Our bodies are chronically in "threat mode"—but being kind recalibrates our nervous system

Being kind to others positively impacts your physical and mental health, according to this groundbreaking research by Stanford professor Dr. James Doty.

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  • The default "rest mode" of our brains is often taken over by a "threat mode" setting because of our stressful, "on-the-go" lifestyles. When we are chronically in threat mode, this leaves us with less capacity for compassion.
  • Showing compassion or acting kind to others can actually change your physiology, taking you out of threat mode and putting you back into your natural "rest and digest" mode.
  • Research by a well-known Stanford professor Dr. James Doty has shown that acts of kindness or compassion that put us back into our "rest mode" can have lasting positive impacts on our physical and mental health.
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The path to less stress? Strategic pessimism.

The key to happiness is being less optimistic and accepting a certain amount of unhappiness.

  • The centuries old philosophy of Stoicism may hold the key to a kind of happiness that is more grounded in reality.
  • The two main ideas of stoic happiness are that problems are caused by your reactions to events not the events themselves, and the only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions.
  • Choosing strategic pessimism over optimism and positive thinking is one way to avoid "unnecessary disturbance and anxiety."
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How to get ahead in work and life, according to a dominatrix

The dominatrix profession demands a mastery of human psychology and the ability to command life's many challenges.

  • Professional dominatrixes develop an intuitive understanding of the human psyche at its most revealing.
  • The techniques pro-dommes use to control their clients can be translated to other endeavors, especially finances and work.
  • Studying the principles of these techniques can help anyone improve a craft or skill.
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The psychology of magic: Where do we look for meaning in life?

The desperate search for a narrative opens the door to the wonders of magic.

  • By embracing a rational approach to life, society at large has stripped away meaning from psychologically important elements of life, including death.
  • A lack of meaning leads to discomfort, which results in a desperate search for narrative in things that feel transcendent and bigger than ourselves.
  • For some, the wonder of magic fills that void and provides the meaning and structure that has been lost.
  • Derren returns to the stage with his new live, one-man show, Showman. Check it out here.
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Is love an addiction?

Love triggers the same regions of your brain as cocaine addiction.

  • Studies have shown that romantic love, while often positive, activates basic brain regions that are also triggered by cocaine addiction.
  • Stalking, clinical depression, and even suicides have been attributed to love addictions.
  • For better or worse, everybody at some time in their life has been or will be addicted to love.
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