You Make Choices to Have a Good Life

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How you think about the world around will influence what you do in the world, which in turn impacts how you react to what’s happening around you. It’s a cycle, and you can influence it. Positive thinking won’t work, instead you can use tried and tested ways to better your life through making educated decisions. Practice mindfulness, self-reflection and consider how you react to stimulus to help you make decisions in your life.

Facing what you don’t want to deal with is not easy at first. There is courage within us; we have to find and make friends with it. I found courage through prayer, asking for help, and digging deep inside my heart to find my courage. The heart knows what is right and can be our inner guidance system. The heart doesn’t care about the future or the past — it only cares about what is best for you and doing the right thing.

When we face a challenging situation, it’s often necessary to make hard choices, and sometimes to get what we want, we have to let go of something significant. For example, if you choose to leave a marriage with children, you know changing the structure of the family unit will be difficult, but the reasons to do so are more critical than keeping it intact. That is not an easy decision.

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A Meta-Analysis of Well Being Reveals how to Help Your Mental Health

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Many people are feeling worn out, down, and stressed after living through a year of the COVID-19 pandemic. People in nations which reacted swiftly and took scientific approaches to containing the spread are doing better, but those of us in areas with poor leadership (I’m in “Conservative” Ontario) the pandemic is stronger than ever. With no end in sight for this pandemic how can we keep our mental health?

We can turn to a recent meta-analysis of mental well-being studies for some guidance. Researchers looked through 420 research trials to find what commonalities exist and if there is anything we can learn form it. There is, and you can start practicing things to help you right away.

Amongst the many forms of interventions included, two in particular stood out for their consistent associations with positive findings across trial cohorts: mindfulness-based interventions, and multi-component PPIs (positive psychological interventions), which package together a range of treatment methods and activities designed to cultivate positive feelings, behaviors, and thinking patterns.

To a lesser extent, other interventions also appeared to deliver benefits, including acceptance and commitment therapy-based interventions, cognitive therapy, singular PPIs, and interventions focusing on reminiscence.

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Practicing Mindfulness Reduces Bias

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Mindfulness training can reduce the biases one has according to a new paper published today in Nature. The researchers had a control group which was given a bias test but received no mindfulness training, the other group got training and then tested. The results are clear: being mindful can reduce one’s bias.

In a study testing whether mindfulness decreases cognitive biases, respondents answered 22 standard cognitive bias questions to measure susceptibility to the endowment effect, overconfidence, mental accounting, anchoring, loss aversion, and 17 other biases, as well as the 14 questions of the Langer mindfulness survey (LMS), measuring the traits of novelty-seeking, novelty producing, and engagement. A portion of the respondents were randomly pre-assigned to a condition that induced mindfulness. On 19 of the 22 biases, those induced to be mindful were less likely to show the bias. They also scored higher on 11 of the 14 LMS questions. The method by which we induced mindfulness was unrelated to the context of the later questions, involving image comparisons and standard Langerian instructions to notice three new things. People can boost their decision-making abilities merely by increasing their mindfulness, with no need for meditation, psychological training, or statistical education.

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Be More Successful by Practicing Self Awareness

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Self awareness helps in many aspects of one’s life, from romance to learning new things; it can also help you be successful in your professional life too. Let’s be honest though, self awareness is hard and is something that needs to be practiced everyday. Over at Fast Company they put together a list of five things you can do to improve your self awareness and how it can help you in your work life.

2. REVIEW YOUR SUCCESSES AND FAILURES

Take stock of the times you were successful, as well as those you weren’t. What happened in each situation? What was different? If you were to do it again, what would you change? Keep note of these reflections to see if patterns emerge and what you can learn from and take action on.

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Mindful People Experience Less Pain Than Others

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Mindfulness is all the rage right now and for good reason, the benefits of being able to be aware of yourself and your impact on others are great. Mindfulness has a lot in common with metacognition insofar that it provokes self-awareness and the more you practice it the better you get at it. If you haven’t tried mindful thinking then maybe this newest research will motivate you. It turns out that mindful people experience less pain than people who don’t practice mindfulness.

Whole brain analyses revealed that higher dispositional mindfulness during painful heat was associated with greater deactivation of a brain region called the posterior cingulate cortex, a central neural node of the default mode network. Further, in those that reported higher pain, there was greater activation of this critically important brain region.

The study provided novel neurobiological information that showed people with higher mindfulness ratings had less activation in the central nodes (posterior cingulate cortex) of the default network and experienced less pain. Those with lower mindfulness ratings had greater activation of this part of the brain and also felt more pain, Zeidan said.

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