The New York Times - metered paywallk - 15 Dec 2017
Despite fears of being accused of ‘humbug’, Christmas is a good time to post this article. A novelist tells about her story of not shopping for a year. Some of the perks of not having to shop: (1) It frees up a lot of space in our brain, (2) It saves an astonishing amount of time; (3) It makes us tremendously grateful for the things we receive; (4) It makes it easier to see what other people don’t have (the reason why every religion regards material belongings as an impediment to peace). Her conclusion: The unspoken question of shopping is “What do I need?” What I needed was less.
Published in Weekly selection 23 December 2017
The New York Times - metered paywallk - 14 Dec 2017
Yes it can! This article focuses on the US, but teaching kindness is a global movement. “Kindness Curriculum” is being introduced in certain schools, helping children to manage the stress of standardized testing and to cut down on interpersonal conflicts. Academic research shows that children who receive kindness training become more altruistic. It also strengthens their ability to focus and modestly boost their academic performance.
Published in Weekly selection 15 December 2017
Association for Psychological Science - 1 Dec 2017
High achievers sometimes see sleep as a complete waste of time. As this article explains in simple but comprehensive terms, nothing could be further from the truth. A strong body of scientific evidence shows that lack of sleep impairs not only a variety of bodily functions, but also cognitive processes such as memory and executive control. According to a leading academic: “There does not seem to be one major organ within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally enhanced by sleep (and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get enough)” (reads in 8-10 min).
Published in Weekly selection 8 December 2017