seeing you there :)

For more information about Transition Town Mount Hawthorn go to: www.ttmthawthorn.org
For more information about Foyer Oxford go to: www.foyeroxford.org.au/

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Companion of God by Dadi Janki

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Companion of God by Dadi Janki
– Each topic is a page or less and pretty basic.
– When you build a house, every brick counts. When you build a character, every thought counts. I will not become pure unless I think about it first.
– Which self do you address?

Contents
– Dadi Janki: A Spiritual Leader
– A personal Account by Sister Jayanti

Part 1 FIRST STEPS ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH
– Dadi’s First Thoughts …
– Inspiration
– The Spiritual Path
– Original Peace
– Early Morning Contemplation
– Child of God
– Self-Respect
– Silence
– Introspection
– Cheerfulness
– Tolerance
– Spiritual Tolerance
– Faith in Others
– Respect for Others
– Co-operation
– Patience
– Humility
– Honesty
– The Drama of Life
– Playing your Part
– The Spiritual Army

Part 2 THE JOURNEY CONTINUES – TALKING TO THE SELF
– Dadi’s First Thoughts …
– Quality of Thoughts
– Courage
– Detachment
– Strength
– Purity
– Self-awareness
– Accomplishment
– Leading Others
– Women as Servers
– Subtle Service
– Pure ‘Thoughts
– Making Peace
– Religion
– Staying Peaceful
– Talking to the Self
– Ruler of the Self
– Learning
– Success

Part 3 OVERCOMING OBSTACLES ON THE PATH
– Dadi’s First Thoughts …
– Obstacles on the Path
– Obstacles Within
– Problem-solving
– Friends and Relations
– Comparison with Others
– Influences
– Friendship
– Relationships
– Emotional Pain
– Calming the Mind
– The Benefit of Sickness
– Understanding Sickness
– Physical Pain
– Spiritual Health
– Spiritual Medicine
– Worry
– Traps
– Removing Unworthy Habits
– Testing your Self-Respect
– Protection
– Desires
– Grades of Tolerance
– Mistakes
– Checking the Self
– Changing Thoughts

Part 4 MOVING ONWARD – DISCOVERING TRUE LOVE
– Dadi’s First Thoughts …
– Going Beyond
– Giving Your Heart to One
– Knowledge
– Ethics
– Integrity
– Contentment
– Thought Power
– Happiness
– Creating Peace
– Love
– Trust
– True Respect
– Spiritual Education
– Being a Teacher
– Spiritual Progress

Part 5 JOURNEY’S END – KNOWING GOD
– Dadi’s First Thoughts: ..
– Spirituality
– God the Almighty
– God’s Light
– Mercy
– God as My Everything
– Blessings from God
– Connection with God
– Knowing God
– God as Director
– Helping God
– Devotion and Wisdom
– TIle Intellect
– Eternal Happiness
– Newness
– Walking the Spiritual Path

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Vegan Strongman, Dr. Nun S. Amen Ra, Eats ONE Meal a Day!

Vegan Strongman, Dr. Nun S. Amen Ra, Eats ONE Meal a Day!

Dr. Nun S. Amen Ra is a living testament to the power of intermittent fasting. He eats only one meal a day, eats no meat, yet has a warrior physique and is a world weight lifting champion. This inspirational video is so full of eye opening information about the vegan diet, maximum life extension, fasting, meditation, yoga, the dangers of glycation and how sugar ages the body. Eating less lengthens lifespan, where eating a lot shortens it. HGH human growth hormone is increased in the body when fasting. This is great inspiration for fat loss, healthy vegetarian diet, muscle building and how powerful the results can be when determination, focus, willpower and steadfastness can be attained. Amen-Ra eats beans, rice, grains, peanut butter and plant-based supplements and teas. For those interested in all natural drug-free bodybuilding, enjoy this super informative video!

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