The Art and Science of Tricking Your Brain: What the research says about ‘fake it til you make it’

During difficult times in your life, perhaps you've been told to "take a deep breath" or "try to smile more." Anxious about that big presentation at work? Just "stand up tall with confidence, and everything will be fine." But to what extent is this kind of advice actually helpful? Can that forced smile trick your brain into believing that you're happy, and can that upright posture give you a feeling of confidence? Is it possible to change how you think or feel through physically changing your body? The answer is yes. But first, take a deep breath Your body and mind are inextricably linked. So it follows that the way you breathe with your lungs can affect your mental state and the way you process stress with your brain. Most people are aware that breathing deeply helps you to relax...

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Three Stoic lessons from a galaxy far, far away

It is no secret, to those who are familiar with the saga, that Star Wars is filled with wisdom. Those not familiar with Star Wars are at least familiar with its iconography, such as the helmet of Darth Vader — that great symbol of the dark side of the force. Some are also likely familiar with the little green Jedi master, Yoda (not to be confused with the cute little creature of the same species from the Mandalorian). Yoda is first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke seeks him out on Dagobah to learn the ways of the Jedi. He appears again only briefly in The Return of the Jedi (but not without failing to impart some more wisdom), and is present throughout the prequel trilogy. The great thing about being a reader of the Classics is that...

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Men think they are better liars says new research

Men are twice as likely as women to consider themselves to be good at lying and at getting away with it, new research has found. People who excel at lying are good talkers and tell more lies than others, usually to family, friends, romantic partners and colleagues, according to the research led by Dr Brianna Verigin, at the University of Portsmouth. Expert liars also prefer to lie face-to-face, rather than via text messages, and social media was the least likely place where they'd tell a lie. Dr Verigin, who splits her time between the Universities of Portsmouth and Maastricht, in the Netherlands, said: "We found a significant link between expertise at lying and gender. Men were more than twice as likely to consider themselves expert liars who got away with it. "Previous research has shown that most people tell one-two...

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