Your Mindset About Your Health Can Make a Big Physical Difference

mindset


Our mind and body are tightly interconnected.

Often times we can’t talk about our “physical health” without also talking about our “mental health,” and vice versa.

One of the biggest pieces of evidence for the mind-body connection is the placebo effect, which is when a patient is given a “sham drug” (such as a sugar pill), but they still experience a physical change in their body, like reduced pain or reduced anxiety.

A new study published in the scientific journal Health Psychology illustrates another fascinating way our mindset intersects with our physical health.

In this study, researchers looked at surveys from over 60,000 U.S. Adults and asked about their physical activity, health, personal background, and other measures. One of the main questions they looked at was…

    “Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about as active as other persons your age?”

After collecting the results, the researchers then followed up on this study 21 years later by looking at death records of participants.

What they discovered was that individuals who reported that they were “less active” were 71% more likely to die within that follow-up period than those who reported they were “more active,” even after controlling for physical activity, age, body mass index, chronic illness, and other factors.

To put it more simply, individuals that believed they were “less physically active,” even when they did the same amount of physical activity, reported higher rates of mortality.

This is an interesting example of how our mindset can influence our health.

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Do You Need Someone to Call You Out on Your Bullshit?

bullshit


It’s very easy to get trapped in your own bullshit.

Our minds can often be our own worst enemy. We fill up our heads with lies, excuses, pessimism, negativity, and erroneous thinking. And we use these as weapons to rationalize why our lives suck and can’t be changed.

Many of these limitations are self-imposed. They aren’t actual physical boundaries that keep us from going where we want to, but mental boundaries that stop us from even seeing the path forward.

The most difficult thing about this trap is that it’s very hard to notice when you are feeding yourself bullshit. We are so trustworthy of our “inner voice” that we believe whatever it tells us must be true.

But do we always tell ourselves the truth? If you’re being honest with yourself, the answer is probably “no.”

There are a number of ways we lie to ourselves on a daily basis, whether they are cognitive biases, logical fallacies, or just ingrained thoughts we’ve learned through experience. We rarely have a perfect picture of reality, so by necessity our minds always lie to some degree.

And because it’s so difficult to catch ourselves in our own lies, it helps to have a friend who is comfortable enough to call us out on our own bullshit.

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The Power of Anticipation: Why We All Need Something to Look Forward To

anticipation


We all need something to look forward to in life.

In fact, a healthy sense of “anticipation” can often help energize our lives, and even help us get through tough times.

While living in the present is a very beneficial thing – sometimes the present can feel a bit annoying, frustrating, tedious, or intolerable.

When we find ourselves in those less-than-ideal present moments, having something to look forward to in the future can give us the motivation and persistence to keep moving forward even during those difficult times.

The most simple and common example of this is having a bad week at work, but you have some fun plans for the weekend and that keeps you focused on fulfilling responsibilities until you can finally reward yourself.

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How to Use Technology as a Mirror, Not a Screen


Since the times of ancient Greece, philosophers, religious leaders and authors have strongly believed that self-knowledge was the key to human potential. They have posed questions you most likely remember studying in your freshman year philosophy class: what makes us human? How do humans experience pain? What are emotions and why do we have them?

Throughout history, most of our conclusions came from external observation. Now, thanks to technology, we are able to connect our internal and external worlds in new and exciting ways.

In various industries ranging from the medical practice to spirituality, technology has created enormous strides in helping us identify who we are as individuals. We can understand the effects of positive stimuli, track key information about ourselves using data over time, and use that knowledge to develop our minds and fuel our growth. Technology can be much more than a way to help us relieve short-term needs quicker. By identifying our own microdecisions and actively tracking our progress over time, we can use technology to look inside ourselves and reach past our potential.

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How to Comfort Someone Who Is Hurting

comfort



Opportunities to Comfort Are All Around Us

Life is not easy. We all experience pain, disappointment, and loss. One of the great joys of friendship, and the great satisfactions of life, is to be able to comfort a friend or family member in their time of need.

And of course, when we ourselves are hurting, we long to hear soothing words from our friends.

These words, if chosen well, have tremendous power to ease our pain.

With the rise of social media, it seems we have more opportunities than ever to offer words of comfort and support.

Scroll through the feed on any of your social media apps, and it won’t be long until you encounter a friend who has experienced a loss: the death of friend, family member, or pet, the loss of a job, a newly diagnosed illness, a financial setback, a breakup, a disappointment at work.

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