Yoga may ease symptoms of depression, according to new research

According to the analysis, the more yoga sessions a person did each week, the less they struggled with depressive symptoms.

Photo by Rawpixel.com on Shutterstock
  • Depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting over 340 million people.
  • According to a new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, yoga sessions may be able to ease depressive symptoms in people with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
  • Mindfulness, meditation, and breathing control techniques are all things that have been proven effective in reducing depressive symptoms. Traditional yoga practices typically include a combination of these things and therefore may actually have more of a positive impact.
Keep reading Show less

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Updated for the 21st century

Rather than trekking up a mountain, a more accurate metaphor for human development involves navigating the waters of a choppy sea.

  • When we imagine Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs, we visualize a pyramid. This is all wrong, says humanistic psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman.
  • This is because life isn't a video game, where you unlock new levels until you reach the final prize of self-actualization. In fact, Maslow viewed human development as a two steps forward, one step back dynamic.
  • Kaufman rebuilt Maslow's hierarchy of needs, updating it for the 21st century with a solid scientific foundation. And a better metaphor for this is a sailboat.
Keep reading Show less

New hypothesis argues the universe simulates itself into existence

A physics paper proposes neither you nor the world around you are real.

Credit: Quantum Gravity Institute
  • A new hypothesis says the universe self-simulates itself in a "strange loop".
  • A paper from the Quantum Gravity Research institute proposes there is an underlying panconsciousness.
  • The work looks to unify insight from quantum mechanics with a non-materialistic perspective.
Keep reading Show less

Ask an atheist: Does the universe have a purpose?

All that matters is the here and now.

  • While bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer doesn't believe in God or any outside force that cares about us, he also doesn't think that the existence of one would give our lives meaning.
  • Shermer argues that it is up to us to create purpose for ourselves in various ways, including through meaningful work, familial and romantic relationships, and a connection and respect for the wonder of nature.
  • "It doesn't matter what happens billions of years from now or whether there's a God or not, whether there's an afterlife or not," he says. "It's irrelevant. This is the life that matters."

Keep reading Show less

Don’t panic — here’s how mindfulness can improve isolation

When you stop predicting the future and comparing the present to the past, you can reach a beneficial flow state.

  • It's normal to feel panic and anxiety in this moment. However, it's not totally necessary or helpful.
  • Futurist and Shots of Awe creator, Jason Silva, explains we feel this way because we're overdetermining the present. Despite scientific facts, when we're overexposed to the news, we immediately assume the worst.
  • One way to combat this is practicing mindfulness, which induces a state of flow. This flow state can provide relief from the onslaught of anxiety and can be reached in a number of ways, including meditation, yoga, or even watching a movie.
Keep reading Show less