Aug 19, 2014

The Science of Happiness [Infographic]

I love numbers but numbers on happiness is something I am still struggling to come to terms with.Some of the facts/evidence I like to dig deeper are:

  • "Having a child reduces happiness by 0.24% average"
  • "Married People are 10% Happier than unmarried people" - These one does challenge common belief :) 


Click for larger Image
The Science of Happiness
Thanks +WebpageFX 

Jul 8, 2014

Journey of Depression Infographic

Behavioral therapy is just as effective as antidepressants for a reduction of risk of depression recurrence in individuals that have already been treated successfully for depression in the past as lots of studies suggest.

Below a good infographic on what you could do when you feel the BLUE.

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Jun 7, 2014

No Age Limit for Success [Infographic]

Age Is Just A Number and Success has no age limit. Never let anyone say you are too young or too old to try something new. It is never too late to pursue your dreams. Some of the most successful people achieved their greatest accomplishments late in life. Why not you? Some people wait for right age & time to start something new . Its just a mindset….


Click for larger version


May 27, 2014

What Does Pregnant Women Search (worldwide)?

Google queries indicate that pregnant women around the world tend to crave many of the same things: ice, salt, sweets, spicy foods. But searches (by anyone, men or women) also find differences among countries about pregnancy-related concerns.See the image below for detail.




Source:
  • The New York Times
  • Illustrations by Ayumi Takahashi
  • Analysis of Google AdWords data by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

May 21, 2014

Mind Wandering During Meditation Could be Good...

Directive or guided meditation, like mindfulness, see mind wandering as something to be avoided; whereas psychologists think mind wandering may be beneficial, even necessary.


A Norwegian study had some meditators practising directive meditation and others non-directive meditation, while their brains were scanned.

One of the study’s authors, Svend Davanger, said:

“The study indicates that nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation.”
“This area of the brain has its highest activity when we rest.
It represents a kind of basic operating system, a resting network that takes over when external tasks do not require our attention.
It is remarkable that a mental task like nondirective meditation results in even higher activity in this network than regular rest.



The study’s authors point out that the…

“…types of meditation that allow spontaneous thoughts, images, sensations, memories, and emotions to emerge and pass freely without actively controlling or pursuing them, over time may reduce stress by increasing awareness and acceptance of emotionally charged experiences.
“…mind wandering and activation of the default mode network in general may serve introspective and adaptive functions beyond rumination and daydreaming.
Potentially useful functions would include mental simulations, using autobiographical memory retrieval to envision the future and conceiving the perspective of others.” 

May 20, 2014

Impact of Lack of Sleep on Your Mind and Health (Infographic)

Recent +GALLUP Study found that Nearly Half Of Americans Get Less Than Recommended Amount Of Sleep.The below graphic is really shocking to see the effects of sleep deprivation.

(Click for larger image)
Impact of Lack of Sleep on Your Mind and Health


May 12, 2014

Just $20 to Become Smarter and Pain Free - Electrify Your Brain

I read this piece about DIY Brain Simulation on +WIRED and I’m fascinated by it. Being a geek and fascinated by human brain this was perfect material for getting me in to overdrive mode.

It talks about brain zapping, giving your brain electric shocks to stimulate.

Williams got the idea from a news story about how Air Force researchers were studying whether brain stimulation could cut pilot training time. The military is not alone in thinking that brain zapping may improve mental function. In recent years, the method—technically known as transcranial direct current stimulation—has caught the interest of academic researchers.
From +Wikipedia "Transcranial direct current stimulation works by sending constant, low direct current through the electrodes. When these electrodes are placed in the region of interest, the current induces intracerebral current flow. This current flow then either increases or decreases the neuronal excitability in the specific area being stimulated based on which type of stimulation is being used."
So in layman’s term you use a device to give low voltage currents to your brain. I knew little bit about electrotherapy but people taking it to this level (DIY) fascinates me.
Williams is one of its leaders. The treatments have made a huge difference in his life, he says. He retains more information from the tedious journal articles he has to read for work, and he feels more creative. On his blog, SpeakWisdom, he posts technically detailed reviews of stimulation devices and cheerfully gives advice to anyone considering trying it for the first time. He’s got lots of company. A subreddit devoted to the practice has nearly 4,000 subscribers who actively follow the scientific research and share tips on where to place the electrodes on your head if, say, you’re depressed, too impulsive, or just want to amp up your creativity.
Madge, who likes to memorize scripture, says the stimulation has improved her retention dramatically.
  • British neuroscientists have claimed it can make people better at learning math.
  • A team at Harvard has found promise for depression and chronic pain.
  • Others are looking into using it to treat tinnitus and eating disorders and to speed up stroke recovery.
While all above fascinates me, I still have feeling that this is all placebo effect.

May 8, 2014

Science Discovers How Wimpy You Are

Till now I was of the impression that pain tolerance is a psychological thing. Pain can be tolerated by will. It is widely believed that regular exposure to painful stimuli will increase pain tolerance – i.e. increase the ability of the individual to handle pain by becoming more conditioned to it.

But following two recent studies suggests that how much pain you can tolerate can be determined by Genes and your brain structure. This is fascinating because if you know you are born as a wimpy kid you can apply techniques to increase your pain thresholds. Also the doctors can prescribe specific medicine instead of one pain killer fits all.

Your Brain Structure May Influence Pain Tolerance

Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that people with less gray matter in certain areas of the brain perceive pain more intensely.
Gray matter in the brain processes information, while white matter coordinates communications between different regions of the brain.

"These kinds of structural differences can provide a foundation for the development of better tools for the diagnosis, classification, treatment and even prevention of pain," study senior author Robert Coghill said in a Wake Forest news release.


Genes May Help Determine Your Pain Threshold

"Our study is quite significant because it provides an objective way to understand pain and why different individuals have different pain tolerance levels," study author Dr. Tobore Onojjighofia.

The participants were evaluated for the following genes: COMT, DRD2, DRD1 and OPRK1.

The DRD1 gene was more common among those with low pain perception.For those with moderate pain, the COMT and OPRK genes were seen more. COMT was 25 percent more common in those with moderate pain than those with high pain perception. OPRK was 19 percent more prevalent, the investigators found. Meanwhile, the DRD2 gene variant was 25 percent more common among those with a high pain perception than those with moderate pain.

May 4, 2014

How Use of Technology Affects Sleep

I agree with the content of the infographic but not with the title. Why? Because it's not the technology which is affecting the sleep. It is the USE OF the technology is affecting sleep. 

If the tablet or TV or the Smartphone is not touched by a human it's not going to affect sleep. As soon as you use it, it could have impact to you or others. It's like a gun. The gun does not do anything by itself, as soon as you pull the trigger it has potential to kill someone.



Apr 23, 2014

How to Beat Stress and Boost Happiness Infographic

These once I found interesting..
  • 85% of the stuff we worry about never actually happens.
  • 68% of people say that visiting a mental health professional for help managing stress was extremely or very effective.
  • 78% of people who volunteered in the last year say that it lowers their stress level.
  • Studies show that giving away our time actually makes us feel like we have more of it.


How to Beat Stress and Boost Happiness
Thanks +Happify 

Apr 20, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About Happiness Infographic

As +Dalai Lama said "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."

Below the science of happiness, proves above words to be correct. You have the ability to control how you feel—and with consistent practice, you can form life-long habits for a more satisfying and fulfilling life.
Everything You Need To Know About Happiness Infographic

Apr 10, 2014

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains

Very Interesting article from +The Atlantic 



Some Highlights from the (long) Article 

I asked Grandjean, a Danish-born researcher who travels around the world studying delayed effects of chemical exposure on children.
“That’s what I advise people who ask me, yes. It’s the best way of preventing exposure to pesticides.” Grandjean estimates that there are about 45 organophosphate pesticides on the market, and “most have the potential to damage a developing nervous system.”

By age two, almost all of the billions of brain cells that you will ever have are in their places. Except in the hippocampus and one or two other tiny regions, the brain does not grow new brain cells throughout your life. When brain cells die, they are gone. So its initial months of formation, when the brain is most vulnerable, are critical. “During these sensitive life stages,” Grandjean and Landrigan write, exposure “can cause permanent brain injury at low levels that would have little or no adverse effect in an adult.”

“What [Landrigan and Grandjean] are doing with the data is missing the key component, which is the dose,” Plunkett explained. “Many of the chemicals they talk about are well established to be neurodevelopmental toxicants in children—but it’s all about how much they’re exposed to. Just like anything else. If you don’t give people enough, or if you don’t take enough in your water or food or the air you breathe, you’re not going to have an effect.”

Download links for free eBook "Reminiscences"


Reminiscences By Krishnanand

Available on Android 

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Available on PC, Mac, Android and iOS

Available file format epub, mobi (kindle), pdf , rtf, pdb, txt, read online

Also available on Sony eBook Store, Kobo Book Store, Diesel eBooks

Apr 8, 2014

Compare Your Daily Ritual with History’s Most Creative Minds

What does your daily routine look like? Wake, work, exercise, eat and sleep? We all have our own ways of getting the most out of the day, compare your ritual with that of history’s most creative minds...


Click for larger image
Creative Routines of World's Most Famous People

Thanks +Virgin  and +Richard Branson and infowetrust.com



Mar 31, 2014

The Avatar We Have Is Fascinating Me

My neighbors came around the other day for dinner and I had privilege to talk to their 10 year old daughters interest and what games she plays. She told me that she is playing an online game in which she has created a character for herself. I know about Second Life and how it works but I was curious to hear what a 10 year old girl thinks about it. She told me that they (with her friend) just bought a house and will be renovating. Me being a curious creature, I kept asking her questions about her out of world experience. She went on for a while about it and it was fascinating to see the way she was describing it.

The summary of the conversation was that, she was able to do so many things in the virtual world which she was not capable of doing in real world as a 10 year old.

After that, I’ve been thinking that we all have two selves or an extended self now a days. (Defining SELF is also very complicated so I’ll ponder around that may be later.)

So the thought or theory or whatever you like to call is like this..

Since the beginning of Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Second life and X and Y and Z…).We’ve been able to create another self of ours or extend it. It is like having our own shadow (Avatar), who can behave and act completely different as soon as we go on the internet.

The definition of our online self, which is normally referred to as Avatar is: In computing, an avatar (usually translated from Sanskrit as incarnation) is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form,[1] as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities.


There are few things I observe going on …

We are not confined by social norms, age or gender in the virtual world. The second self is not limited to the social norms. What I mean by that is, On the Internet you can be (almost) say or do what you like. There are no cops or legal system. You are able to swear and give your opinions about a government or leader, which normally you don’t in real world or if you do then there is risk of having legal consequences. You can show your anger and frustration about your neighbors or council or friends, which you might not do in your physical world. It just fascinating what you can do. As I describe earlier a 10 year old can buy and sell house or have relationship. So there is no Age restrictions on the internet. Facebook has age restriction but I see lots of kids younger than the age limit on it.

You might be able to pretend that you are more generous, kind or a philosopher (like I do), extrovert on the internet, while you might be a completely different person in reality.

Mar 21, 2014

Do you really want to do this? Just Talk?

So after reading that “Happy couples talk 5 more hours a week” in “21 Facts ThatWill Change Your Relationship Forever”.

I tried to do this experiment with +Bhavika (my wife). Experiment was to talk without any distractions.

Don’t get me wrong, we talk all day about all sorts of things but there has been hardly anytime just dedicated for talk (since the kids at least). There is hardly time sitting down without TV or Kids or iPAD  or Book or brochure or Lunch/Dinner or something which is taking our attention.

So I told Bhavika, tonight once kids go to bed we are going to seat and talk, and she laughed. I said yes TALK

So after the daily routine finished.

I asked “ Do you really want to do this? It just feels weird.”
And she goes yes..
But what we are going to talk ...i asked
She goes, I don't know.


So we set down and talked for half hour on many things…it felt like an achievement. At times we did get stuck at times as the environment was created after long time. 

But for sure it was great experiment and I can say definitely it will improve our relationship if we keep doing this regularly. We exchange our thoughts, interest, what is going on in day to day life. How we want to do things in the future?. The key was we were listening to each other without distraction. 

To conclude, I feel the research finding are correct and chat with your partner does make your relationship happier.

Happiness is not something you find, it is something you create
Happiness is not something you find, it is something you create



Mar 6, 2014

The Formation of Love on Facebook

Facebook Data Scientist published recently some analysis on how the social media interaction takes shape before and after relationship starts. Its amazing what social media can tell.

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts ("day 0"), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.

We observe a general increase [in sentiment] after the relationship's ‘day 0,’ with a dramatic increase in days 0 and 1!” he says. Here’s a chart describing that change:


The analysis only looked at couples who “declared an anniversary date” between April 2010 and October 2013, not just those who changed their relationship status. For the sentiment analysis, it focused only on English-speaking users.

Thanks +The Atlantic 

Feb 24, 2014

26% Americans Unaware the Earth Orbits the Sun..Really??

Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?

“When asked that question by +National Science Foundation IIP , 1 in 4 Americans surveyed answered incorrectly. Yes, 1 in 4. In other words, a quarter of Americans do not understand one of the most fundamental principles of basic science.”

“Only 48 percent knew that humans evolved from earlier species of animals.”

“Americans actually fared better than Europeans who took similar quizzes — at least when it came to the sun and Earth question. Only 66 percent of European Union residents answered that one correctly.”

I read this in my news feed this morning and thought really! 26% people of one of the so called smartest country in the world don’t know, Earth revolves around the Sun.What the hack, where the hell they spent $69.8 Billion (yes with a B) of education funding (2013).

Feb 20, 2014

Shocking Employee Engagement Statistics (infographic)

I think this will apply to every country , every employee and every employer.



Thanks +Officevibe 

Feb 18, 2014

Remember to put the glass down

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience.

As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” 

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” 

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

Source - Unknown

Feb 15, 2014

The Science Behind a Happy Relationship (Infographic)

While some are still on the hysteria of Valentine Day, I thought I'll put this research backed tips for Happy Relationship.

Wishing you all long lasting relationships.





Thanks +Happify 

Feb 14, 2014

want to cut the divorce or breakup rate in half?

Its very simple and may be fun (may be not for the guys).

Just watch a romantic movie together and discuss 

That’s the finding from a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. [Ronald D. Rogge et al, Is skills training necessary for the primary prevention of marital distress and dissolution? A 3-year experimental study of three interventions.]

Psychologists found that encouraging couples to watch romance flicks and then discuss them cut the divorce rate in half.The researchers divided 174 newlywed couples into three programs: active listening, where one spouse listens and then paraphrases back what they heard; or compassion training, doing random acts of kindness for your partner; or watching a movie a week for a month.

The movie-viewing couples discussed each film after watching it, guided by questions about the characters. Questions like: “Were they able to open up and tell each other how they really felt, or did they tend to just snap at each other with anger?”

All three programs worked very well, dropping the divorce rate after three years to 11 percent, versus 24 percent for couples who did no therapy. But the movie program is much more accessible and cheaper than counseling.



Source, Thanks  +Scientific American 

Feb 11, 2014

The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy

Very well explained difference between Sympathy vs Empathy. Hopefully I'll be able to show more empathy than sympathy.




Feb 8, 2014

"Asynchronous Syntropy" a "Swept Away project" at Museum of Arts and Design NYC

New York-based artist Joe Mangrum has spent the last 8 years drawing beautiful, hypnotic patterns and designs on the streets and squares of New York. But chances are you probably won’t see any of them, because they tend to disappear.

Mangrum draws his impressive and expansive works by pouring brightly-colored sand from his hands. The circular geometric forms he uses, as well as his use of colored sand, makes his work resemble traditional Buddhist mandalas, but he also mixed in marine biological design elements and other to give his work a unique look. The artist writes that his “paintings are influenced by an abundant world of undersea creatures, carnivorous plants emanating electrical impulses,… [and] cross-cultural metaphors from many years of travels around the world.”



Source: +Bored Panda

http://www.joemangrum.com/


Feb 4, 2014

Depression

As part of my new challenge of counselling studies, I study about psychological diseases. Depression is one of the biggest and most common issue people face now a days. This video from +World Health Organization hits the nail on head. It is so simple and easy to understand. 

There are so many ways to cure depression the biggest challenge for anyone suffering is to speak out and seek help. In our society it is acceptable to seek help if we have cold or cancer but it is hard to accept that someone could have psychological challenges.

There are so many resources of health available we just need to find the courage to stop thinking about the society and seek help.


Jan 19, 2014

Why we pay for coffee and not music?


This image came into my news feed on Facebook. At first look, I was in agreement with this one but when I thought about it, it does not seem logical argument. 

To make a cup of coffee

  • There would be thousands spend as well to make a perfect cup. i.e. growing the beans, cleaning, transportation, storage, humans, cows, sugar, machines cups, restaurant the list goes on. 
  • A Barista would have spend years to practice how to make a perfect coffee.
  • The coffee machine maker might have invested years to invent it.
I'm not in favor of piracy and that is a moral conflict I've not been able to resolve yet. I think as a human we would steal anything anytime if
  • the consequences of getting caught are not high
  • the punishment is tolerable
  • the reward outweighs the punishment/consequences 
  • it is acceptable to steal in the social circle we are in
I think people will steal coffee if they are able to. May be there will be digital coffee in the future you can download.

I'm just saying it does not cost just $5 like the image portrays to make coffee. You've to be genuine when you are doing cost analysis ...consider all the cost (except the emotional aspect).



Jan 9, 2014

Science Behind - Why we can't stop eating sweet food?

After my post The science behind - Why we overeat? I got interested in what happens when we have sugary food. I have sweet tooth and once I've one chocolate or piece of cake or any sweet food, i'm not able to stop without having few more.

This video explains the reason behind why we can't stop eating and what brain does when we have sugary food. The brain does the same thing for alcohol and drugs too.


Jan 1, 2014

10 Leadership Lessons from Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com

Jeff  is one of my favorite business leaders. He like other great tech giants Bill Gates and Steve Jobs started Amazon.com in a garage in Seattle. Now his Net worth is 19 Billion and he is among worlds 30 richest men. Amazon's stock is up 397% in last five years.

This article from Forbes talks about his style of leadership.

No 7 is my favorite.

1 “Base your strategy on things that won’t change.”

Selling lipstick, tractor seats, e-book readers and data storage are all part of one big plan with three big constants: offer wider selection, lower prices and fast, reliable delivery.

2 “Obsess over customers.”

Early on Bezos brought an empty chair into meetings so lieutenants would be forced to think about the crucial participant who wasn’t in the room: the customer. Now that ­surrogate’s role is played by specially trained employees, dubbed “Customer Experience Bar Raisers.” When they frown, vice ­presidents tremble.

3“ We are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.”

Many of Amazon’s expansions look like moneylosing distractions at first. That sometimes sends the company’s stock price skidding and evokes analysts’ scorn. Bezos shrugs. If the new initiatives make strategic sense to him, a five-to-seven-year financial payoff is okay.

4“ There are two kinds of companies: those that try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.”