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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Managing Stress

The Big Idea for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No matter how lucky or driven or talented you are, your life is full of problems. Some, you can solve. Others are completely beyond your control. Stress, the result of the ongoing psychological struggle with these problems, is linked not only with anxiety and depressive disorders, but with a host of physical illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes

Given our increasingly precise understanding of the many negative effects of stress, what can we do about it? While personal organizational strategies, workplace management practices, and political changes can significantly reduce some of the external stressors we face, they can never entirely eliminate the underlying cause of stress – our habitual reactions to the unpredictable demands of life. Psychopharmaceuticals are one option. Meditation's another. Recently, neuroscience has been exploring with increasing intensity the effects of meditation on the brain, testing the claim that the ancient practice can induce lasting states of calm that counteract the toxic effects of stress.



  1. 1 Ask a Buddhist: My Boss is Stressing Me Out!
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  2. 2 Piercing the Romantic Illusion
    Andrew Cohen The Evolution of Enlightenment
  3. 3 Outsmarting the Brain-Shrinking Effects of Stress
    Jonny Bowden
  4. 4 Oliver Sacks on Manipulating the Brain
    Oliver Sacks

Managing Stress

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