Summary of “Emotionally Extreme Experiences, Not Just “Positive” or “Negative” Experiences, Are More Meaningful in Life”

What does it take to live a meaningful life? In trying to answer this question, most researchers focus on the valence of the life experience: is it positive or negative?
Researchers who focus on positive emotions have amassed evidence suggesting that we are more likely to find more meaning in our lives on days when we experience positive emotions.
Whereas happiness was positively correlated with the frequency of positive events in one’s life and negatively related to the frequency of negative events, greater meaningfulness was related both to a higher frequency of positive events and a higher frequency of negative events, as well as reports of more stress, time spent worrying, and time spent reflecting on struggles and challenges.
What’s going on here? How can meaning be positively associated with both positive and negative experiences?
By intentionally pitting “Positive” experiences against “Negative” experiences, researchers have focused on the difference between these experiences.
Perhaps both extremely pleasant and extremely painful events relative to more neutral events share a common set of characteristics that might lead them to be found more meaningful.
Over 50 years ago, Abraham Maslow talked about the importance of “Peak experiences”, which he described as “Rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generated an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effects…” While people often talk about the euphoria of peak experiences, Maslow often pointed out how overcoming intense challenges and setbacks can be a key trigger for a peak experience.
The intensity of peak experiences may be more likely to define who we are.

The orginal article.

Summary of “There’s a Dark Side to Meditation That No One Talks About”

We’ve all heard about the benefits of meditation ad nauseam.
In addition to calming the mind and body, meditation can also reduce the markers of stress in people with anxiety disorders.
This demanding and sometimes intensely distressing side of meditation is rarely mentioned in scientific literature, says Jared Lindahl, a visiting professor of religious studies at Brown University, who has an interest in neuroscience and Buddhism.
Along with Willoughby Britton, a psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown, the two meditators have co-authored a study that documents and creates a taxonomy for the variant phenomenology of meditation.
To conduct their research, the pair interviewed 60 Western Buddhist meditation practitioners who had all experienced challenging issues during their practice.
They included both rookies and meditation teachers, many of whom had accumulated more than 10,000 hours of meditation experience in their lifetime.
Most would not imagine that these side-effects could be hiding behind the lotus-print curtains of your local meditation center.
Who runs into the unexpected hurdles? What are the unique set of factors involved? In which ways do teachers assist students who are struggling? The answers, which still require future research, may one day be relevant to the ways meditation is used as therapy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Learning Is Supposed to Feel Uncomfortable”

Here’s the thing: While the act of learning is primarily intellectual, behavioral, or methodological, the experience of learning is primarily emotional.
It’s the emotional experience of learning – of being a beginner and making mistakes, often publicly – that often keeps people from even trying to learn.
“I don’t want to be harsh,” I told her, “But honestly, I wouldn’t trust you as a leader if I didn’t see you learning as a participant.”
Because while learning may not be that hard, being a learner – a beginner at something – can be very hard.
They are the inescapable growth pains that come with learning, developing, and becoming better at something.
Then look for learning situations where the stakes are low – maybe a class where you’re not expected to be an expert or you don’t know anyone else.
Learning takes time and comfort takes experience.
That said, there is one thing the workshop did make me more comfortable doing: staying in the discomfort of learning long enough to learn.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The blissful and bizarre world of ASMR”

People watch ASMR videos in hopes of eliciting the response, usually experienced as a deeply relaxing sensation with pleasurable tingles in the head. It can feel like the best massage in the world – but without anyone touching you.
Even a video of someone’s hands can trigger ASMR – your brain has evolved to read that as a caring person demonstrating a helpful skill or valuable item.
A 2016 study found differences between the brain connections of those who experience ASMR and those who don’t.
In a recently published study, my coauthors and I reported what happened in the brains of 10 volunteers while they experienced ASMR. Participants watched their favorite ASMR videos while lying still inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner.
ASMR videos may be tapping into our natural ability to be soothed by the sights and sounds our brains associate with caring individuals.
Can ASMR be experienced without the stimulus of another person? Some people do report being able to stimulate ASMR in themselves by clearing their minds, focusing on themselves, focusing on loved ones, or thinking about ASMR triggers.
It’s not yet known why just some individuals experience ASMR, what neurotransmitters and hormones are involved in ASMR, or how the effectiveness of ASMR compares to other current clinical treatments for anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
Figuring out more about the biology and benefits of ASMR should make the world a calmer place.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Is It Like to Be a Bee?”

“You can start to think at least in what senses the experience of something like a bee might be different from ours”-how they structure the world around them, say, or whether they experience “Space” the way we do.
We might be able to imagine having webbed arms and hands, like a bat, or five eyes, like a bee, but the specific senses and abilities these animals possess are frankly inconceivable.
So far as bee consciousness goes he thinks there are likely to be some factors in consciousness that we share, like vision, and some that we don’t at all, “Whether it’s sensory systems that humans have that bees don’t have, or whether it’s things more like concepts, like language, that give us a kind of consciousness that bees don’t have.”
“We don’t think the bees are aware of having experiences that feel like something to them. The bee is not going round saying to itself, ‘Gee, it’s a lovely day, look at that flower.’ It doesn’t have any of these more sophisticated, reflexive kinds of consciousness.”
If they watch a plastic bee scoring goals with a soccer ball, they can follow suit for a sugar water reward.
In a study published last year, Barron and Klein investigated the structure of the bee brain, which seems to be made up of similar bits to our own, with a region responsible for similar tasks.
“Unless there’s some kind of danger, and then it does that, unless it’s hungry, and then it does this-so you can really map out what it’s going to do.” In bees, he says, there seems to be a kind of qualitative shift, in which the brain is somehow more than its connections.
All of this neurobiology is beginning to paint a picture-that it feels like nothing to be a C. elegans, or a robot, or a plant, but it probably feels like something to be a bee.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Is It Like to Be a Bee?”

“You can start to think at least in what senses the experience of something like a bee might be different from ours”-how they structure the world around them, say, or whether they experience “Space” the way we do.
We might be able to imagine having webbed arms and hands, like a bat, or five eyes, like a bee, but the specific senses and abilities these animals possess are frankly inconceivable.
So far as bee consciousness goes he thinks there are likely to be some factors in consciousness that we share, like vision, and some that we don’t at all, “Whether it’s sensory systems that humans have that bees don’t have, or whether it’s things more like concepts, like language, that give us a kind of consciousness that bees don’t have.”
“We don’t think the bees are aware of having experiences that feel like something to them. The bee is not going round saying to itself, ‘Gee, it’s a lovely day, look at that flower.’ It doesn’t have any of these more sophisticated, reflexive kinds of consciousness.”
If they watch a plastic bee scoring goals with a soccer ball, they can follow suit for a sugar water reward.
In a study published last year, Barron and Klein investigated the structure of the bee brain, which seems to be made up of similar bits to our own, with a region responsible for similar tasks.
“Unless there’s some kind of danger, and then it does that, unless it’s hungry, and then it does this-so you can really map out what it’s going to do.” In bees, he says, there seems to be a kind of qualitative shift, in which the brain is somehow more than its connections.
All of this neurobiology is beginning to paint a picture-that it feels like nothing to be a C. elegans, or a robot, or a plant, but it probably feels like something to be a bee.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Simple Way to Map Out Your Career Ambitions”

Get the experiences and create a personal experience map.
Create Your Personal Experience Map Since the 70-20-10 ratio says that experiences best accelerate your development, you’ll want to understand which experiences will build your career and the few, most powerful experiences that can close your from/to gap.
A regularly updated personal experience map will help you chart your path.
A personal experience map shows which experiences you want to acquire in the next two to five years to grow your career.
The interviews will provide you with the raw material to create your personal experience map.
Your goal is to sort through this information to find the few experiences that will most accelerate your career.
Select four to seven functional experiences and three to four management experiences you believe will benefit you most and list them on your personal experience map.
The personal experience map is now your guide to continuously grow your high-performing self.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To”

Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determine the life you live.
Or said another way: you must control your attention to control your life.
Attention Management To be consistently productive and manage stress better, we must strengthen our skill in attention management.
So if your attention continues getting diverted, and email, meetings, and “Firefighting” consume your days, pretty soon weeks or months will have gone by and your life becomes full of the “Experiences” you never really intended to have.
Practicing attention management means fighting back against the distractions and creating opportunities throughout your day to support your priorities.
Remember, it’s there to serve you, not the other way around! Decide to take control by turning off email and “Push” notifications which are specifically designed to steal your attention.
Practicing attention management will not eliminate distractions from your day.
Instead, control your attention to control your life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To”

Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determine the life you live.
Or said another way: you must control your attention to control your life.
Attention Management To be consistently productive and manage stress better, we must strengthen our skill in attention management.
So if your attention continues getting diverted, and email, meetings, and “Firefighting” consume your days, pretty soon weeks or months will have gone by and your life becomes full of the “Experiences” you never really intended to have.
Practicing attention management means fighting back against the distractions and creating opportunities throughout your day to support your priorities.
Remember, it’s there to serve you, not the other way around! Decide to take control by turning off email and “Push” notifications which are specifically designed to steal your attention.
Practicing attention management will not eliminate distractions from your day.
Instead, control your attention to control your life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The link between spending and happiness”

4 minute Read. There are a lot of personal finance “Experts” out there who will tell you that the key to making money is to stop spending so much of it.
People who spend on experiences get way more bang for their buck.
Spending increases your happiness when it brings something new to your life, whether that’s a possession or an experience.
Nobody enjoys spending money on a flooded basement or a flat tire.
When the expensive purchase caused him to spend money to insure and maintain it, the spending didn’t make him happy.
You don’t get that conversion of splurge-to-unexpected cost spending.
If all spending isn’t created equal, does that mean not all cuts in spending will hurt? If certain expenditures don’t increase your happiness, doesn’t that mean eliminating them won’t affect it one way or the other? If certain expenses decrease your happiness, wouldn’t removing them make you happier?
Slashing your spending doesn’t always decrease your happiness.

The orginal article.