Like the waves of the ocean
Feelings come and go.
Choose which ones to ride to shore
By now you already know that Peggy and I rant and rave about the power of our minds – not to dwell on the negative, not to focus on what we can’t do but on what we are capable of. When I came across this article by Dr Rossman I wanted to share.
“Repetitively shifting your attention to positive outcomes may actually result in growth in areas of your brain that start to do this automatically. My colleague, neuroscientist Dr. David Bresler, always says that “what you pay attention to grows” and research proves him correct.
“Neuroscience journalist Sharon Begley wrote in a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, “Attention, … seems like one of those ephemeral things that comes and goes in the mind but has no real physical presence. Yet attention can alter the layout of the brain as powerfully as a sculptor’s knife can alter a slab of stone.”
“She describes an experiment at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in which scientists “rigged up a device that tapped monkeys’ fingers 100 minutes a day every day. As this bizarre dance was playing on their fingers, the monkeys heard sounds through headphones. Some of the monkeys were taught: Ignore the sounds and pay attention to what you feel on your fingers…Other monkeys were taught: Pay attention to the sound.”
“After six weeks, the scientists compared the monkeys’ brains and found that monkeys paying attention to the taps had expanded the somatosensory parts of their brains (where they would feel touch) but the monkeys paying attention to the sounds grew new connections in the parts of the brain that process sound instead.”
“UCSF researcher Michael Merzenich and a colleague wrote that through choosing where we place our attention, “‘We choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves.’”
“Research into how cost affects our perceptions shows that price matters so much to our understanding of value that we sometimes rate pricey things as superior or more effective, even if they are the exact same quality as the less expensive option.”
“In one study by The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Stanford University scholars, people not only rate the same wine more highly when they’re told it is more expensive, functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI scans taken of their brains while they were drinking the wine suggest participants enjoyed the experience of drinking it more.”
“In another study using placebo pain killers, participants who took a fake pain-killing drug that they were told cost $2.50 per pill experienced more pain reduction during a series of shocks than participants who were told the pill cost only 10 cents.”
“How does price and perception play into our purchasing decisions outside the laboratory? If an item is twice as expensive, do buyers assume it’s twice as good?”
“Michael Norton, a psychologist and professor of business administration at Harvard Business School says yes. In fact, we may consider the experience to be more than twice as good. We’re motivated to splurge because we’re seeking peak experiences, his research suggests.”
Norton says the same logic can be used to think about why people buy very expensive products or experiences. “There’s an extra boost when you go up in the quality of experiences. So, it’s possible that a $10,000 bottle of whiskey would be more than twice as pleasurable than a $5,000 bottle of whiskey because it’s such a peak experience way out in the extreme.”
“We examine why consumers desire unusual and extreme consumption experiences, and voluntarily choose leisure activities, vacations, and celebrations that are unpleasant and even aversive. For example, many consumers choose to stay at freezing ice hotels and eat at restaurants serving peculiar foods, such as bacon ice cream. We demonstrate that such choices are driven by consumers’ striving to use time productively, make progress, and reach accomplishments (i.e., a productivity mindset). We argue that choices of collectable or memorable (unusual, aversive, extreme) experiences lead consumers to feel productive even when they are engaging in leisure activities, as they “check off” items on an “experiential check list” and build their “experiential CV.”Some of us are searching for unique leisure experiences, even when they might be less pleasurable than other options, in order to build their “experiential CV.” Anat Keinan, Harvard University & Ran Kivetz, Columbia University
Some people are spending big purely to signal they’re successful. “You might feel like you need to show everyone you’ve ‘arrived’,”
Economic theory shows demand for some goods increases as their price drops. By contrast, a ‘Veblen good’ is more in demand as its price increases, because of its exclusive and coveted nature.
“There’s a general principle that there’s a social comparison aspect of one-upping other people in our consumption. If I have a nicer bottle of wine (…) than you do then I win, and have shown how high status I am,” Norton says. But he adds people are polarised and often choose to be either extremely conspicuous or extremely inconspicuous to show high status.”
And here’s the simplest reason of all: people splurge on luxury goods because they think it will make them happy. Norton, who co-authored Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, says that the amount of happiness you get from spending money will depend on how you spend it and not necessarily how much.
Norton says splurging on items for ourselves is finite and doesn’t add up to increases in happiness over time. Instead, he suggests spending money on experiences rather than things. “Most of us seem to be maxed out on the happiness we can get from stuff alone.”
Giving to others seems to add up to happiness over time.
Placebo Effects of Marketing Actions: Consumers May Get What They Pay For. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236852497_Placebo_Effects_of_Marketing_Actions_Consumers_May_Get_What_They_Pay_For
Dear Human-beings, my faithful fans,
Some human-beings have a bit too much time on their hands, coming up with stupid studies to prove the obvious. Here’s my evidence:
“According to the American Veterinary Association, currently, over 40 million American households have dogs. Among these households, 63 percent consider their pet dogs as a part of their family. (The other 37 percent are cat owners) However, many of them still are divided when it comes to having their furry family members sleep with them in the bedroom.”
“But, there’s a solution to the problem in a new study published this month, which said that having canine companions could actually improve the quality of your sleep. (Quality of sleep!? . . . we improve the quality of your LIFE) Although, there’s a catch. Letting them sleep in your bedroom is ok, but it doesn’t hold true if your dog is in the bed with you.”
A Mayo Clinic study, titled “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment,” published in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings . . . , suggested that people might actually sleep better when their dogs are in the bedroom with them, meaning that shooing your furry friends off might not be such a good idea. (They needed a study to discover it’s not nice to “shoo”?)
The study was based on an examination of 40 people who owned dogs and didn’t suffer from any sleep disorders over the course of five months. They put accelerometers on both the dogs and the owners for seven nights for the study and then determined the results. (Accelerometers?! – no wonder no one could sleep) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerometer
The researchers also said that it is important to consider the limited sample size on which the study was conducted and also to note that none of the dogs examined were under six months old. Younger puppies have more energy and thus might be problematic if they let into the bedroom at night. Thus, further research is required to understand the association between letting your dog sleep in the bedroom or not.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, SSCD
Sound Sleeping Canine Dog
Compassion makes you feel better. I saw this first hand when I worked in an outpatient program with people diagnosed with severe psychiatric disorders – schizophrenia, manic depressive disorder and major depression. Many had been hospitalized more than once.
My goal was to help patients manage their illness, so they could stay out of the hospital and live a more normal life. Besides many of the things the program offered to help them, including medication, I believed if I could help them be happier, have more positives in their lives, some of the stressors they felt would be offset and help them stay well.
I had read a research project using compassion exercises and decided to try it. It worked well in the research and I hoped it worked for the patients. Here’s what I did:
Week 1: I asked the patients to spend an hour being really good to themselves, something to pamper themselves. It didn’t matter what they chose as long as they personally enjoyed it. When they shared everyone expressed liking their experiences and felt happy they participated.
Week 2: The patients were to take the same amount of time – an hour – and do something nice for somebody else, something to brighten someone else’s day. It didn’t matter who they chose or what they did as long as it was something kind and giving. When they shared this experience they were even happier! All reported they felt better doing something nice for somebody else for an hour than doing something for themselves.
According to brain science Buddhist monks are some of the happiest people in the world. They are don’t leave their monasteries and do things for others, but meditate on compassion. Research shows compassion meditation changes the brain and makes it happier!
Scientific research keeps pointing to maintaining connections with others as a key to living longer and healthier. This article is a basic guide for managing the inevitable conflict that comes in the most intimate relationships we have.
Healthy couples address the conflict.
“Some partners shut down and give each other the silent treatment or avoid the problem in other ways, said Bush, also author of the book 75 Habits for a Happy Marriage: Advice to Recharge and Reconnect Every Day. However, healthy couples are “willing to talk about what’s going on.”
Healthy couples see conflict as an opportunity.
“They see [conflict] as a means for growing together… an opportunity to understand each other better and to clarify their needs and values,” Bush said.”
“The conflict doesn’t become a disconnect or a power struggle but an opportunity for both of them to create something new,” according to Harville Hendrix, Ph.D, co-creator of Imago Relationship Therapy with his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. It becomes an opportunity to have a conversation, he said.”
Healthy couples value each other’s perspective.
“Healthy couples believe that each partner has a valid point of view, whether they agree with them or not, said Hendrix, also author of several books on relationships, including the bestseller Getting the Love You Want. They realize that “there are legitimate differences and they understand that they don’t live in each other’s brains.”
Healthy couples consider their contribution to the conflict.
“Partners in healthy relationships “own their own stuff,” Bush said. They’re willing to look at how they’re contributing to the problem, she said.”
Healthy couples fight fair.
“Unlike unhealthy couples, they don’t name-call, insult, curse or hit below the belt, Bush said. They also don’t “bring up every problem that’s ever occurred.”
“Instead, “they stick to the issue at hand and have a respectful, curious attitude.” Instead of being defensive and focusing on explaining themselves, they’re interested in what their partner has to say.”
Healthy couples really listen.
“They give each other their undivided attention. They don’t interrupt or make remarks such as “That’s not right” or “Where did you get such a stupid idea?” Hendrix said. Rather, they are “fully … present to their partner’s point of view.”
Healthy couples kiss and make up.
“Typically, after an argument, healthy couples end up feeling supported, heard and understood, Bush said. Partners might apologize or say something like “I love you. We’re in this together,” she said.”