Ex-Smokers: Kings of Willpower
Psychology and neuroscience research indicates that willpower is something that can be developed and enhanced with practice. With that in mind, ex-smokers are willpower kings.
What's the Latest Development?
While you probably shouldn't take up smoking just to quit, thereby improving your willpower, those who have quit demonstrate comparatively strong cognitive control. "They once belonged to the same weak-willed camp as current smokers, those who have kicked the habit have had to repeatedly and successfully overcome the impulse to smoke. Neuroimaging studies have shown that resisting these urges engages the top and outermost regions of the brain, including many of the same dorsal-lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex associated with other types of cognitive control."
What's the Big Idea?
What happens to someone's brain when they quit smoking? Besides getting more oxygen, they develop better over-all self control. "Researchers recently examined brain scans of participants performing a task requiring strict control over behaviour, and found that ex-smokers performed better and showed greater activation of the dorsal-lateral prefrontal cortex than a group of individuals who still smoke. Moreover, the results indicated that the ex-smokers were even stronger on these measures of willpower than a group of people who had never smoked. Repeatedly exercising self-control while quitting appears to have lingering benefits for exerting control over other aspects of one’s behavior."
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.
- The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
- It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
- Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
- Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
- Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
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