Summary of “Astronaut Scott Kelly on the devastating effects of a year in space”

It’s March 2016, and I’ve been back on Earth, after a year in space, for precisely 48 hours.
Over the past year, I’ve spent 340 days alongside Russian astronaut Mikhail “Misha” Kornienko on the International Space Station.
No one at the hospital will have seen symptoms of having been in space for a year.
Our space agencies won’t be able to push out farther into space, to a destination like Mars, until we can learn more about how to strengthen the weakest links in the chain that make space flight possible: the human body and mind.
A normal mission to the International Space Station lasts five to six months, so scientists have a good deal of data about what happens to the human body in space for that length of time.
The second large category had to do with solving problems for future space exploration: testing new life-support equipment, solving technical problems of spaceflight and studying new ways of handling the demands of the human body in space.
The effects of living in space looked a lot like the effects of ageing, which affected us all.
It’s gratifying to see how curious people are about my mission, how much children instinctively feel the excitement and wonder of space flight, and how many people think, as I do, that Mars is the next step.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An Appreciation of Tom Petty, Who Died Monday, at Sixty-Six”

“There was the way out. There was the way to do it,” he told the journalist Paul Zollo, for his book “Conversations with Tom Petty.”
The band released an eponymous début, “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,” in 1976.
All told, Petty released thirteen records with the Heartbreakers, three as a solo artist, two with the Traveling Wilburys, and two with a reboot of Mudcrutch.
I’m fairly certain Petty knew how it felt to be us.
Petty understood how to address the liminal, not-quite-discernible feelings that a person might experience in her lifetime.
I have, at various points in my life, cited Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Greatest Hits” as my favorite record of all time.
So today seems like as good a time as any to light a candle-light all the candles-and put on “Free Fallin’,” which opens “Full Moon Fever,” Petty’s remarkable solo début, from 1989.
Petty liked outlaws and fuck-ups, but he didn’t romanticize much.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Manage Your Stress by Monitoring Your Body’s Reactions to It”

In the world, lookouts watch for things going wrong, so they can raise a flag.
Specifically, your Lookout pays attention to what’s happening inside you: the tightness in your stomach; the surprise when your proposal isn’t chosen; the joy of making your mentor proud.
If a car cuts you off, your Lookout notices your urge to “Strike back,” so you don’t.
Without using your Lookout, you’ll follow these instincts wherever they take you.
If your Lookout doesn’t make some noise, you’re at risk of turning into Jack: a leader with a great track record who doesn’t notice that he’s boiling inside and burning things down.
The more you use your Lookout, the more it notices things – and the more useful it becomes.
Ask your Lookout: What do you notice right now about me? Then write down observations from the Lookout’s point of view.
By practicing in moments of low stress, you’ll hone your Lookout skills.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why do we feel so guilty all the time?”

Filial guilt, fraternal guilt, spousal guilt, maternal guilt, peer guilt, work guilt, middle-class guilt, white guilt, liberal guilt, historical guilt, Jewish guilt: I’m guilty of them all.
Guilty women, lured by guilt into obstructing their own paths to increased wealth, power, prestige and happiness, just can’t seem to take advantage of their advantages.
Could that be the reason for our guilt? Not our lack of knowledge – but rather our presumption of it? Our desperate need to be sure of ourselves, even when what we think of ourselves is that we’re worthless, useless, the pits? When we feel guilty we at least have the comfort of being certain of something – of knowing, finally, the right way to feel, which is bad. This may be why we’re addicted to crime dramas: they satisfy our wish for certainty, no matter how grim that certainty is.
Our feelings of guilt may be a confession, but they usually precede the accusation of any crime – the details of which not even the guilty person can be sure.
What can it mean if victims feel guilty and perpetrators are guilt-free? Are objective guilt and subjective guilt completely at odds with each other?
Liberal guilt has become a shorthand for describing those who feel keenly a lack of social, political and economic justice, but are not the ones who suffer the brunt of it.
The idea of guilt as an inhibiting emotion corroborates the common critique of liberal guilt: that, for all the suffering it produces, it fails completely to motivate the guilty subject to bring about meaningful political change.
Before we declare the liberal “Guilty as charged” – as in guilty of the wrong kind of guilt – it’s worth reminding ourselves of the survival guilt that has likewise been viewed by many as guilt of the wrong kind.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel – Brain Pickings”

Few people in the two centuries since Emerson issued his exhortation to “Trust thyself” have countered this culturally condoned blunting of individuality more courageously and consistently than E.E. Cummings – an artist who never cowered from being his conventional self because, in the words of his most incisive and competent biographer, he “Despised fear, and his life was lived in defiance of all who ruled by it.”
A fortnight after the poet’s fifty-ninth birthday, a small Michigan newspaper published a short, enormous piece by Cummings under the title “A Poet’s Advice to Students,” radiating expansive wisdom on art, life, and the courage of being yourself.
It went on to inspire Buckminster Fuller and was later included in E.E. Cummings: A Miscellany Revised – that wonderful out-of-print collection which the poet himself described as “a cluster of epigrams, forty-nine essays on various subjects, a poem dispraising dogmata, and several selections from unfinished plays,” and which gave us Cummings on what it really means to be an artist.
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel – but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel.
Cummings should know – just four years earlier, he had fought that hardest battle himself: When he was awarded the prestigious Academy of American Poets annual fellowship – the MacArthur of poetry – Cummings had to withstand harsh criticism from traditionalists who besieged him with hate for the bravery of breaking with tradition and being nobody-but-himself in his art.
So my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world – unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.
Complement the thoroughly invigorating E.E. Cummings: A Miscellany Revised with a lovely illustrated celebration of Cummings’s creative bravery, then revisit Pulitzer-winning poet Robert Penn Warren on what it really means to find yourself and Janis Joplin on the courage of being what you find.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Our illusory sense of agency has a deeply important social purpose”

Strangely in these situations we retain an intense feeling that we’re in control of what we’re doing, what can be called a sense of agency.
Instead, our experience of agency seems to come from inferences we make about the causes of our actions, based on crude sensory data.
Many of the ways we encounter the world don’t require any real conscious processing, and our feeling of agency can be deeply misleading.
If our experience of action doesn’t really affect what we do in the moment, then what is it for? Why have it? Contrary to what many people believe, I think agency is only relevant to what happens after we act – when we try to justify and explain ourselves to each other.
Take the subjective experience of fluency: the easier it feels to do something, the more likely you are to think that you’re in control of the action.
In the same way we learn to associate certain experiences of action with a sense of agency.
In this way, we gradually figure out what it ‘feels’ like for our actions to be ‘deliberate’, and if all goes well, we develop into adults with a sense of responsibility about our own powers.
Perhaps our sense of agency is a similar trick: it might not be ‘true’, but it maintains social cohesion by creating a shared basis for morality.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why we should all stop saying “I know exactly how you feel” |”

So I started talking about how I grew up without a father.
“No, no, no,” I said, “That’s not what I’m saying at all. I just meant I know how you feel.”
She answered, “No, Celeste, you don’t. You have no idea how I feel.”
While reciprocity is an important part of any meaningful conversation, the truth is shifting the attention to our own experiences is completely natural.
That’s where some trouble can arise – instead of helping us better understand someone else’s experience, our own experiences can distort our perceptions of what the other person is saying or experiencing.
Study author Dr. Tania Singer observed, “The participants who were feeling good themselves assessed their partners’ negative experiences as less severe than they actually were. In contrast, those who had just had an unpleasant experience assessed their partners’ good experience less positively.” In other words, we tend to use our own feelings to determine how others feel.
What if you’re having a great day and you meet a friend who was just laid off? Without knowing it, you might judge how your friend is feeling against your good mood.
Excerpted with permission from the new book We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Honesty Could Make You Happier”

Researchers at the University of California San Diego Emotion Lab are looking at “Prosocial” lies – the white lies we tell to benefit others, like telling an aspiring writer a story is great because you want to be nice and encouraging, when in reality you know it needs work and will meet rejection.
A recent study at the lab suggests that we are more likely to tell a prosocial lie when we feel compassion toward someone, because if you feel bad for someone, the last thing you want to do is hurt him or her with the truth.
These lies feel better in the short term, but they often do more harm than good in the long term.
My focus on honesty at times did lead to better interactions with my husband.
My social media self wasn’t a lie, but if I was going to focus on truly honest behavior, it seemed better not to indulge too much – hence, I pulled way back from posting on Facebook.
Even though honesty felt like a struggle, I started to like how it felt.
Research from the University of Notre Dame has shown that when people consciously stopped telling lies, including white lies, for 10 weeks, they had fewer physical ailments and fewer mental health complaints than a control group that did not focus on honesty.
The bottom line is that focusing on honesty is a way to actively engage with the world, versus passively complaining about it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Feeling like an impostor? You can escape this confidence-sapping syndrome”

Far from being a realistic self-assessment, the impostor syndrome mind-trap prevents people from believing in themselves, to the detriment of us all.
For some, hearing about impostor syndrome for the first time is a revelation.
According to some estimates, up to 70% of successful people have experienced impostor syndrome, including Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein, and Meryl Streep.
Survival of the fittest means all humans live with degrees of anxiety – including the kind that can cause impostor syndrome.
Women and people from minority populations also experience impostor syndrome more, due to cultural inequities.
To name impostor syndrome is to start to sense control over it and recognise that it is a complex condition that you can – with practise – overcome.
Impostor syndrome can be a gift if you use it to create more helpful, mindful, less toxically stressful ways of living.
Fiona Buckland is giving a Guardian Masterclass on 10 October on how to tackle impostor syndrome and embrace your power.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Happiness Is Not Enough”

The same way you feel hot and cold when you walk outside, your emotions do the same for complex psychological phenomena.
Chances are you’re going to feel some strong emotions like anger, jealousy, and betrayal, among others.
A diverse emotional life isn’t just made up of a few “Good” and “Bad” emotions.
People who practice a wide range of emotions are self-aware enough to know what triggers these emotions and then act accordingly.
What you’ll likely find is that if you’ve denied a certain emotion in yourself for long enough, you’ll actually stop realizing when you’re feeling it.
I’ve talked before about identifying and unfusing from your emotions as one way to become more self-aware and to understand your emotions better.
Learning to identify the emotion and then separating your decision-making from the emotion.
Once you unfuse your emotions from your decisions, it often causes you to experience greater depth and complexity in your emotions.

The orginal article.