Musical training produces lasting improvements to a cognitive mechanism that helps individuals be more attentive and less likely to be distracted by irrelevant stimuli while performing demanding tasks. Notably, the more years of training musicians have, the more efficient they are at controlling their attention.
In some cases the best self-control strategy involves us changing the situation to create incentives or obstacles that help us exercise self-control, such as using apps that restrict our phone usage or keeping junk food out of the house. In other cases it's more effective to change how we think about the situation -- for example, by making an if-then plan to anticipate how we'll deal with treats in the office -- so that exercising self-control becomes more appealing or easier to accomplish. Other strategies work better when someone else implements them for us.
Across the different types of aversive challenge, the strategies correlated with success were: thinking about the positive consequences of getting to the end (this was also the most popular strategy); monitoring one’s goal progress; thinking that the end is near (the second most popular strategy); and emotion regulation (e.g. trying to stay in a good mood). In contrast, distracting oneself from the aversive challenge was associated with less success – perhaps because distraction makes us more inclined to give in and do something more pleasant.
The way we breathe, in other words, directly affects the chemistry of our brains in a way that can enhance our attention and improve our brain health.
Developing an awareness of the present moment reduced incidents of repetitive, off-task thinking, a hallmark of anxiety.
Imagination is a pathway toward patience. Imagining an outcome before acting upon an impulse may help increase patience without relying on increased willpower.
People may have better luck sustaining motivation in the late stages if they focus on what to avoid in order to reach their goals.
In the noimetic vision, there is nothing 'out there' with which to align. Instead, there is work to be done to make personal sense of one individual life: your own. The question is not "Where is meaning?" or "What is the meaning of life?" but "How do I intend to live?"
Although some may dismiss rituals as irrational, those who enact rituals may well outperform the skeptics who forgo them.
It is widely accepted that self-control is regulated by mechanisms in the brain area called the "prefrontal cortex," with the ability to keep oneself at bay when tempted by immediately appealing offers. Now a study from a team at the Department of Economics University of Zurich and the University of Dusseldorf shows that a second mechanism is also important for self-control: Being able to direct attention to one's future needs.
Telling yourself I can do better, can really make you do better at a given task, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found.
Study provides the strongest evidence to date that the brain’s circuits for habitual and goal-directed action compete for control – in the orbitofrontal cortex, a decision-making area of the brain – and that neurochemicals called endocannabinoids allow for habit to take over, by acting as a sort of brake on the goal-directed circuit.
Self-tracking apps and devices allow us to monitor our behaviour, but we should be cautious in expecting them to drive improvements in our wellbeing.
Living in accordance with our sense of self, emotions, and values — may be so fundamental that we actually feel immoral and impure when we violate our true sense of self.
Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it's a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn. Anyone who needs to remember things in their daily life can benefit from Anki. Since it is content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup (via LaTeX), the possibilities are endless.
Great connections can make or break a career, an idea or a company. They can propel innovators from a dorm room to a packed conference room, accelerate professional advancement, and uncover untold opportunities. Conversely, the absence of connections can relegate even the most talented individuals to obscurity. In today’s increasingly “connected” world, becoming a connector is a required skill.
When people are 'depleted' or fatigued, they experience a change in motivational priorities such that they attend to and work less for things they feel obliged to do and attend to and work more for things they want to do - things they like doing. The key is finding a way to want and like the goal that you are chasing.
Smartphones are often cast as the ultimate distractors. But a University of Michigan engineering professor sees potential for them to be something quite the opposite. What if they could act as mentors in mindfulness, helping users stay attentive in order to achieve particular goals?