The Art of Nostalgia

“The Art Of Nostalgia” is a elaborate collection of nine personal essays of Lauren. These essays aim to capture nostalgia’s essence on how does it effects the person and the thought process. The essays bring the reader on a journey as Lauren crafts a timeline of memories that reflect a deep-rooted nostalgia for places, people, and transient phases of life. She, inadvertently, strings together pieces of herself, pieces that shape who she is at her core, daring us to ponder our own stories, our own past that vitally remains within us.

Here is some insight on how to tame the phenomenon that is nostalgia.

The cycle of Nostalgia

Keep in mind that you’ve missed things a thousand times before, and it always becomes easier. It may take weeks, or months, but it always does. Whether it’s a place, a person, or your favorite food that you can no longer eat because you just found out you’re gluten free, it always gets easier.

Be Realistic: The most dangerous part of nostalgia is the tendency to romanticize. When you look back, look back on the past as it actually was. Doing so will prevent you from ranking the past as better than the present.

Look Forward: Avoid excessive planning, but when that new movie tells you how enlightening your twenty-something years are, or how incredible your forties are, listen. Your grandmother is right when she says you have a lot to look forward to. Be excited for, and do not fear, what lies ahead.

Always Live In The Moment – Try to embrace how exciting life can be when you truly live in the moment. Respect the epitomic Cards and try new things everyday.

Balance – Try to find a balance between the past and the present. Keep in touch with old friends, and remember the events that made you the person you are today. Most importantly, always participate in Instagram’s “throwback Thursday.”

The first and probably the most important consideration is the attitude with which we approach our material. Since nostalgia serves no immediate purpose besides providing pleasure it is a fundamentally aesthetic memory experience, which means we should approach our material with the mindset of an artist.

Judging Trustworthiness From a Face?

There has been a research conducted by scientists wherein they have found that our brains are able to judge the trustworthiness of a face even when we cannot consciously see it. This has shown some light on the fact that we make snap judgement about people by just looking at them.

Trust as well see is the fundamental ingredient of the human beings mutual interdependence. As an example on how trust is embedded in our daily life, just look at the following examples:

1. The server brings us a meal in a restaurant, trusting we’ll pay after we’ve eaten it.
2. We put in long hours at work, trusting that our employer will give us our wages at the end of the month.
3. We zip through green lights, trusting that cross traffic will stop at their red lights.

Changes in Trustworthiness perspective

As we grow adult, there is a big change in the way people judge trustworthiness from appearances. These judgements are not known in children. All age groups from 5-7 or 10 years old or adults have rated the trustworthiness of trustworthy and untrustworthy faces with neutral expressions. Ability to evaluate the trustworthiness of faces emerges in childhood, but may not be adult like until 10 years of age.

According to research we have two modes of thinking — a quick, intuitive mode and a slow, rational mode. Each has strengths and weaknesses. When making snap judgments in the social atosphere, the intuition will usually yield better decisions than reason. In all other cases, reason tends to triumph over intuition.

The bottom line for making social judgements – If you do not have any information to rely on, trust your intuition or guts; it will be right more often than not. But keep in mind that your gut is far from foolproof, so don’t ignore contextual cues of untrustworthiness.

How Many Ways Can We Measure Well-Being?

The definition of well being is different for different people. Everyone has a different opinion about it. But most of the people now believe that it is just not material possessions and consumptions. It is more and more related to other aspects as well such as health and good social relations. Can the happiness and its levels in life can be quoted as the fundamentl attribute towards well being? So what is the real measure of well being? Is it happiness, social progress, or combination of all factors of good life?

How to Measure happiness and Well being?

One possibility of finding this is through some opinion survery where the participants respond to simple questions on their degree of happiness or life satisfaction. According to some of these surveys it has been found that money, econimic progress, financial wellbeing has lesser than expected contribution towards satisfaction.

Some Expert opinion about Well Being

Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen has pointed out that knowing well-being on the basis of feelings of satisfaction, pleasure, or happiness has below two issues.

The first is called physical-condition neglect wherein, human beings adapt at least partially to unfavourable situations, meaning the poor and the sick can still be relatively happy.

The second issue is called valuation neglect wherein valuing a life is a reflective activity that should not be reduced to feeling happy or unhappy.

The Office for National Statistics in the UK was asked by the Prime Minister David Cameron to know what is happiness and wellbeing and can they be measured. After six months of project the Jill Matheson, the director of the program reported that happiness is one intangible thing and wellbeing is measurable in the same way our economy is.

Some key aspects for Well Being

Children’s happiness
Economy and inequality
Health
Work/life balance

Harvey Weinstein Proves Sex Addiction Doesn’t Exist

Harvey Weinstein is been in news recently for allegations of sexual misconduct. He is reportedly seeking treatment at a center in Arizona currently which focuses on sex addiction. He has some serious more than 20 allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault. He stated in one of the emails to the CEO’s and directors the following: “All I’m asking is let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling. Whether it be in a facility or somewhere else, allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance,” Weinstein reportedly wrote. “A lot of the allegations are false as you know but given therapy and counseling as other people have done, I think I’d be able to get there.”

After Weinstein’s resolution for seeking treatment for sex addiction and the corresponding mental illness can wrongly make such abusive actions stand along with sexual addiction for comparison.

It is not only sexual addiction which can be seen as a mental issuess in Weinstein. There could be other mental problems, too, and why not see his primary problem as

• The abuse of power?
• The incredible lack of empathy?
• Self-destructiveness?
• The fear of being insignificant, of not even existing?
• The inability to keep marital vows?
• The lack of integrity?
• The inability to feel sufficiently nourished by an incredible career?
At the end with the Weinstein’s case it is being discussed deeply that there’s no such thing as “sex addiction,”. So what does Weinstein and others suffer from then?

The difference of offending behavior and ‘sex addiction’

Chris Samuels, director of the Sexual Addiction Treatment and Training Institute in New York, stressed that these are two separate issues. “The perpetrator (of sexual misconduct) is opportunistic, often motivated by power dynamics and often self-justifying and remorseless,” she said. “The sex addict, by contrast, is fairly constantly dealing with compulsive urges to act-out as a coping modality, is seeking emotional relief from stress rather than seeking to exercise power over another, and is rarely without shame or guilt about his or her behavior.”

Can You Change Your Personality?

No two humans walking or ever walked on this planet has the same personality and characters. Everyone is very much unique and different than other and often behave in different ways in different situations. There are no strengths and weaknesses or any particular type of personality and there is no idea of ideal personality just like there is no ideal human being to follow in this world.

That being said, it is almost impossible that at some point in life you will not say “I wish I had a different personality”. You might look for becoming more outgoing, more organized, more resistant to issues and concerns, etc. It would not be a big surprise if the most frequent question people ask for while going for personal development classes is “Can I change my personality?”.

Every personality type is unique and has different strengths. Your basic personality type cannot change, however, you can train yourself and change some of the aspects of your personality that you strive for changing or taking different course in life. Such a change in life is possible either by change in environment or your own willpower.

What the Science thinks about changing Personality

Scientists believe that personality traits not only determine what we are like, but may also impact our social relationships, work experiences, mental and physical health, and other aspects of our life. But a recently published study suggests that our characteristic personality type may be more changeable than we think.

According to researchers at the University of Chicago, who analyzed over two hundred studies to see how different types of psychotherapy and pharmaceutical drug treatments impact personality traits for people with mental-health issues, stated that personality traits are often measured and it is possible to observe shifts in them. These shifts in personality seemed to reflect actual changes in general traits, not just a temporary change in mood, such as the alleviation of depression or anxiety.

What we can do to change the personality?

The first step to making real and lasting changes in personality is to be critical of any self-development program that boasts instant, or radical change. As it takes many years to develop patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, it will take some time in the time of years to to alter them.

Top Ways in Which Social Media is Changing our life

Rewind about 20 years from now, who would have ever thought about the smartphones, social media, twitter, facebook linkedin, etc. The Social Media Revolution has been in the corner since last one and half decade or so when it was present in some isolated places and with websites like Friendster and MySpace. Although they had decent adoption, still the population in general was not at all aware of such imminent revolution.

Fast forward to 2017 and the revolution has been converted to a buzzing trend in the current times. It has spread all across the world with Billions of people logging in to social media every day. It has not only attained the status of one of the most important part of modern lifestyle, but also a unique and surprisingly fruitful marketing channel for businesses types. My son once was stunned to know that cell phones (smartphones) was unheard of about 20 years back and we never carried phones earlier.

Things have been changing with a great pace and looking at the social changes it looks like things are changing permanantly. It has officially and diligently entered in our culture at all levels ranging from top to grass root level.

Effects of Social Media on People

According to Health experts we are more and more sitting than moving or walking. It is like sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is one of the worst thing we can do to our health and it can raise many disease vulnerabilities. There is similar risk carried by the things we are doing while we are sitting. If we are scrolling the social media accounts and news feeds mindlessly for either minutes, hours or days, it is ruining and affecting our mental health. This phenomenon is affecting our collective psychology.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued few warnings to parents about the negative effects of using social media on young kids and teens. They have shown increased risk of cyberbullying and facebook depression in children, same as like in adults.

Although there are few benefits of using Social media like getting connected with people far off and find all your old pals and relatives whom you have never talked since years. If you are looking at using social media as a time killing tool or using it for some emotional lift is a bad choice. Studies have shown that if you leave facebook or other social media activities, it is going to raise your psychological well-being.

Try to use this powerful tool in moderation and don’t let it become a emotional and psychological turbulence.

How Social Media has changed our daily lives

These brilliant communication tools have profoundly changed the world of communication and interactions all over.

1. Where We Get Our News – Now we rely on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin for the news from friends and family, rather than relying on the newspapers and online news.In this way, you can choose the people or groups you wish to read or know about and rest you can keep in the back burner.

2. Start and Do Business – Setting up and launching business has become easier and simpler with the proliferation of social channels of marketing. Earlier, the setup and operations of business was quite a task but now, interest-focused Facebook groups, Twitter searches, and niche social networks helps in doing business activities easily and become more trget focused.

3. Providing newer means and horizons for Interactions – We will not stop using large media organizations and neither will we stop communicating by phone or in person meet. We will now have another tool to help in communication in the form of social media.

4. It has opened up the channel between customers and businesses. Now the orders can be placed on twitter rather than waiting to talk over phones, faxes, meetings, etc.

Internet Use And Depression

Excessive Internet Use Causes Depression and Related complications

No one can deny that the Internet is most influential force on society in the entire human history. We never had such an unprecedented access to news, knowledge, and entertainment from cultures all around the world, before the advent of Internet. Although this treasure of information is huge and precious, this wealth has led to something called digital information overload. The human minds cannot handle such kind of constant influx of information without making changes.

Internet addiction is recognized as a psychological disorder which can make people spend too much time on a computer.  This affects their health, job, relationships or finances. Whether it is depression which causes people to turn to the Internet for social fulfilment, or whether excessive use of the Internet can make people depressed – this is subject to research and discussion.

A new research study by psychologists at Leeds University, England postulated that people who spend 10 hours or more a day online are more likely to show signs of depression.

Over-engaging in websites that replaces the normal social interaction like Facebook might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction. Moderate to severe depression is likely to happen among people who are addicted to the Internet.

Recognizing Depression due to surfing online

People who spend high amounts of time surfing online does not realize the impact of lack of social interactions. Slowly the depression symptoms start piling on them. Know these early signs of depression from the National Institute of Mental Health:

  1. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  2. Decreased energy and fatigue
  3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  4. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  5. Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
  6. Irritability and restlessness
  7. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once found pleasurable
  8. Overeating or appetite loss
  9. Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems
  10. Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  11. Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts

Infertility treatments ‘not linked’ to developmental delays

A new study says that “There is no heightened danger of developmental delays … in children conceived through IVF or other infertility treatments. The study included more than 5,000 mothers, around 1,500 of which had received some form of infertility treatment, and assessed their child’s development at three years of age. They looked at whether there was a dissimilar effect, depending on whether it was a single or twin birth, and the type of infertility treatment given – either assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF, infertility drugs or artificial insemination.

The researchers examined the link between child development and infertility treatment, separately looking at the effect of single or twin birth, and the type of infertility treatment given. They adjusted their analyses for various confounding factors that could influence results, such as parental age, ethnicity and education, mother’s body mass index (BMI), baby’s weight and gestational age at birth.

What were the basic results?

The researchers included 1,422 mothers (of 1,830 children) exposed to infertility treatment, and a comparison group of 3,402 mothers (of 4,011 children) who hadn’t received treatment.

The vast majority of mothers (97%) completed one or more developmental screening instruments. There were some differences between parents who had received the different types of infertility technique – for example, those who had ART were older, had higher educational attainment and lower BMI than those who had just received infertility drugs.

Between 6 and 10% of children failed at least one of the ASQ developmental domains at each screen. Infertility treatment was not associated with risk of a child’s failure confidence interval.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The research panel concluded that: “After considering [singletons and twins], children’s development through age three years was similar irrespective of infertility treatment or specific type. To our knowledge, these findings are among the first to focus on non-ART treatments in the United States.”

Conclusion

The study found no convincing evidence that infertility treatment had any impact on a child’s development, which will come as a relief to parents who have undertaken treatment. However, while this type of observational study is good for looking at links between an exposure and an outcome over a period of time, it is not able to prove direct cause and effect and say for certain whether there is any link between two factors.

The study has many strengths, including that it used a well-validated tool to assess child development and included a large sample size that should be representative of all births in the target region. Though, only a population from one US state was used, so these findings may not be applicable elsewhere, particularly as the frequency of use and type of infertility treatments given may vary geographically.

Improve your attitude

How to bring improvement in your Attitude? – Make it more Positive

Do you have a desire to say no to your boss and act on your own at your workplace? No, right, or Yes? Well anyway, you would be tagged for your attitude and behavior – whether as one having pathetic attitude or by one with the right attitude.

If you are the former one, it is a good time to start thinking on changing the perception and improve your attitude – not only towards workplace atmosphere, but also at home or as a matter of fact, everywhere.

  1. Admit to yourself if you are not happy in your life. At least do not lie to yourself and then crib all the time. You should be aware that you need to change something to bring the change and this is the first step towards this. Take control of your thoughts and reactions to events and people.
  2. Optimism is a choice not a born habit. No one is born with a positive or negative attitude. You take one path over the course of your life and it depends on your perspective in life. Just try this simple tip – take a pen in a difficult situation and write 4-5 good things about this difficult situation at hand.
  3. Select positive words while thinking or speaking – Use sentences starting with “I am hopeful,” or, “We will resolve it”. You can change your emotional outlook by this simple change in your handling situations.
  4. Fix up a good daily positive quote for yourself and keep yourself reminding about the same. Say it loudly every morning. For Example – “Something great is going to happen today,” which will rocket you up in the positive direction rather than negative one.
  5. Check on what exactly you would like to change – understand what you wish to change. Setting up of crisp and clear goals gives you success and takes you farther. No one knows you better than yourself. So take charge of your life and you will start seeing changes.
  6. It is an old saying that you become what you keeping your company as. So choose the right company for making yourself change the negative outlook to positive outlook. Consider making friend with new people, especially the ones who are optimistic.

At the end, it cannot be denied that a positive attitude is important, it is equally important to strive for positive attitude always. You can do it too like me!

Video Games Relieve Depression

Video Games has the power to relieve depression

Researchers have found promising results for treating depression with a video game interface that targets underlying cognitive issues associated with depression rather than just managing the symptoms.

According to Dr. Patricia Areán, a UW Medicine researcher in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, the findings are both intriguing and promising.  The first study enrolled older adults diagnosed with late-life depression into a treatment trial where they were randomized to receive either a mobile, tablet-based treatment technology developed by Akili Interactive Labs called Project: EVO or an in-person therapy technique known as problem-solving therapy (PST).

Project:EVO

The Project: EVO runs on phones and tablets and is designed to improve focus and attention at a basic neurological level. The results showed that the group using Project: EVO demonstrated specific cognitive benefits (such as attention) compared to the behavioral therapy, and saw similar improvements in mood and self-reported function. The studies were funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Another research on Video Games effects on Depression

Researchers at the University of California Davis are using video games and brain training applications to treat depression. The study found that not only can video games potentially treat depression, but when participants are reminded to play games, they are more likely to play more often and increase time playing, which may help patients gain further benefit from the treatment, though the researchers did not measure that.

The study used six, three-minute specifically designed video games played by 160 student participants with an average age of 21. The study showed in most cases playing a game helped participants feel they had some control over their depression. The games were an adaptation of neurophysiological training tasks shown to improve cognitive control in people with depression.

The messages used to remind participants to play the video games targeted depression as either internal from a chemical imbalance or hereditary, or external from environmental and lifestyle factors. The reminder messages had differences in approach but all concluded with inspirational notes to encourage participants to play the game.