Is intelligence the most important thing that determines our success in life? Possibly! But, in the 1960s a psychology experiment took place that suggested there is another factor which is far more likely to determine our future life course. The experiment was called ‘the marshmallow test’.
Earlier this month, an Australian study provided the first solid evidence that diet can have a role in treating major depression. It is somewhat surprising that this research hasn’t been done before. We have long suspected that the nature and quality of our food can influence people’s risk of depression. It has always been a fairly confident best guess that ‘we are what we eat’ and that some foods change our moods for the worse whilst others offer more protection.
We all know that getting enough sleep is important but unfortunately, more than a third of us get less than six hours sleep each night. All of the recent research suggests that this may be putting our physical health at risk. Four lifestyle factors that are worth knowing about and giving a try if you want more sleep.
Has 2016 flown by for you? Is that because you were having fun, or is it because you are getting older? Interestingly, psychological research suggests that we all experience the passing of time differently, and that doing lots of new things may be the key to subjectively slowing time down.
These days there are so many books on time management and improving productivity you could spend a lifetime exploring them. And this would not be a good use of time! So, I prefer the simplicity of a one-hundred year old method that was developed in 1918 by a productivity guru of the time called Ivy Lee. It earned him nearly half a million dollars in today’s money, when he increased productivity in steel executives by twenty percent. There are five basic steps.
Many of life’s difficulties stem from an inability to accept things as they are. Sometimes this is because we experience a big gap between how we want things to be and how they actually are. Modern society doesn’t help with this – it creates expectations about what we should own or possess, or how we should look, or how we should be living our lives. Despite the fact that most of us live a life that would be on a par with royalty some centuries ago, we still remain dissatisfied. This dissatisfaction is further fuelled by a sense of entitlement – a belief that we deserve better.
What do you value in your life? You won’t need reminding that you only have one shot at it. Miss it and it’s gone for good. In 2012, an Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, working in palliative care, wrote a moving book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. She found five repeating themes when people near the end of life talked about their life regrets.
When did you last discuss something with someone and came to the conclusion that they were right and that you were wrong? For many of us the answer to this question will be, “Not for a while”. We all want to be seen as open-minded, but in reality, humans struggle to change an opinion once they have mentally signed up for it. We tend to defend our position even in the face of many contradictory facts.
Are you procrastinating your life away? Are you forever putting things off until tomorrow? If you are, then you won’t be surprised to hear that you are probably underachieving in your life. However, the research also tells us that if you chronically procrastinate you are more likely to experience stress and other health problems. How does that work?
[Guest author - Sarah Counter, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with Outlook South West]
We all know that exercise is good for us, research shows that physical activity can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing the chances of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However sometimes it can be hard to engage in mainstream exercise for various reasons such as illness and as such we can find ourselves inactive with reduced mobility which can have a significant impact on mood.