For Emotional Happiness, Walk the Walk
Spend more time in the company of people who have the habits you want.
The strongest scientific evidence we have for physical interventions that can improve emotional wellbeing are for physical activity. There’s an overwhelming body of scientific evidence showing that being physically active both can protect and treat depression.
The form of physical activity that has most commonly been studied is walking, interestingly. And one of the findings that comes from the research is that moderate regular physical activity may be more effective than intense physical activity. So it’s not necessarily that more is better.
But the idea is that you want to move your body every day if possible in some way or other. Doing this is one of the most powerful interventions that we identified both for preventing depression and for treating it.
Now often when people are depressed the last thing that they want to do is move. So I think you really want to hit them over the head to get them moving. One of the practical pieces of advice that I often give is that if you want to develop better habits, whether it’s better habits eating or exercise, spend more time in the company of people who have the habits you want.
And that is a very simple, very effective piece of advice. So if you want to eat better, spend more time in the company of people who have good eating habits. If you want to be more physically active, spend more time in the company of people who are physically active.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.
I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.
- Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
- The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
- The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.