The Power of Bad: How to overcome your brain’s ‘negativity bias’

Why can't we pull our attention away from a traffic accident or stop watching news about the latest viral outbreak? Why are we waylaid by criticism or unable to get past a minor snub from our best friend? That's our negativity bias. We humans have a propensity to give more weight in our minds to things that go wrong than to things that go right — so much so that just one negative event can hijack our minds in ways that can be detrimental to our work, relationships, health, and happiness. Overcoming our negativity bias is not easy to do. But a new book, The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It, coauthored by social psychologist Roy Baumeister and New York Times writer John Tierney, inspires hope. The book not only covers...

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Mysteries of the human heart: The communication between heart and brain

The human heart, the size of two adult fists, is mysterious, intelligent, powerful, and sometimes inexplicable. The Egyptians believed that Anubis, the god of the underworld and judge of the dead, weighed the hearts of the recently deceased against a feather — if the two balanced, the heart would be returned to owner. If the heart was heavier, it was weighted by bad deeds and fed to a monster. Heart as Ruler of the Brain Aristotle considered the heart as the center of reason, thought, and emotion, senior to the brain in importance. Ninth century Arabic philosopher Abu Nasr al-Farabi believed that, "The ruling organ in the human body is the heart; the brain is a secondary ruling organ subordinated to the heart." Auguste Comte, a 19th century French philosopher declared that the brain should be servant to the heart....

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Question everything: The one habit that changed my life

It's 2020, you don't need a blogger, YouTuber, or social media person to tell you that reading, exercising, meditating, eating nutrient-dense food, journaling, and drinking enough water are good habits. I've written those types of articles as well. But society is slowly changing. People are waking up. We're more aware of what we do, what we put in our bodies, and how we live. There's a lot of personal growth advice everywhere you go. For the past few years, it seems like everyone is obsessed with self-improvement. You can tell that by the amount of self-help advice that you can get from mainstream media. Even traditional outlets like The WSJ feature articles about overcoming procrastination, personal finance, and healthy living. It's everywhere. You can't open Netflix without being bombarded with the latest health documentaries. But while this advice might look...

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SOTT FOCUS: MindMatters: That’s the Spirit! The Stoic Philosophy of Pneuma

While the ancient philosophy of Stoicism is experiencing a comeback, many are still unfamiliar with some of its more esoteric concepts, like the role of pneuma or spirit in cosmology. The primal stuff of the cosmos - informing matter and mind at different levels of tension - for the Stoics, pneuma is the alpha and omega, the beginning and end of the cosmos. Today on MindMatters, we take a look at some of the basics of Stoic cosmology, how it informs their ethics, and the role it had on early Christian theology, specifically in the letters of Paul. For Paul the Holy Spirit actually has more in common with the Stoic Divine Pneuma than you might think, and has some far-out implications for what Paul thought about things like the "resurrection", "pneumatic" bodies, and the growth of knowledge and being....

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