Volume 3 No. 9
IN THIS ISSUE
It has only been five days that I've been listening to my weight loss and using metabolism to melt fat tapes, already I'm noticing a very marked difference in appetite, I'm not as hungry as I used to be and I get full faster. Also I've been more active in the past 5 days then I have been in the past 2 months. I've been playing pickup games of basketball, and did a sprint workout today. I'm curious to find out what else is going to happen in the next 30 days. I'm a believer now. -Andrew, NY
As good as it gets means “peak experience.” What is a peak experience? For me, peak experiences have always been that warm fuzzy feeling one gets when they go to the aid of another in need. This could be a loved one or a complete stranger. Something in the human condition seems to elicit a feeling that becomes memorialized in memory, and when you might be feeling down, like your just not fulfilling your life's purpose, or you just somehow don't matter, it's those warm fuzzy moments that can bring you out of it.
I remember only too well working as a pastoral counselor with a young woman who had been clinically depressed for years. I gave her an assignment. That assignment involved helping someone in some way every single day for a month. She recorded her help and how it made her feel. By months end she was asking her psychiatrist to remove her medication. The last time I spoke with her, the experience of that one 30-day period had lasted years.
It's the Holiday season when giving is on everyone's mind. Perhaps it's a good time of year to try this exercise for yourself. You don't need to be depressed to benefit from it. Make it your best Holiday season ever by making a difference to someone, even if anonymously.
We wish you all the very best in everything! Happy Holidays!
It's Not About the Horse-It's About Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt
There is an old Sufi saying that paraphrased goes like this: It's not what a book says, but what a book does, that matters. I just read the best self-help book that I have read in the past ten to fifteen years—-perhaps based on the Sufi saying, the best of my lifetime. The book is not the best written nor does it provide the most profound insights to the human condition. What it does do is touch everyone that reads it in a unique way. I have shared the book with many because I thought my love of horses might have influenced my decision. No, the book simply uses the horse as a backdrop to open people up to themselves, and the stories that follow reach deep into the soul and one laughs, or cries—-but everyone feels this book in a meaningful way. We don't have it. I bought my first copy from Barnes and Noble, but since then I have purchased many online from Amazon. I think you'll like this book. I don't know the author and have no reason to endorse it other than it's a great book! If you read it, let me know what you think.
Give an experience
According to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, you will enjoy and remember a gift or expenditure that provides an experience much more so than a gift of a pure material nature. Researchers Leaf Van Boven of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University found that unlike possessions, experiences get richer over time. Some items, like a book or scuba gear, possess both materialistic and experiential qualities. When you think of your gift list this year, think of what it may do as opposed to what it may be and perhaps the gift will be remembered and enjoyed far into the future. (This includes gifts you give yourself, of course.) (Krakovsky 2003)
Mental training counteracts mental decline
The old saying, “Use it or lose it” is as true of the mental as it is of physical. A new study carried out by Karlene Ball and associates, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, shows that seniors can use brief training courses in any of three areas of thought and yield significant improvement in their cognitive skills as a result. The three areas identified by Ball and her associates are memory, reasoning and visual concentration. Further, the enhancement in cognitive skills derived as a result of this application of mental energy lasts for at least two years.
The researchers recruited 2,832 healthy men and women between the ages of 65 and 94. The subjects were divided into three groups, each assigned to one of the three training modalities.
The training consisted of one-hour sessions over five to six weeks, ten sessions in all. The visual group learned to identify images presented quickly on a computer screen. The memory group worked with stories and word lists. The problem-solving group worked with routines like scheduling by working with things like a bus schedule. None of the tasks were difficult. The study tends therefore to suggest that using methods common to all of us, but by deliberately attempting to recall such things as the name of an author, will accomplish significant gains in cognitive abilities. (Bower 2003)
Positive thinking linked to immune response
Melissa Rosenkranz and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin published findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, according to Eric Strand writing for Psychology Today, that show weak immune responses in the “face of negative emotions.” The impaired immune response was only present when experimental subjects were given the task of writing about emotionally negative or disturbing moments in their lives. (Strand 2003)
How about a cognitive prosthesis?
If researchers like Kenneth M. Ford at the University of West Florida in Pensacola have their way, true mind-expanding machines may be just a few short years from reality. When Ford considers mental enhancement, he does not think first of artificial intelligence designs, but rather of a cognitive prosthesis as an enhanced “computational tool that amplifies or extends a person's thought and perception, much as eyeglasses are prostheses that improve vision.” Personally, I like this idea much more than those involving artificial intelligence—how about you? Ford directs the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). Take a look at their web site: http://www.ihmc.us/ (Bower 2003)
It's all about mind over matter, and I don't mind so it doesn't matter. Brett Favre
Bower, B. (2003). MIND-EXPANDING MACHINES. Science News. 164: 136-138.
Bower, B. (2003). Thoughtful Lessons. Science News. 162: 307.
Krakovsky, M. (2003). Buying Happiness. Psychology Today. December: 18.
Strand, E. (2003). Think Positive. Psychology Today. December: 21.
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