Simple neuro tricks : how to change yourself and influence others

Posted on April 27, 2022  in Uncategorized

The hardest battles in people’s lives and in the world take place imperceptibly, in the depths of the mind. Low self-esteem, depression, addiction, pain cause great suffering, but are exclusively in the head.

Conventional wisdom says that both mental problems, such as anxiety, and milder behavioral problems, such as the inability to follow one’s own passion, need to be solved by changing the mindset. Sean Young, Ph.D., author of Habits for Life, is convinced that this view is fundamentally wrong. Here’s what he says.

Change starts with action

It is often said in books on personal growth and pop psychology that we can influence our behavior by changing our thoughts. But it is not so.

Self-hypnosis is far from the most effective way to overcome fears, gain self-confidence, or, say, get rid of a bad habit. You will not become a different person if you tell your reflection in the mirror every day: “I’m good, I’m smart and, damn it, people like me.”

In fact, everything is exactly the opposite: you need to change actions, and the mind will catch up. This is what neurohacking is based on .

self-identification

To achieve positive change, you need to make small adjustments in behavior and let your brain think about it. A key element of this process is self-identification.

People often make decisions based on what they think of themselves. And this, in turn, depends on how they acted in the past.

Want to become more responsive? You don’t have to convince yourself that you are. The brain will not believe it if your thoughts are not backed up by actions. Just start actively supporting friends in difficult times or doing volunteer work, and then you will find a new identity – a person who cares about helping people.

The psychological tricks you will read about below work on the same principle: as a result of certain actions, a person forms ideas about himself, and a new identity influences his future decisions and actions. Knowing the techniques of neurohacking , you can change not only your own, but also someone else’s behavior.

How to turn an enemy into a friend

When Benjamin Franklin was re-elected to a seat in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, another legislator made a lengthy diatribe against him. Franklin knew that paying back in kind was a bad idea. It was necessary somehow to win over the defiler to his side.

Franklin changed the opponent’s mind and turned him into a friend with a neural trick .

Knowing that the man had a rare book, Franklin wrote him a letter asking him to borrow it for a while. Flattered by this attention, he quickly sent his copy and received in return a courteous letter of thanks.

This little thing forever changed their relationship: they became friends and remained so until the end of their days. And all because there was a powerful shift in the mind of the enemy. Enemies don’t share books or write pleasantries, so Franklin isn’t an enemy.

Franklin later wrote that he had learned an important lesson: “He who once did you a favor is more willing to help you again than one to whom you yourself have done a favor.”

How to get rid of fears

Another neural trick is to dive right into your fears to overcome them. Sean Young experienced it himself: “At 21, I was sure that the worst thing is to find yourself in a foreign country without money, acquaintances and knowledge of the language. And so I found myself in just such a situation. Everything turned out not bad at all, even wonderful. I began to see myself as a different person – capable of doing what I could not before. Without knowing it, I used neurohacking .”

Neurohacking can do the same for you. Are you afraid to communicate with people of the opposite sex? Go on a date. Do you feel awkward in a big company? Join some interesting party.

Contact with what causes anxiety, at least in the light version, is useful. You will be able to see yourself in a different light, increase self-esteem and become bolder.

How to stop procrastinating

Start a self-development group or start a blog about the dangers of procrastinating. It’s hard to teach people not to procrastinate if you’re doing it yourself, so taking this step will help you beat the bad habit.

Think back to your therapist (or imagine you have one). He seems very calm and relaxed, doesn’t he? This is largely due to the fact that he plays the role of a mental health expert.

This approach – playing a role until you get used to it – creates a neuro -trick : a person thinks that it is impossible to lead a procrastination prevention group if he himself has problems with this.

How to get someone to agree with you

Did you know that your decisions—like whether you like a person and whether you agree with their statements—depend on how your body moves while they are talking?

Participants in one study were asked to listen to an announcement that students must carry identification cards. Half of them had to nod at this time, and the rest to shake their heads from side to side. They were then asked if they agreed with the announcement.

Those who nodded agreed much more often than those who shook their heads in the negative.

Why did such a result appear? The participants were unaware of the purpose of the study, but subconsciously understood that nodding meant agreement.

Thus, if you force a person to make movements that are associated with the expression of consent, he will become more accommodating. Marketers, for example, can use this trick by arranging their product line vertically instead of horizontally.

How to persuade a person to do something

A very important neurotrick is to make the person himself show that he wants something. If he voluntarily makes a decision, such as choosing a certain job or a completion date for some business, the likelihood that he will consistently go to the result is higher.

Give the person a small number of options and ask them to choose something.

Parents can use this technique to influence their child’s behavior. For example, if you need to sit him down for breakfast, you can ask what he wants more – cereal or eggs (just do not need to offer too many dishes, two or three will be enough).

It is important that a person perceives his choice as voluntary. If he feels that he is being pushed towards some option, the method will not work.

How to have a successful date

You must have heard that some young men invite girls to the cinema for horror movies. They hope that the friend will get scared and hug the companion. This tactic may seem ridiculous, but the scientific evidence speaks in its favor.

There have been many studies that have shown that people rely on manifestations of their own physiological and emotional state in order to evaluate themselves and decide what to think and how to act.

If a person is physiologically aroused—particularly while watching a horror movie—the brain may decide that the arousal is related to something else, such as the presence of another person or worry about whether a date is going well.

If you don’t like horror, think about what else will give you and your companion (or companion) an adrenaline rush. For example, you can ride a roller coaster. The effect will be the same.

How to cheer yourself up

Scientists have proven that we can quickly change our mood by using facial expressions. If you smile or frown, then you experience the corresponding emotions (without even realizing it).

In one study, participants were divided into two groups. Representatives of the first had to hold a pen between their teeth, imitating a smile (they were not explained why this was necessary). Participants from the second group were asked to hold the pen tightly with their lips (try to smile while holding the pen in this position – and you will see that it is not easy).

After that, the participants had to perform various activities, including looking at the cartoons and judging how funny they were. In theory, our opinion about the picture should not depend on the position of the pen – between the teeth or lips – but the participants in the first group seemed to have fun caricatures.

In another study, people were asked to say words that made their facial muscles move in a certain way, with similar results.

Recently, psychologists and doctors have been using Botox to study this effect. During the experiments, the subjects injected this substance into certain areas on the face in order to make facial expressions more difficult. The results were similar: by losing the ability to frown and make an angry expression, people became less angry. The study participants also experienced a reduction in depression levels.

chain links

As you can see, instead of trying hard to control the thoughts in your head, you can use a little neuro trick that will seriously change the mind and behavior.

There is another important point: the neural trick will work much better if you apply it several times. Let’s say you want to loosen up and overcome shyness. If you do something once, like dropping into an improv class, it will be difficult for you to acquire a new identity. You have to go to classes repeatedly and out of your own interest.

To change your self-perception, you need to do the same thing over and over again.

After, say, five classes, the mind begins to believe that the lessons are enjoyable, otherwise why go to them. Thus, a new type of personality is formed.

How to beat depression?

Posted on April 21, 2022  in Uncategorized

Bad mood, apathy, unwillingness to do anything, complete indifference to everything: if such a state lasts more than two weeks and lasts for months, then all these are characteristic signs of depression. How to deal with it? The methods are different for everyone, because the reasons are also individual. Therefore, before you get out of this state, you need to understand where it all began.

Using the example of my friend, I will tell you about her personal methods of struggle.

Alina was 22 years old when her life began to decline. A graduate of a prestigious university in Moscow, but not quite a favorite profession, as it turned out in the 3rd year, she received a diploma and went home. A week before graduation, she broke up with her loved one, and her desire to surrender everything and leave as soon as possible intensified even more. She did not show her depressed state to her relatives, and each time she morally pulled herself out, but at night quite often her “strength” turned into sobs. This went on for almost 2 years. The sadness of parting grew into a lack of self-confidence, and that she can really achieve something. The new day seemed to constantly bring even more reasons to go into depression. 7 methods that helped Alina get out of it:

Family support

Having received a diploma and having flown home, she tried to forget the person with whom she had just parted. All this time, she was engaged only in watching TV shows, reading books, sometimes going to the cinema, and meeting friends, but returning to her room she could not leave for a long time until her parents called for food. She ate, drank tea, and again ran into the room. Two months of spiritual emptiness. Having fallen asleep one day in the morning and sleeping until the evening, I woke up from the voice of my father, who cursed loudly. Father has always been Alina’s support, kind by nature, he did not let her lose heart and during the upcoming exams he always called and had conversations, after which wings appeared.

On that day, she heard him screaming and did not understand the reason. As it turned out, he saw the state of his daughter and could not stand it. He went into her room and said: you are alive, but you don’t live, you are healthy, but you are ruining yourself, you are happier than those who cannot afford to sleep in a warm place, you are a beautiful girl, but you put an end to yourself. Discouragement is a great sin, and you believe in God, but you continue to lose heart. If you don’t stop, consider that you will kill the one in me who always thought he raised a strong-willed person. I will be lost if you are lost.

Dad’s words became sobering for Alina. She realized that she had relatives who were not ready to accept her in such a state and did everything to get her out of it. Now Alina believes that even if a person has depression and there is no support, as she had, you can still force yourself to fight on your own. There are many such examples. Sober yourself up with a “slap”.

Work

It was time to look for a job, but each time she was refused for lack of experience, and she increasingly ceased to believe in herself. By the way, in the book “100 ways to change your life. Part 2,” I wrote, “Believing in yourself is important, but it doesn’t guarantee victory. Even if you don’t believe in yourself or, even worse, if you believe that you are a complete nonentity, but at the same time work hard, you will definitely succeed! Thoughts that she was not capable of anything intensified, but she tried to do something. In the end, I found a job, my colleagues were not all pleasant, only inside there was a feeling of some satisfaction from the fact that a small step had been taken from my past self. No wonder they say that any physical activity does not give time for bad thoughts.

A change of scenery

After working for some time, she decided to change her field of activity and went back to Moscow to study. Arriving in this city was not the most fun. Autumn time, rainy, gray, and after six months of study, there is a desire to quit everything again and go home. However, every time something helped her not to give in. Having taken all the will into a fist, I finished my studies, and what inner satisfaction and gratitude I had for myself that I did not give up. Do not quit what you started – that’s how my parents raised me. In Moscow, every day I spent talking to myself, my friends were not around, my relatives too. Many days spent alone, all thoughts went into entries in the diary, every walk to the subway, every day to get up with the words: a little more, be patient. She returned home completely different. As if a trip to another country tested for stamina and awareness came. The internal dialogues have been good. After them, being at home, I realized that I forgave the people who had once hurt me. It became easier to breathe.

Strength in a smile

Smiling at yourself, even when something doesn’t work out, is difficult, but you can force it. As a colleague says: by force, when no one sees. In many eastern countries, a smile means victory over difficulties and fortitude. In Japan, they believe that the more you smile, the better your mood. Overcoming herself, Alina tried to smile every day. Many do not attach importance, but it really works, you have to try.

Creation

You have a hobby, this is also creativity, it manifests itself in everything. For some, even solving mathematical problems is a manifestation of creativity. Alina was helped by writing down her thoughts in a diary and playing the guitar. I took the guitar in my hands and my fingers reached for the desired chord.

Horse Therapy

Alina loves animals since childhood. Coming to my grandmother in the village, she gladly sat in the saddle. It was not often necessary to get out somewhere in the city, but a strong desire to see the horses made her go to the nearest hippodrome. You come, you see your pet, you have conversations with him and your bad mood disappears as if by magic. At these moments, it seems that he disperses negative thoughts with his mere presence.

Communication

During apathy, you always want to close yourself within four walls and not communicate with anyone. What if there are no friends? Force yourself to go out, walk, visit cultural places or visit orphanages, orphanages, nursing homes or seriously ill people. Communication with such people makes you reconsider your views on life. Dating on the Internet is also one of the forms of communication that should not be ignored.

All these methods are the personal experience of one person, but the depression of which, was really difficult. Thanks to her, she learned to appreciate her life more, and to do everything possible not to give in. And everyone has a bad mood for a couple of days, the main thing is to be able to recover in time. Now she is 26, a year ago her friend died of cancer, before that she managed to tell her this phrase: I know that everything you do is not in vain. You are indeed a very good friend. This phrase motivates her to get up every day in the morning and be glad that she is just healthy.

Learn not to get carried away. 50 quotes about emotions

Posted on April 15, 2022  in Uncategorized

We cannot imagine life without emotions. Good or bad, inspiring or depressing – they are part of us, although we still do not know much about them. We have selected 50 quotes from new books and bestsellers. Let them help paint your emotional background with bright colors or just learn something new.

1. For better or worse, intelligence can be useless if emotions take over.

– from the book “Emotional Intelligence”.

2. Although emotions have always served us as wise advisers, the new realities offered by the current civilization have formed with such speed that evolution, with its sedate pace, clearly cannot keep up with them.

– from the book “Emotional Intelligence”.

3. The root of the word “emotion” is the Latin verb moveo , meaning “to move, set in motion”, with the prefix e- (“e-“), giving an additional meaning of outward direction: “move away, remove.” This means that each of the emotions awakens the desire to act. The fact that emotions lead to actions is most easily seen by observing animals or children.

– from the book “Emotional Intelligence”.

4. Feelings are necessary for thinking, and thinking is necessary for feelings. But if passions rage, the balance is disturbed. So the emotional mind took over and overwhelmed the rational mind.

– from the book “Emotional Intelligence”.

5. Our emotions have a mind that holds its own views quite independently of our ratio .

– from the book “Emotional Intelligence”.

6. The main “switch” of painful emotions is the left prefrontal lobe. The right prefrontal lobes house negative feelings like fear and aggression, while the left lobes control these raw emotions, probably by depressing the right lobe.

– from the book “Emotional Intelligence”.

7. Empathy, another ability based on emotional self-awareness , is the main “human gift.” People really capture the feelings behind words.

– from the book “Emotional Intelligence”.

8. If you haven’t changed for a while, you get a false sense that everything is stable and you are in control. But control can only be in one area: yourself, your emotions, confidence and development.

– From the book “Never Ever “.

9. Life is time. It’s what you do, how you feel about it, who you spend your hours and days with, what interesting things you do. And you can start doing it now. Without delay.

– From the book “Never Ever “.

10. If the movement has not started, the person freezes in the “emotional trampling” mode and spends his battery on throwing. And in this mode, she quickly “sits down”

– From the book “Never Ever “.

11. Learn not to get carried away, not to freak out and not to fall into an emotional collapse, even in uncertainty or under the pressure of circumstances. “No money, no work, what about tomorrow? Ah-ah-ah!”

– From the book “Never Ever “.

12. When considering whether to meet friends in the evening and have fun from the heart or stay at home and sort through the accumulated mail, choose the first one! Positive emotions from the meeting will make you much more creative and productive in the following days.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

13. Happiness arises through the gradual “cultivation” of positive emotions. Similarly, negative experiences create a downward emotional spiral. For example, to a frustrated person, the working day seems endless, and traffic seems terrible.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

14. Each positive emotion is layered on top of the previous ones, enhancing the feeling of happiness. Positive thoughts, emotions, and decisions feed off each other. With this mindset, eating, exercising, sleeping, resting, and other activities will add strength rather than drain it.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

15. Listening to your body and each time making a choice in its favor, you get a powerful emotional charge.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

16. Sometimes the excessive absorption of a particular food is caused not by physical, but by emotional hunger. Your brain remembers, “When I’m sad, I eat chocolate with peanut butter.” The trick is to separate the food from the satisfaction of a certain emotion.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

17. Dreams are also closely related to our emotional state. When we experience negativity in a dream, we often wake up with a more positive attitude and clearer thoughts. Have you ever wondered where the expression “sleep with a problem” comes from?

– From the book Closer to the Body.

18. A sleep-deprived person is like a living wire, through which negative emotions pass instead of a current. The part of the brain responsible for anger becomes hyperactive.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

19. By mastering the senses, you will form healthy habits. Once you understand that each emotion does not arise from scratch, it will become easier for you to control your reactions and mood.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

20. Cheerful, sad, melancholy, gloomy, inspired, joyful… Man is a real whirlwind of emotions. Even when you feel bad, you are not helpless. No one can take away your right to choose, and only you decide how to relate to the situation.

– From the book Closer to the Body.

21. The time-honored history of emotions goes something like this: Everyone has emotions built in from birth. This is a separate easily recognizable phenomenon within us. When something happens in the world—a gunshot or a flirtatious look—our emotions spring up quickly and automatically, like someone flipping a switch. We express emotions on our faces with a smile, a frown, or characteristic expressions that other people can easily recognize. Our voices express emotions through laughter and shouting. Our body gives out our sensations in every gesture and posture.

— from the book How Emotions Are Born.

22. Your emotions are not built in, but made up of basic parts. They are not universal, but different for different cultures. They don’t start themselves; you create them. They arise as a combination of the physical properties of your body and a plastic brain that makes connections with the environment in which it develops and the culture and upbringing that provides such an environment.

— from the book How Emotions Are Born.

23. The law considers that emotional harm is less serious than physical harm and less deserving of punishment. Think how ironic this sounds. The law protects the integrity of your anatomical body, but not the integrity of your psyche, even though the body is just a container for the organ that makes you who you are – your brain.

— from the book How Emotions Are Born.

24. Your genes can make you sensitive to the environment and every little problem. And if you are a woman of reproductive age, the connectivity in your interoceptive network changes every month, making you more vulnerable at certain points in the cycle.

— from the book How Emotions Are Born.

25. Pain is an experience that results not only from physical injury, but also when your brain predicts that injury is imminent. Let’s say you’re in the doctor’s office getting a tetanus shot. Your brain constructs a case of “pain” because you already have previous experience with injections. You may feel pain even before the needle touches your arm.

— from the book How Emotions Are Born.

26. When you feel bad, consider that you have a virus, and do not think that your discomfort means something personal. Your sensations may be just noise. Perhaps you just need to sleep.

— from the book How Emotions Are Born.

27. When you teach your children about emotions, try to go beyond the essentialist stereotypes: smile when happy, frown when angry, and so on. Help them understand the diversity of the real world—that, depending on the context, a smile can mean happy, embarrassed, angry, or even sad.

— from the book How Emotions Are Born.

28. And now I am in favor of using anger as one of the additional incentives on the way to your goal. This is a beautiful emotion. And, as it turned out, very creative, if directed in the right direction. The emotion should not be “This bastard will now burst into tears that he has lost such a beauty as me. Let him suffer for the rest of his life! ”, But rather like this:“ I will wipe my nose with this everyone who does not believe in me!

– from the book “100 ways to change your life. Part 2”.

29. Often being overweight is a subconscious desire to hide, run away and shut yourself off from the world. This fear arises from dissatisfaction with life in general or from the fact that a person lacks emotions.

– from the book “100 ways to change your life. Part 2”.

30. Our emotions are like food in the refrigerator. If they are not survived (“not eaten”) in time, then they begin to rot and poison our lives.

– from the book “100 ways to change your life. Part 1”.

31. Almost all pregnant women are characterized by increased emotionality. Often this is one of the first signs of pregnancy, which is very puzzling if a woman does not yet know that she is pregnant.

– from the book “I will be a mother.”

32. Young mothers often say that immediately after giving birth they feel relieved, very tired and want to drink a cup of tea, and the emotional wave covers later. Young fathers, on the other hand, are surprised at how emotionally they experience the birth of a baby, even if they are usually not prone to sentimentality.

– from the book “I will be a mother.”

33. Very often a tired baby, who had too many emotions and impressions, cannot fall asleep. This is one of the reasons why children who do not get enough sleep during the day do not sleep well at night.

– from the book “I will be a mother.”

34. A growing body of scientific research shows that emotional inflexibility—being stuck on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that do not benefit us—leads to a range of psychological problems, including depression and anxiety.

– from the book “Emotional Flexibility”.

35. Negative experiences are normal. Such is human nature. And an overemphasis on positive thinking is just another radical way our culture attempts to combat normal fluctuations in emotions, just as society sometimes rushes to cure childhood hyperactivity or women’s mood swings with pills.

– from the book “Emotional Flexibility”.

36. First, everything is decided by your emotions. Secondly, repressed emotions inevitably take their toll, and they find an outlet in a completely different place than you expect.

– from the book “Emotional Flexibility”.

37. When we are too joyful and cheerful, we often do not pay attention to serious threats and risks. It would not be a big exaggeration to say that excessive joy can be life-threatening: in this state, you more easily decide on adventures and underestimate the risks of alcohol.

– from the book “Emotional Flexibility”.

38. Boldly and with interest, accept yourself as a whole – with a chapped nose and frayed ears, with “good” and “bad” emotions, missing nothing and not bypassing anything with sympathy. Accept your inner experiences, try to get used to them and explore them without trying to get rid of them as soon as possible.

– from the book “Emotional Flexibility”.

39. Do not try to get rid of fear. Try to go to what is valuable to you, right through your fears, lighting the way with your values. Being brave does not mean not being afraid of anything, being brave is moving forward, no matter how scary it is.

– from the book “Emotional Flexibility”.

40. There is a huge difference between stress and anger, stress and disappointment, stress and anxiety. If we cannot unequivocally express what we feel, others are unlikely to be able to understand us and provide the support we need.

41. Neuroscientists have proven that stress, as well as negative emotions: anger, sadness, insecurity, anxiety, put the brain into a reward-seeking mode. You end up craving what your brain thinks promises a reward, and you are convinced that this “reward” is the only source of joy.

42. Attempts to repress thoughts, emotions and desires go sideways and force you to think, feel and do what you most want to avoid.

43. Feel what is felt, but do not believe everything that is thought. When an unpleasant thought comes to mind, notice how it feels in your body. Then bring your attention to your breath and imagine the thought dissolving or leaving.

44. A diary allows us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our emotions, even difficult or painful ones. The better we are aware of our feelings and thoughts, the more prepared we are for the accumulation of life experience and self-development.

45. The universal language of music awakens passions and emotions in a person. When a pleasant song is played on the radio, our mood immediately improves. The soft melody helps calm the nerves. Slow classical music causes thoughtfulness or sadness. Music can awaken our creativity and create motivation for certain actions.

46. Smiling brings positive results. But laughter is a much stronger expression of emotion. It helps to cope with feelings and fear, improves mood and appearance, and makes it easier to experience difficult situations and disappointments.

47. You know best how you feel in stressful or difficult situations. Therefore, it is very important in such cases to listen carefully to your thoughts and reactions in order to take appropriate action if necessary.

48. Morning exercise is critical to maximizing potential because it brings you to the peak of your mental, physical and emotional state, which gives you a chance to become a winner on this day.

49. By visualizing what you want to get out of life, you stir up your emotions, which, in turn, lifts your spirit and mood and simply pulls you towards the realization of these images.

50. The average person allows emotions to dictate his actions, and the actions of people who have achieved great success in life dictate their views and beliefs.

20 Ways to Get Things Done Before the New Year

Posted on April 9, 2022  in Uncategorized

The hottest time has come – you need to have time to do hundreds of things before the clock strikes twelve. We have chosen effective techniques that will help you fulfill everything planned and celebrate the New Year with peace of mind.

Write down all tasks

Back in 1927, our compatriot Bluma Zeigarnik published a paper in which she showed that unfinished tasks are better remembered. A year later, another Russian woman, Maria Ovsyankina, demonstrated in her work that unfinished tasks create a desire to complete them. Based on these works, it can be assumed that until the work is completed, it will live somewhere in the depths of our consciousness, cause anxiety and consume thought fuel .

That is why it is very important to immediately write down all ideas and possible tasks. They can be recorded in a separate notebook or in an application on your smartphone.

Review your to-do list every day

Correct formulation is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for minimizing repeated thoughts, in addition to this practice, we must also learn to trust the “repository” where we write down correctly formulated tasks.

And for this you need to regularly make sure that the list of tasks:

a) has not lost its relevance

b) contains everything that needs to be done

Therefore, review it, mark completed tasks and constantly add new ones. So you don’t miss anything. Include tasks for the monkey and the rational person.

Learn to use small time frames

It must be admitted that the pace of life has changed over the past few years, and each of us has many tasks that we do “simultaneously”. Being engaged in large and global projects, one must understand that such a project will remain unfinished for a very long time and all this time we will have to live somehow. We will have to work productively, reflect, and thoughtfully approach the various moments that arise, while the projects of our whole life will still be far from complete.

If a short period of time is completely meaningful, it will be a significant contribution to getting closer to your goals.

Stop multitasking

The myth that the human brain is able to equally well control several tasks at once has long been dispelled. Do not multi-task or jump from one activity to another. Immerse yourself in doing your favorite (or not very favorite, but very important) thing and completely concentrate on it.

Analyze your biorhythms

Analyze what time you are most productive. To do this, you need to get up early for a week or two, try to work at night, early in the morning, during the day and analyze what is happening, keep a diary. It is advisable to give up sweets, caffeine, and other stimulants for this period.

Usually, for most people , the decline in activity occurs in the afternoon after lunch. This is a great time for a short nap. Productivity peaks most often occur in the morning and evening.

Don’t check your email at your most productive time. Leave it for key tasks that require concentration, energy, awareness. Leave the least productive time for simple things – these may not be the most important tasks that you constantly put off, the routine components of large and important tasks and projects, sports training, studying easy ̆ , but useful ̆ business literature, rest.

Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings

Be sure to leave a significant margin between meetings, never plan them back to back – even if they take place in the same room or nearby. Life always makes adjustments, time is spent on various household trifles, the road (if meetings and affairs are spaced apart in space), fees, and so on.

Unfortunately, we tend to miss these nuances when planning, we are always overly optimistic when timing. Wrong approach, any delay leads to a shift in the entire schedule. And if after each meeting there is a margin of time, flexibility appears. If everything went on time, calmly prepare for the next task or perform flexible tasks. If you are late, you will not have to worry and be late for the next meeting.

Create conditions

Someone does not like to write letters, someone does not like to fill out documents for tax and other authorities, it is difficult for someone to sit down for a report. What’s the matter? If you delve into yourself, it turns out that there are no suitable conditions to take and do the job. To fill out documents for the tax office, you need to find the TIN number, find the application itself and a sample of filling, and then, as luck would have it, all the pens disappeared somewhere. What kind of productivity are we talking about?

Analyze your tasks at home and at work, which are difficult for you to approach, and make these tasks more enjoyable.

Find creative space

If you urgently need to come up with some stunning idea, and the muse is stuck somewhere along the way, you can fix the situation. Instead of thinking in a familiar setting, find another suitable place. It can be crowded or, conversely, quiet. Let it be a park, the nearest pancake shop or a secluded place on a bench near the office. A change of scenery will give you a break and come up with a wow idea or solution to a problem. And yes: do not take your phone with you.

Reach your goals one at a time

There are always many tasks before us at the same time. We write emails to colleagues and friends while browsing information portals, participating in online chats and talking on the phone. Doing many things at the same time is sometimes helpful—like packing laundry and watching TV—but doing anything that requires focus, especially when time is limited, requires us to give our full attention to a particular task.

Classify calls of acquaintances according to their importance

Not everyone who calls you has something significant to say. Especially when you are working on a complex project. Cultivate the habit of arranging important calls.

Avoid empty talk

When you spend less time in conversations on small and more serious topics, your life satisfaction will increase and your relationships with others will improve. Forget empty talk and try to talk on serious topics. Surely there are people in your environment who love serious conversations and who like to share their thoughts and opinions with you on a variety of issues. Pick a time during the week to talk to them.

Get your intentions right

Research by Harvard School of Medicine professor Alvaro Paz ­Calleon shows that when we set out to do ­something, our brain already starts to work. Two groups of subjects took part in the experiment. The first ̆ was given the task of learning a ­simple melody for the piano and practicing its performance for two hours every day for five days ̆; the second was asked to think about doing these exercises. The survey data ­led to the conclusion that the members of both groups had almost the same phenomena in those parts of the frontal lobe of the brain that ­are responsible for motor skills. Pascal ­Leon’s discovery proves that the very thought of an ­action can have the same effect on our brain as the action itself .

Don’t get hung up on deadlines

Putting down a deadline for each task is, of course, good. But putting down dates for every piece of work is fraught with nervous exhaustion. Just imagine if your plan was full of deadlines every two to three days. “Ahh, I can’t do anything! I’m late! Guard!” – these are the thoughts that can “settle” in your naked.

This, on the one hand, disciplines, on the other hand, it can create additional stress. How often you need to remind yourself that the work is on fire and the next deadline is ending, everyone must determine for himself.

Watch your sleep

Sleep significantly affects mood, stress resistance and a general sense of life satisfaction, maintaining hormonal balance in the body. When we don’t get enough sleep, levels of serotonin (the hormone of happiness) and melatonin (the hormone that regulates the wake-sleep cycle) decrease, while cortisol (the stress hormone) rises, which can lead to disorders such as irritability, depression, mood swings, etc. . P.

If a person is chronically sleep deprived, they develop long-term symptoms of ill health. This can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, psychiatric problems including depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and decreased brain activity.

In a word, healthy sleep does wonders for your health and helps us to quickly cope with all tasks.

Deal with small things right away

When you get a new task, quickly evaluate: if it takes no more than 2 minutes, do it right away. If more, you need to act differently. You have already decided that now is not the time for this. Just go a little further and ask yourself, “If not now, then when?” And when you set the time, write this task down on your to-do list for the future and don’t worry about forgetting it.

Use a timer

Before you take on the next task, start a timer. Once the time is up, analyze the results and decide if the current task is worth the extra time or if it’s time to move on to the next task.

Learn to say “no”

The inability to say “no” can put you in the position of a perpetually overloaded and overworked person. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to politely refuse people their requests.

In order to politely refuse, you need to say something like this: “I would gladly fulfill your request if I had time, but, unfortunately, the situation is such that I cannot do the job efficiently and quickly enough.” And that’s it. Your interlocutor realized that you are not ready to spend your time on his worries and will decide for himself what to do in this situation. You have freed yourself from the burden of doing work that you shouldn’t and don’t feel like doing.

Remember, if you keep saying “yes” all the time, you will very soon overwork and burn out, stop benefiting the company, family and yourself.

be patient

For impatient people , waiting and wasting time are unbearable. To ease their pain, they try to save time and speed up, but the rush leads to an increase in the number of errors, because the brain is able to work either faster or more accurately, and then you have to go back, correct what you have done and spend twice as much time because of this and forces. And you don’t want that, do you?

The critical element of success is to do everything on time. Schedule action too late and you will miss the chance. Schedule it too early and you’ll fire before the target has even been set. You need to choose the right time, and then wait. Therefore, do not rush things and get ready to gradually approach your goal.

Avoid Perfectionism

Perfectionism is the desire and inner expectation of the highest level of performance. Then why is it bad to strive for the ideal? Why does perfectionism get in the way of achieving goals?

Firstly, the “ideal” and ” highest ̆ level” are very difficult to formulate and measure, so the goal of a perfectionist is elusive and abstract. For him, everything is unacceptable, except for the ideal. If something does not meet the criteria, it must be rejected, replaced or redone. However, in this case, the work will not end. You can always correct, change and improve something – and still this will not be enough, because the ideal is unknown.

Believe in yourself

Self-doubt dictates what can and cannot be done. It determines how ambitious goals you consider, how high you set the bar, and to what extent you dare to reach . It builds a fence around ambition and feeds the brain with warnings that you know very little and know how, are not ready for success, are depressed, you are uncomfortable, and dreams are difficult to realize.

What to do with your confidence? Body language can have unexpected effects . Studies have shown that, for example, a change in facial expression affects mood because it is perceived by the brain as a sign of external or internal stimulation.

Therefore, try to confidently speak, stand and walk – and you will feel a surge of strength and admiration of others. The situation in which you are afraid to be will not change because you are timid or courageous. So why not choose courage?

Ready for a miracle! 4 weeks before New Years. Relax and cheer up

Posted on April 3, 2022  in Uncategorized

Step 1: Smile all day

Think this is an easy task? And here it is not. As soon as we stop controlling ourselves (and this happens very quickly), the smile slips from the face and the mask of a busy (and possibly tired) person again takes its “rightful place”. And it’s good to smile. Any neurophysiologist will tell you that mimic muscles are connected with the cerebral hemispheres. When you smile or frown, you send a signal to the brain that coincides with feelings of happiness or sadness. That’s why smiling actually creates a good mood. No tricks, pure science. So let’s get started.

Remember the day when you woke up in the morning truly happy. Maybe you had to catch an early flight to go on vacation. Maybe it was your first day at a highly anticipated new job. Or perhaps your wedding day or birthday. We bet you woke up long before the alarm and in a great mood? This experience should be repeated throughout the day (or better, the whole week). Try it. Not only mood will improve, but also well-being.

Step 2. Get rid of negative emotions

Negative emotions are much more dangerous than physical trash. Bags of clothes and extra utensils are meek and uncomplaining guests. But what about the garbage that you throw at the threshold of your consciousness every day? Part of the negative is messages from childhood. The other part is the echoes of outdated beliefs. The third part is public installations.

Imagine: the day was long, you are tired. And then a big bag of doubts and self-deprecating thoughts appears on the threshold. “Only a complete idiot can lose a credit card! they sneer. What kind of slut could live in such a mess? Nightmare!” We do not even notice how daily we broadcast such messages to ourselves.

When we get rid of the trash, we say to the anxious thought in our head: “Hi, anxiety. I know you showed up because you want to tell me something. But there is no place for you. And I don’t have time to deal with you. And even more so, I am not obliged to give you a permanent place of residence in my house.

Step 3. Meditate in bed

If you wake up in the morning and feel sleepy, tired, depressed, or agitated, there is a surefire way to get out of the spiral of stress that spun you around at the same time as the alarm went off.

Observe how your mind immediately begins to act, think, comment, analyze and give advice. Faced with the daunting prospect of a new day, notice how your thoughts go round and round and tell you what to do.

Take a break… Do nothing… Lie in bed, let the morning sounds and impressions wash over you. No rush, no purpose, no chakra breathing… Just relax. You are not required to do anything.

Imagine that your bed is floating on a river and carrying you downstream. Be yourself. Release your mind. Let it drift.

If you wait a little, a spark of inspiration will appear that will tell you how to live this day.

Letting go of total control

In an effort to control what is happening, we fall into the trap of anxiety and worry. What a festive mood! By trying to predict what might happen, we are preparing for situations that most likely will never happen.

The danger of this habit is that you will gradually come up with more and more potentially unpleasant situations and begin to limit your activity so as not to accidentally encounter all the “horrors”. As a result, your own world will become smaller, and more and more dangers will appear. The only way out is to stop controlling everything. And then all the knots and problems will unravel themselves.

Step 4. Get enough sleep

A great way to boost your mood is to get some rest. Take this weekend for yourself. Do what you love, take a walk, and then get a good sleep. Sleep keeps the immune system healthy and helps the body heal itself. The cells of the body are regenerated during the day, but during sleep, the body can focus all its resources on their “repair”. In addition, sleep allows the brain to maintain the normal functioning of such cognitive functions as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking.

When we suffer from lack of sleep, we become irritable and feel overwhelmed and find it difficult to concentrate. And this is not the best pre-holiday state, you must agree.

Step 5. Hug and chat

The main way that provides a surge of oxytocin (the hormone of happiness and love) in the brain is touch. Hugs, especially long ones, are very helpful (as are orgasms). Even gestures such as handshakes or pats on the back or shoulders make a big difference. People who regularly spend time with understanding friends, family members, or colleagues tend to be more resilient to stress. Don’t forget to spend time with your kids. Call your parents and close relatives. Simply understanding that your emotions are heightened merely by fluctuating levels of oxytocin will help keep things in check.

12 curious facts about the brain

Posted on March 28, 2022  in Uncategorized

Everything we do today will affect our thoughts and feelings tomorrow. This amazing property of the brain is called neuroplasticity . The brain adapts well to the surrounding reality, therefore, by changing habits, habitat, you will change your brain. Here are a dozen more interesting facts about how the brain works.

Caffeinated sleep – a recipe for cheerfulness

It’s important to take regular breaks while driving, and a caffeinated nap is the best option. Professor Jim Home and Dr. Louise Rayner of Loughborough University conducted an experiment on a simulated car to find out which of eight options was better for waking up: cold air, radio, break, sleep, caffeine pill, placebo, caffeine pill and sleep, placebo pill and dream. Caffeine and naps top the list. If you drink a cup of coffee and fall asleep for 20 minutes, caffeine will not interfere with sleep: the awakening effect will occur in about half an hour.

Television increases suggestibility

Elton John has publicly called television “brain deforming”. Do not believe him – listen to scientists: according to many scientific studies, television has a bad effect on the brain, especially children. It encourages intellectual passivity and deprives the brain of stimulating experiences. When we watch TV, the electrical waves in the brain take on an alpha pattern, which increases our suggestibility (handy for advertising and propaganda).

Excess weight leads to brain atrophy

Recent studies have shown that obese people are more likely to develop dementia. There are a number of possible explanations: obesity exacerbates sleep apnea (short pauses in breathing), which deprives the brain of oxygen and causes disturbances; increases blood pressure, increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. All this leads to brain atrophy. Obesity destroys the production of the hormone leptin, which is secreted by fat cells and plays a central role in fat metabolism; an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It leads to chronic inflammation of the brain – another cause of disturbances in its work.

Selectivity

You can see something important, but not notice it. The brain filters most of the incoming information from the senses. This is inevitable, otherwise we would not be able to focus on anything. The dangers of selective attention are discussed by researchers Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris . But first, take a short selective attention test (task: count how many passes the players in white footballs gave each other):

Simons warns: “We instinctively believe that attention will focus on what is important to us. But this is a dangerous mistake.” This is the most common cause of car-motorcycle collisions: the car enters an intersection in the motorcycle’s path because the driver does not expect the motorcycle, even if it was obviously in his field of vision.

The brain develops throughout life

“Ten years ago, most neuroscientists considered the brain to be a kind of computer in which fixed functions are formed at an early stage,” says Michael Merzenich of the University of California at San Francisco, one of the first researchers of brain plasticity. “We now know that the brain develops throughout life.”

Weakening of intelligence with age can be avoided

If you offer your brain stimulating, entertaining, new and challenging activities every day, get moderate exercise, eat healthy, and socialize regularly, there is no reason for the mental decline that is commonly associated with old age. Sometimes the process can even be reversed. Studies show that healthy people with increased intellectual stimulation are half the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. “The evidence suggests that intelligence decline is not part of aging, but a symptom of disease,” says John Morris, MD, co-director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

My own doctor

Have you heard of placebo? This is not a trick for the gullible, but quite measurable brain activity. For example, in patients with depression, yellow placebo pills have a stronger effect than blue ones. Large tablets are more effective than small ones. And fictitious injections work better than fictitious pills.

There are a number of conditions that are easily affected by placebos: pain, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, addiction, nausea. The proportion of patients on whom a placebo works can reach 80%. And that negates the need for real drugs. Suggestibility can relieve pain or cure a cold. Just think how important this is.

The dark side of suggestibility

But brain suggestibility also has a dark side. It’s called nocebo.

“Placebo” is Latin for “please”. “Nocebo” means “I will hurt.” If the placebo, interfering with brain processes, soothes the pain, then the nocebo provokes it. Nocebo can be called in the laboratory. It is also associated with dopamine and opiates. Pain, nausea, depression and anxiety also depend on it. Of course, the nocebo enhances them, not helps to cure them. Nocebo can provoke almost any disease.

Here is an example. Medical students find textbook signs of disease (this is the so-called sophomore syndrome). Have you ever heard of it working the other way around? Is it possible for a student to feel great while studying, for example, the functions of healthy organs? Of course not. We are much more attached to fear than to relief. Describing the nocebo, scientists often mention its faithful companions – anxiety and suspiciousness. For example, knowing that your medication causes nausea, you will almost certainly focus on that side effect and expect it.

In short, by all means avoid negative assumptions, scary stories and evil predictors.

False memories

It’s good to know that you can’t rely 100% on your memories. Memory is not a video recording, but an extended personal narrative. By understanding this, we can better understand people and events.

No one is immune from false memories.

In February 2015, TV presenter Brian Williams was accused of distorting the truth, and he lost his prestigious job. Williams has repeatedly told how, in front of his eyes, a helicopter was blown up by a grenade launcher. According to him, he was very close, he saw the barrel of the installation. In fact, the downed helicopter was very far from where Williams worked.

A similar incident happened with Hillary Clinton. She stated that she was nearly shot by a sniper at the Bosnian airport. It was an invention. The guests (Mrs. Clinton and comedian Sinbad ) were greeted very warmly, there were no incidents.

Clearly, from the public’s point of view, these are all cases of unacceptable lies. However, memory experts often sympathize with such people, as well as witnesses who identify criminals and only realize years later that they pointed to the wrong person.

How brands are changing taste

Research has long shown that branded packaging changes the taste of food. Experiments have shown that, from the point of view of the consumer, the taste of the product is not always its most important quality. For example, “Sweet Soda A” consistently outperforms “Sweet Soda B” in blind tasting, but also consistently loses out when subjects see their names. Here is another example. If the description of an expensive wine mentions a raspberry flavor with a hint of almond, it will taste better than the exact same drink in a plain bottle. Notice not “feels better” or “we think it’s better”. Psychologists say that in all essential respects it is really better. This does not mean that suggestible people eat cat food thinking it is pâté. This means that they eat cat food and it becomes pâté.

Of course, the colors are thickening here. Neuroscientists are sure that no one will confuse frankly bad wine with fine vintage. Expectations are a very serious force, but not limitless. A placebo will not relieve you of pain if you put your hand in boiling water. No amount of suggestion will make you believe that you were the President of the United States. Under hypnosis, you will not act contrary to your values and beliefs.

Glucose is not the only source of fuel

Almost every cell in the body contains at least a few hundred small descendants of an ancient bacterium called mitochondria. The energy that powers us is produced in these mitochondria, and you will be surprised how important they are to quality of life. If your mitochondria stop producing energy for even a few seconds, you will die. The number, efficiency, and strength of mitochondria determine not only whether you develop cancer or a degenerative disease, but also how much energy your brain receives at any given moment.

Mitochondria need oxygen to produce energy, and they also need glucose or fat (and sometimes amino acids). This does not mean that the more carbohydrates you consume, the more energy your mitochondria will produce. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite. Mitochondria work better if they can alternate fuel sources, like a hybrid car. If you eat too much sugar, it becomes harder for your mitochondria to get energy from fat. They begin to produce all the energy from glucose. As a result, the brain does not use fats as fuel, and they begin to be deposited in fat cells, and you gain weight. In the meantime, the brain is rapidly burning up glucose stores, your blood sugar levels are dropping, the inner Labrador perceives this as a threatening situation and turns on the alarm: “SUGAR! WE URGENTLY NEED SUGAR! This is how addiction occurs.

Mood depends on how the brain works

Many people are unaware that mood swings and “uncontrollable” outbursts of anger are a direct result of weaknesses in their brain. The prefrontal cortex requires the most energy to function. Due to its significant energy needs and because it is the last to receive it, this part of the brain is usually the first to suffer when we lack energy. It is the prefrontal cortex that helps control mood. This part of the brain is responsible for personal qualities, decision making and regulation of social relationships. Obviously, you will not perform well if you make bad decisions and act poorly in various situations. Therefore, it is critical that this part of the brain receives enough energy.

The brain is the most mysterious organ in the human body. Scientists continually discover new facts related to his work. How else can they surprise us?

Zero energy. What to do when you don’t feel like it

Posted on March 22, 2022  in Uncategorized

Each of us has such moments in life when interest in work and hobbies disappears. In the morning we wake up lethargic, during the day we force ourselves to do something with great difficulty, and by the evening we lose our last strength. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to get rid of apathy and get back on track.

1. Planning

Sometimes apathy can be explained by the fact that you are simply drowning in business and do not know how to cope with all the responsibilities. Try making a to-do list every morning. Write down everything you plan to do during the day. You should not keep this in mind: this way you only load the brain with unnecessary information and expose yourself to additional stress.

Once you’ve made your list, prioritize three things. If all tasks are equally important, mark the most difficult and unpleasant. It is for them that you need to take it first . Many start with the easiest, but this is not the best strategy. You don’t want to waste energy on a bunch of small responsibilities, and by the end of the day realize that you haven’t started the main thing?

2. Concentration

According to neuroscientists, multitasking is a sure way to distraction, fatigue and low productivity. Therefore, do not spray on several things at the same time. Train yourself to focus on one thing.

Try to eliminate distractions that prevent you from working calmly: put your phone on silent, close social networking pages, turn off sound notifications. Don’t check email every ten minutes; instead, make it a rule for yourself to parse letters three times a day—in the morning, before lunchtime, and in the evening.

We recommend reading: “The Brain with Obstacles”, “Don’t Do It”.

3. Choice

Still not doing anything? You probably have too much on your to-do list. Think about what you should give up. These can be hopeless projects that you suffer from only out of stubbornness, requests from colleagues (learn to say no!), reports that no one needs, endless meetings and conferences.

You can’t do everything, so you’ll have to choose. Free up time for those tasks that are truly important, and get rid of the rest without regrets.

Sometimes the choice is not so easy. For example, when you are torn between several hobbies. If it takes away your strength, then something will still have to be abandoned. It is better to focus on one hobby than to completely deplete your energy supply and lose interest in everything at once.

4. Game

Monotony and monotony can drive anyone crazy. But let’s admit that it is not always possible to deal only with creative tasks. If you find yourself bored at work, add an element of play.

For example, imagine that each task is an enemy that you need to destroy in order to advance to the next level. Or imagine yourself as a spy, temporarily abandoned in enemy territory. The mission today is to pretend to be the perfect employee and earn the trust of the boss.

Consider whether your boring duties can be completed in some non-standard way. Sometimes just a little play is enough to regain vivacity and a sense of optimism.

5. Rest

If you are not a robot, you need small breaks during the day to recuperate. Allow yourself a five-minute rest every hour. During a break, completely disconnect from work problems. You can get some fresh air, have tea with colleagues, or do some light exercise.

A good rest is also needed after work. You will feel much more energetic if you start going to bed on time, exercising, walking more often and sitting at the computer less.

6. Refusing perfectionism

Perfectionists are always dissatisfied with themselves and the fruits of their labor. Such people spend a lot of energy on the most insignificant task, and they perceive any mistake as a catastrophe of a universal scale.

Trying to achieve perfection in everything, you not only waste time, but also earn stress. If your inner critic is forcing you to endlessly rewrite a long-done presentation, silence him. Instead of striving for perfection, learn to settle for “good enough.” Relax, enjoy what you’re doing, and don’t forget to praise yourself often!

7. Morning rituals

In the morning, it is most difficult to be alert and productive. First you set the alarm to lie down for another half hour. Then you tell yourself to leave the house. At the office, spend time talking with colleagues or reading articles online. The longer you swing, the more tasks accumulate and the less you want to start them.

Start small morning rituals that will help you wake up quickly and get ready for work: two minutes of meditation, exercise, contrast showers, checking email, making a to-do list. Get into the habit of starting the day with these simple actions, not procrastination.

8. Finding a calling

If none of the tips worked, you may just be doing the wrong thing. It’s time to think about where your soul lies. Remember your childhood dreams, make a list of all your hobbies, fantasize about the future. What do you want to achieve? What brings you joy? Be honest with yourself.


There is no need to immediately quit and change profession. Just start doing what you love after work and on weekends. This will be your first step towards happiness and freedom.

How to develop simple rules that will improve your life

Posted on March 16, 2022  in Uncategorized

Whether you’re struggling with bad habits, or trying to be more productive at work, or just wanting to be happier, you need clear rules that will get you there in the shortest possible time. We explain why they are so important and how to formulate them.

The power of simple rules

We all use simple rules every day, sometimes without even realizing it. For example, someone decides that they will not open email until they have had their morning cup of coffee, and another that they will no longer go on a second date with someone who talks only about himself.
Perhaps you, without knowing it, rely on the same simple principles in more significant matters, such as choosing clothes, a new diet, or when investing money.

Simple rules are good because they allow you to make the right decisions without delay, without stopping and thinking about each step for a long time.

Unlike more complex strategies where everything is written down to the smallest detail, simple rules give us flexibility and choice, but at the same time help us to remain consistent. They are also ideal for situations where you need to coordinate collective action.

Simple rules can take many forms, but they all have four things in common.

1. There are always few of them, which makes it easy to remember them and focus on the most important aspects of the case.

2. Simple rules are not universal. They take into account the needs of the one who applies them, whether it be an individual or an organization.

3. They apply to well-defined activities or decisions. Rules designed for several situations at once, as a result, are emasculated into vague banal instructions like “do your best.”

4. Simple rules set clear guidelines for us and at the same time leave us the opportunity to act at our own discretion.

Simple rules in practice

Simple rules are shortcut strategies that help you solve even the most complex problems efficiently and with minimal effort. Here are three great real life examples.

1. After publishing several bestsellers in a row, UCLA professor Michael Pollan crystallized three simple rules for healthy eating: “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly vegetable.

Today, Pollan’s rules are stickers on refrigerators in family kitchens around the world. These tips are easy to remember and provide reliable guidance. But at the same time, they leave enough freedom, since they do not specify what exactly you need to eat for lunch – blueberries, cantaloupe or cabbage.

2. The Great Depression crippled many destinies. However, the story tells of one banker – Gerald Loeb , the son of a French wine merchant, who not only rose from the ruins of the economy, but also emerged from them more powerful. He sensed the stock market crash when the clouds were still gathering on the horizon, and helped his clients avoid heavy financial losses.

Loeb ‘s secret weapon was a simple but powerful rule: “If an investment loses 10% of its original value, sell it.”

3. Oddly enough, simple rules are useful in creativity. By narrowing the circle of possibilities, they give impetus to ingenuity. Many great artists deliberately imposed certain restrictions on what to depict, what materials to use, and from whom to draw inspiration from other masters.

Or take, for example, the famous writer Elmore Leonard. At the request of the New York Times, he released his simple rules for writing, which included such as “Avoid prologue”, “When describing dialogue, use only the verb “said”” and “Try to avoid passages that readers are likely to skim through, do not reading.”

Of course, these rules may not apply to other writers. But such are the creative principles of Elmore Leonard, whose stingy and strict style was built on dialogues that energetically moved the plots forward.

You can develop your own set of rules that will help you improve relationships with others, improve your work efficiency, achieve peak self-improvement, improve your health, or, say, achieve material well-being.

Whatever your goals, you will have to go through several steps to create the most effective simple rules. Let’s talk about this process in more detail.

What will we improve?

Usually people are well aware of what aspects of their lives they want to improve. And if not, then with the help of a set of simple tricks you can determine them.

First of all, you need to understand that positive change comes from two sources.

1. You can become more active in activities and activities that energize you, fill your life with meaning and happiness, such as spending more time with your children or contributing to the well-being of your community.

2. The second way to improve is to get rid of what darkens your life, torments, prevents you from breathing deeply and taking everything that it can give from each day (this can be eternal concern about money or poor health). If the severity of these sufferings is mitigated, nervous tension, anxieties and fears will recede.

The more things in your life that give you joy and the less things that make you suffer, the happier you are.

Think about what improvements you most desire. You have a huge choice: from losing weight to a romantic acquaintance, from the harmony between work and personal life to the accumulation of wealth, from the joys of communication to the opportunity to devote more time to yourself.

It would be nice to pick up not one, but several aspects of life to improve, since not all simple rules are equally applicable to everyone. To get started, three to five points will suffice.

And one moment. The first version of the list usually includes very generalized values, such as family, wealth, and health. Try to narrow these concepts down to clearer, more measurable goals. For example, the desire to “eat right” can be specified: “lose five kilos,” “become more energetic,” or “control blood sugar levels through diet.”

At this stage, be sure to think about the following questions.

  • What area of your life do you most want to improve? What are the first three things that come to your mind?
  • What activities bring you the most joy and give you a sense of well-being? What should be done to devote more time to these activities?
  • What aspects of your life cause you the most fear, anxiety, or worry? What would help ease these feelings?
  • Look back at the past five years: do you regret not being able to change something during this time? What would you most regret when you remember your life on your deathbed?
  • How would a trusted friend, life partner, or lover answer these questions for you? (It is very helpful to ask them about this.)

Looking for a bottleneck

Having decided on which side of your life you would like to improve, move on to the next step – finding a bottleneck. This is a kind of stumbling block on your way to achieving one of your personal goals.

For example, if you set out to lose weight, then the bottleneck may be your diet. In this case, you will have to think about how to replace evening snacks or how to wean yourself from eating sweets during work.

The bottleneck is the surest point for applying simple rules.

Simple rules can be productively applied to dozens of different personal activities, but you need to focus your efforts on the cause or decision that will give you the maximum return.

Pay attention to the following points.

1. The best candidates for bottlenecks are recurring actions (rather than one-off solutions). This includes, for example, the way a couple settles money disputes or the distribution of household chores.

2. Simple rules work especially well in situations where the number of options outweighs the resources needed to implement them, such as when you are thinking about where to invest capital or what to spend the few hours that have been freed up.

3. Simple rules best guide decisions that require flexibility, such as when choosing a diet or parenting arrangement for your baby. If you have problems with mechanical memory (say, you always forget what things to pack for your business trip), then it is more appropriate to make a checklist than to fence the rules.

4. Simple rules are great for channeling willpower in the right direction and are therefore especially suitable for dieting, exercising, saving money, and doing other things in which you have to sacrifice momentary temptations for the sake of a big long-term gain.

A bottleneck doesn’t have to meet all of the above criteria, but the more conditions it satisfies, the better the simple rules will work.

Here are a few key questions to help you prioritize.

  • How often do you make such a decision or do such a thing?
  • Does the number of possible choices exceed the amount of time, money, energy, or attention you have?
  • Does this work require willpower?
  • Does this case or decision require some flexibility?
  • Can results be measured so that rules can be tested and improved?

It’s time to make the rules!

Simple rules are formed in many ways. They can be generated:

– based on a deep understanding of one’s own experience, and this is especially effective for people who have a solid load of accumulated knowledge and skills behind them;

– borrowing the experience of other people, transmitted firsthand or contained in books and similar examples from someone’s practice;

– relying on reliable and reliable scientific evidence in any field;

— by negotiation, which is appropriate in situations that involve many participants with diverging goals and opinions on the course of action.

The variability of potential sources of simple rules is not a flaw, but, on the contrary, one of their greatest virtues.

By drawing on different resources, you increase your chances of finding exactly the ideas that work best for your case. Be sure to spend enough time on this (at least a few days). Below are some more useful tips on how to work with rule sources.

1. Turning to science for inspiration, look for valuable ideas that are supported and replicated by the authors of various studies.

Nowadays, many scientists publish popular science books, blogs and give interviews to communicate their findings to a wide audience, and offer diagnostic tools that can be a rich source of potential rules.

2. A lot of ideas can be gleaned from someone else’s experience. For example, if you have taken up the creation of the first western in your literary career, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the rules for writing a good action movie, which the recognized master of the genre, Elmore Leonard, brought out for himself.

If someone you know is particularly adept at handling a bottleneck similar to yours, it’s a good idea to consult with that person. Don’t limit yourself to friends and family. Spread your networks wider and talk, for example, with someone who attends a book club with you, a sports section, or is a member of the same volunteer organization as you.

3. You can transform into rules and your own life experience. A great start is to collect the most complete information about your recent activities.

Suppose you want to create simple rules for dividing household chores among family members; then you can write down in a journal for a week or a little more who and what did the housework.

When there is enough source material, try to divide examples of your past actions (deeds, decisions) into three categories: those that worked well; those that failed; whatever is left in the middle.

Compare your best and worst examples and see how they differ so you can quickly and accurately identify potential rules.

4. Negotiations acquire special value when the rules are intended not for one, but for several people.

The most common example is the rules governing the relationship of a married couple, children and their parents or club members. When multiple people are involved in a process, it is critical that they all focus on the same bottleneck.

Evaluation of results

You don’t have to go out of your way to make the perfect rules the first time. You will still have the opportunity to evaluate how well they work and, if necessary, adjust them.

Thanks to mobile applications, you can easily collect data and track your progress. The indicators of the effectiveness of the rules are, for example, lost kilograms for people who are losing weight or free dollars to invest for those who save for old age.

It is easier to evaluate the effect of simple rules if you collect a little information about the current state of affairs before you start working with them. The size of last year’s set aside or last month’s weight would be a good starting point.

The timing of control measurements depends on the characteristics of your chosen goal. A week or a month will do to check the progress in weight loss, and if you want to pull up your son in mathematics using simple rules, then you should evaluate progress no earlier than the middle of the semester.

The results will clearly show what works and what does not. And positive changes will inspire you and give you an incentive to strictly follow the rules further.

Three inspiring stories about change

Posted on March 10, 2022  in Uncategorized

The examples of other people show that there are no hopeless situations, and difficulties can become a magical kick towards the Best version of yourself. Of the three books, they chose cool stories about change. Get inspired!

Doors of Opportunity

All people are divided into two types: those who are looking for opportunities, and those who are looking for excuses. I recently got a message from a girl named Anya, who was left alone during the crisis with a $60,000 mortgage. But she persevered and even lives happily ever after.

“Hello Larisa! My name is Anna. A year ago, my financial stability collapsed in an instant. I was among the “lucky ones” – currency mortgages . I allowed myself to cry, scream, roll on the floor, swear, throw things, but … only three days. And that’s it! In three days I have to take a piece of paper, a calculator and go … debit – credit – balance.

The main task is to stay alive and not lose your mind. It was this difficult time that changed the vector of my movement. Ideas began to appear in my head, projects that I am currently working on, and at this stage I just get pleasure and energy from this. During this time I learned a lot and understood a lot. No, I’m not saying that starving, counting every penny and being afraid of losing your job, no matter how exhausting, is cool. Only, whatever one may say, it turns out that “a decisive step forward is the result of a good kick from behind.”

Anya wrote that, fortunately, she had and has a stable job, but thanks to the crisis, she opened a new direction in her life: “I paid, Larisa, paid regularly, no matter what. Now my debt is $25,000. And it’s cool! You will laugh now, but when I ran out of all my skin care products, I started washing my face with oatmeal and oil. Do peels with lemon and salt. And then I mastered the facial gymnastics course and even became a facial gymnastics trainer! Can you imagine? I’m waiting for the certificate! In general, every day I have so many things to do besides work that I have absolutely no time to monitor the dollar.

The summary is this: of course, sometimes “akhtung” happens – and it’s sad, and unpleasant, and blah blah blah.

But we always have a choice of how to respond to it. Either cry and blame someone, or look at the problems from the other side.

The Beatles in Hamburg

Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – arrived in the US in February 1964, initiating the “British Invasion” of the American music scene and producing a string of hits that changed the sound of popular music.

But what happened before America? One important episode. In 1960, when they were still an unknown rock band, they were invited to Germany, to Hamburg.

“There were no rock and roll clubs in Hamburg in those days,” wrote the group’s historian, Philipp Norman. — There was one club owner named Bruno, who had the idea to invite various rock bands. The scheme was the same for everyone. Long speeches without pauses. Crowds of people roam back and forth, and musicians must play incessantly to attract the attention of the public. Here’s what Lennon had to say about it.

“We got better and more confident. It could not be otherwise, because we had to play all night long. The fact that we played for foreigners was very helpful. To reach them, we had to try our best, put our heart and soul into the music.

In Liverpool, we played for an hour at best, and even then we played only hits, the same ones at each performance. In Hamburg, we had to play for eight hours in a row, so whether you like it or not, you had to try.”

From 1960 to the end of 1962, the Beatles visited Hamburg five times. On their first visit, they worked 106 evenings of five or more hours per evening. In the second visit, they played 92 times. The third – 48 times, having spent a total of 172 hours on stage. On their last two visits, in November and December 1962, they performed for another 90 hours. Thus, in just a year and a half they played 270 evenings. By the time the first big success awaited them, they had already given about 1200 live concerts. Do you have any idea how incredible this number is? Most of today’s bands do not give so many concerts during their entire existence.

The harsh school of Hamburg – that’s what distinguished the Beatles from all the others.

“They left without representing anything, and returned in great shape,” writes Norman. “They have learned more than endurance. They had to learn a huge number of songs – cover versions of all the works that exist, rock and roll and even jazz. Before Hamburg, they did not know what discipline was on stage. But when they returned, they played in a style unlike any other. It was their own find.

I hope this story inspired you as much as it did me. If so, then you will definitely have your own Hamburg.

The Power of Games

In the summer of 2009, I got a concussion. The recovery was delayed, and even a month later I was still tormented by constant headaches, nausea and dizziness. I couldn’t read or write for more than a few minutes. Memory failed. Most of the time I felt so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed. My head was in a fog. I had never experienced anything like this before, and this state frightened and depressed me.

I could not explain to friends and family what exactly was happening to me. At some point, I decided to describe my feelings. With great difficulty I chose the words, and this is what I got:

It’s Complicated.

My thoughts are clenched with an iron fist. My brain is under pressure.

If I can’t think, then who am I?

The doctors said that it would take a few months, and possibly a year or more, to feel better, and advised her to avoid anything that triggered the symptoms. That meant no reading, no writing, no running, no video games, no work, no email, no alcohol, no caffeine. I even joked: “In other words, there is no meaning to life.”

One day something happened. I had a crystal clear thought that changed everything. 34 days after my injury – I will never forget this moment – I said to myself: either I will kill myself or turn life into a game. Why into the game? By that time, that is, in 2009, I had already studied the psychology of games for 10 years. In fact, I became the first person in the world to receive a Ph.D. for studying the psychological qualities of players and the role of these qualities in solving real problems. Through years of research at UC Berkeley, I knew that gamers are more creative, goal-oriented, and problem solvers. And more often turn to others for help.

I wanted to turn these features to my advantage. So I created a simple game called “Jane the Concussion Slayer”, which aims to recover from an injury. The game had to come up with a secret identity, find allies, fight the “bad guys” and use power-ups. Jane became my secret identity, making me feel like a hero, determined, not desperate.

The first thing I did as a “concussion killer” was call my twin sister Kelly (author of the bestselling book Willpower) and say, “I play to heal my brain, and I ask you to participate with me.” I easily asked for help, and Kelly became my first ally in the game. Then my husband Kiyash joined us . Together we found the “bad guys” and fought them. The “bad guys” were anything that could trigger concussion symptoms and, as a result, slow down the healing process, such as bright lights and noisy places. We also collected and used bonuses. And that’s all I could do, even on the worst days, to feel a little better, happier or stronger. My favorite bonuses are five minutes of playing with our Scottish Shepherd, eating walnuts (good for the brain), and two walks around the house with my husband.

Despite the simplicity of the game, after a couple of days the fog in my head dissipated. Depression and anxiety subsided. For me it was a miracle. The game has not been a miracle cure for headaches or cognitive symptoms. I experienced them for more than a year, and that year was the hardest in my life. But I no longer suffer. I felt that my fate was in my hands. I started treating myself like a strong person. Those close to me understood how to help and support me.

What happened next shocked me. A few months later, I posted a short video on my blog explaining the rules of the game. Not everyone is familiar with the symptoms of a concussion, and not everyone wants to be their exterminator. So I renamed the game to SuperBetter . Why? After the injury, everyone hoped that soon I would “get better”. But I didn’t want things to be the way they used to be.

I wanted to be a superhero: happier and healthier than before my injury.

Soon I began to receive the first messages from people from all over the world. They invent their own secret identities, seek allies and fight the “bad guys”. They became superheroes in the fight against depression and fears, post-operative and chronic pain, migraines and Crohn’s disease. They managed to cure a sick heart and find a job after many years of failure. SuperBetter was played by people with serious, sometimes fatal diagnoses, such as terminal cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. From their messages and videos, I understood that the game helped them in the same way as it helped me. The players assured that they felt stronger and more courageous, better find a common language with friends and relatives. They became happier, despite the pain and the most difficult period in their lives.

And I thought, “What’s going on? How can a seemingly banal game have such a big impact on vital circumstances?” To be honest, without having tried it on myself, I would never have believed in its capabilities. After recovering, I immersed myself in the study of scientific literature. That’s what I understood. Some people become stronger and happier after an injury. This is exactly what happened to us. Play has helped us experience what scientists call post-traumatic growth. We rarely come across this term in everyday life. We often come across the concept of post – traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a condition with symptoms of depression and anxiety that can occur in a person who has witnessed or participated in a serious or tragic event. But research has shown that traumatic events, struggles with extremely difficult life circumstances often help people reach and fulfill their potential, and their lives become much fuller.

What to do if there is no way out and dawn is coming soon? 7 tips for those who are in a dead end

Posted on March 4, 2022  in Uncategorized

This happens not only in songs, but also in life. The black stripe will not change to white. Everything falls out of hand. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

Have you noticed that it is with such stories that the most life-affirming books often begin? Many authors have been “at the bottom” – after illnesses, accidents, the loss of loved ones or the loss of the meaning of life. And they realized that if we overcome this period, we can become stronger, bolder and happier than before. Shall we try?

We chose practices and tips from books that helped the authors get out of the impasse. We hope they help you too.

Become a superhero and fight the bad guys

Jane McGonigal , author of SuperBetter , took a long time to recover from a concussion. The condition was so painful that she began to have thoughts of suicide. And then Jane decided to turn it all into a game. This is how the SuperBetter project was born , which helps people all over the world get out of the crisis.

The essence of the game is to set a goal, create a secret identity for yourself and fight the bad guys every day who prevent you from feeling strong and happy. Think who are these bad guys? For some, these are harmful products, for some – depressive thoughts, for some – insomnia . Bad boys are anything that causes anxiety, pain, and stress.

Find at least three bad guys who are ruining your life.

To catch the bad guys, use these leading questions:

What habit do you want to get rid of?

– What distracts you from work?

What causes you physical pain or discomfort?

What is taking your energy?

What thoughts or feelings make you doubt your goals or abilities?

What behavior would you like to stop?

Once you find the bad guys, start developing strategies to deal with them. Think of several ways to respond effectively so you have room to maneuver. For example, you can resist them, replace them with something else, or simply ignore them.

Use the 3:1 technique

Are you in a difficult situation? As a rule, at such moments it is difficult for us to remember something good. We do not notice success, we devalue our achievements. It’s as if we take out a symbolic magnifying glass and find as many misses as possible, as a result of which we feel even worse.

To stop this vicious cycle, do the 3:1 technique: Name three things you did well and one thing you could do better.

Consider an example. Jennifer was afraid to talk about her desires to a young man. She liked to please him, but because of this, she never got what she wanted. Jennifer used the 3:1 technique when she wanted to go to the movies and her boyfriend wanted to go to the pub. Here is what she told him and how she appreciated her approach.

What she said

In a broken, hesitant voice: “Well, we were already in the pub yesterday, and I would like to go to the cinema tonight for the premiere. Then, if you want, we can go to a bar. You do not mind?”

three good things

  1. She expressed her wish.
  2. She showed respect for the young man’s wishes.
  3. She found a compromise.

One thing she would change: next time she would speak in a more confident tone.

The 3:1 technique will allow you to be more objective, build on the positive aspects to replicate your success, and keep evolving. It’s energizing. Try it right now.

Call on the hormones of happiness

Happiness hormones – serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin – are small but very effective helpers in overcoming the crisis. These are real antidepressants. And we can call them “on request”. Try to increase the content of each hormone of happiness in the blood.

Celebrate small victories to get dopamine. You make some progress every day. Try to see them and say to yourself: “I did it!” Success cannot be too small. As Adam Kurtz says , sometimes waking up is an accomplishment. Heed this advice and catch the smallest sparks of triumph. If you generate such sparks every day, you will gradually become your own best spark plug.

Cry to get endorphins. Crying causes a rush of endorphins due to the physical stress we experience. Of course, you shouldn’t cry all day long. However, if you have a desire to cry, do not restrain yourself so as not to increase internal tension. A few minutes of crying can release the negative emotions you’ve been building up for years.

Hug your dog or cat for oxytocin. Oxytocin is the confidence hormone. It develops when we are around those we trust. But communicating with people is not always easy. Animals are good substitutes – when in contact with them, less oxytocin is produced than during “human” meetings, but they do not betray and do not require explanations. So hug your pets.

To produce serotonin, find a reason to be proud. Try to find some achievement of your own and say to a friend or loved one: “Look what I managed to do!” Or remember situations in which you received public recognition. Pride is a navigator that helps us move forward. Don’t suppress this feeling.

fill the hole

Everyone in life has “holes” – periods of difficulties, trials, doubts. To make it easier to survive them, the pits need to be filled. We can find many examples of such filling in life. Let’s say everyone hates standing in line. Disneyland has made waiting less painful: places where lines form are decorated with colorful scenery, animators dressed as Disney characters entertain people, creating an atmosphere of anticipation of an amazing holiday that brightens up the wait and reduces the intensity of negative emotions.

If you feel like you’ve fallen into a hole, try to fill it with positive experiences.

Allow yourself what you love: watch a good movie, go on vacation, treat yourself to something delicious or beautiful. Do something that will give you bright positive emotions, wake up your senses, dilute the usual series of days. A properly filled hole can even turn into a peak – a moment that you will remember for a lifetime.

Do a mini practice

One day, James Altucher , author of Choose Yourself!, was in a difficult situation. He didn’t want to live. And then I began to do Mini-practice for every day.

“Only this Practice brought me out of the impasse, lifted me from the bottom, saved my life and even directed me to success,” he says. So he shared the Mini Practice on his blog and learned that it helps others too.

For the Mini-practice for each day, you need to do ONE of the following list every day.

1. Get eight hours of sleep.

2. Eat two meals instead of three.

3. Do not turn on the TV.

4. Do not eat fast food.

5. Don’t complain about anything all day.

6. Don’t gossip.

7. Reply to an email you received five years ago.

8. Thank a friend.

9. Watch a funny movie or comedian.

ten . Write a list of ideas – about anything.

eleven . Read a spiritual text – anything that inspires you: the Bible, the Tao Te Ching, whatever.

12 . When you wake up, say to yourself: “Today I will save someone’s life.” And all day, pay attention to situations where you can save someone’s life.

thirteen . Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time. Learn to play the piano. Take chess lessons. Try yourself in stand-up. Write a novel. Do something that breaks your routine.

fourteen . Write down your daily routine – list everything that you usually do. Then cross out one item and never do it again.

fifteen . Surprise someone.

Be careful on slippery roads

When the mood is at zero, we are able to say things to a friend or loved one that we later regret. Our thoughts are an unreliable ally, so do not trust them and act in haste. They cannot act as a guide to action.

Imagine that you are driving on a cold, dark night on a slippery road. Of course, you can do it – but you will have to act with extreme caution. You need to drive slowly, turning carefully and keeping a distance between your car and other road users.

Apply the same principle when dealing with others. Remember that in moments of crisis, instincts are not your best helpers.

Now is not a good time to tell a person what you think of him, to make a vital choice, or to solve a serious problem. Wait until you return to normal, and the mood elevator is back on the upper floors, and you will realize that you can deal with any problem much faster and more efficiently.

become a tree

Remember a tree during a storm. A strong wind sways its branches from side to side. There is an impression that the tree is not able to withstand the elements. But it is worth paying attention to its roots, as the situation will appear in a different light. The tree is firmly and deeply rooted in the ground, so it cannot be destroyed.

A person who is overwhelmed by strong emotions is like this tree.

He feels vulnerable, capable of breaking at any moment. Therefore, in those moments when a storm of emotions covers you, you cannot stay in its epicenter – at the level of the brain or chest. Direct your attention to the navel area – this is your trunk, the strongest part. Then start breathing slowly. Mentally observe the rise and fall of your belly. Practicing this in a stable posture, such as sitting, will make you feel better.

Just breathe. Don’t think about anything. Breathe through the up and down movement of the belly. Do this exercise for 10-15 minutes and strong emotions will release you.