from the world's big
Waiting Totally Sucks. Here's How to Do It Better
Editor's Note: This article was provided by our partner, RealClearScience. The original is here.
Cue Jeopardy music.
Waiting. We've all done it, and pretty much all of us hate it. Can science help us do it better?
Sadly, when it comes to waiting in line at Disney Land, McDonalds, or the DMV, you're at the mercy of the machine. All you can really do is think of sunny, sandy beaches and steer clear of anothing potentially antagonizing.
But when it comes to another ubiquitous form of waiting, anticipating uncertain news or outcomes, Kate Sweeny has you covered. Waiting on information regarding your health, relationships, professional prospects, or academic outcomes can be torturous. Sweeny wants to alleviate the agony.
An assistant professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside, Sweeny has extensively explored the psychology of waiting, with a specific goal of minimizing any associated stress and anxiety. In 2012, she developed a model of "uncertainty navigation" to depict the process people go through during difficult waiting periods and to help them healthily soldier through it. Her strategy can be broken down to three broad categories: mitigating consequences, reappraising the outcome, and regulating emotions.
Sweeny is currently testing her Uncertainty Navigation Model in two longitudinal studies."Study 1 will examine the experiences of people taking the California bar exam during the several months while they await their exam results, and Study 2 will examine the experiences of students in an upper-division psychology course over the several days while they await their midterm exam grades," she explained.
As we wait for those results, we can all benefit from five tips she offered up on how to wait well:
1. Distract yourself from uncertainty. Read an enthralling book, watch a captivating movie, play a video game that transports you to another realm. In essence, find ways to minimize your anxiety in ways that are totally irrelevant to the situation.
2. Manage your expectations. There are two ways to do this: brace for the worst or hope for the best, and both have their merits. Yes, the former is basically adopting a pessimistic outlook, but it also means you may not be disappointed if the news is sour. On the other hand, hope offers tangible, immediate benefits. According to Sweeny, "research supports a number of benefits of maintaining hope under difficult circumstances, such as better adjustment to breast cancer, reduced risk for of hypertension, increased immune functioning, and faster recovery from illness."
3. Look for the silver lining in all outcomes. It may surprise you to know that people with chronic and deteriorating diseases do not often report worse quality of life compared to their healthy counterparts. Expectation plays a huge role in life satisfaction, so generally, when people come to terms with their new predicament, they're able to redefine their personal measures of happiness. Therefore, while waiting for potentially bad news, you can take solace in knowing that, though your life might have to change, you'll still be just as happy. "People who find potential benefit in possible bad news will likely respond with less distress should the negative outcome actually occur," Sweeney says.
4. Keep perspective regarding the news. Consult with friends, family, and experts to ascertain the ramifications of potentially bad news. Evaluate how important the moment truly is in the grand scheme of things.
5. Plan ahead for the consequences of bad news. Take steps to make your life easier should the disastrous outcome you're dreading actually come to pass. For example, if you're waiting on news from the doctor about whether or not surgery is required for some malady or injury, contact your employer to secure time off from work. Or, say you're waiting for the results of a consequential exam. Start planning and taking actions to improve your score on your next potential exam. Design new study habits, or begin searching for tutors. Sweeny hypothesizes that these costs and efforts are worthwhile. "Consequence mitigation serves not only to prepare for the future, but also to manage anxiety in the present."
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.