Happiness and Evolution (Part 2)

What does evolutionary social psychology have to do with happiness? Do you remember in part 1 about certain brain processes occurring automatically to save on energy? Well, from our Spiderman-like ability to detect snakes to our overwhelming ability to get bored with new purchases, these evolutionary advantages happen ‘nonconsciously.’ This means that your brain can control your everyday emotions, actions, and decisions in a big way without you ever being aware of it.  What does this have to do with happiness? Well, the hard part about sustainable happiness is “Emotional Evanescence.” For a while, researchers never knew why or how but they observed over and over something phenomenal... That humans were extremely resilient and able bounce back quickly from adversity. As a sad example, if you were to become paralyzed in an automobile accident, studies show that you would be impacted greatly by it, but not half as long as you would intuitively imagine. You simply would

Is Your Happiness Controlled By Evolutionary Social Psychology (ESP)?

The Evolution of Happiness Learn the affect evolution has on your happiness in 6 tiny lessons... We’ll cover a lot of evolutionary social psychology to dig up the underlying processes that hold humans back from finding sustainable happiness. So, for our first mini-lesson: what is evolutionary social psychology (ESP)?  ESP is a set of scientifically accepted assumptions that use the theory of evolution as a base. ESP posits that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have been shaped over many years of biological selection. [This simply means that, even today, we carry with us certain natural tendencies because they were once useful to survival over this long period of time.] ESP helps explain: 1) why we hold stereotypes, 2) why we get in autopilot mode on the way to work, and even 3) why we’re not still pumped up about our newest phone or gadget like the day we got it. We make sense of things in our environment and move on from them rapidly. This is because we onl

Spermidine Supplement Experience: Ultra-Spermidine Reviewed

Lately I've been getting more into researching the antiaging literature because I happened upon some of my old notes from Psychology of Aging (one of my favorite grad courses). Sure, that course mainly covered cognition and how society treats us as we age, but it also touched on the biology of aging. We talked telomeres, the hayflick limit, and most relevant to today authophagy . As almost 10 years has passed since I took that course I decided it was time to brush up. Perhaps my wrinkling skin and declining hair count had something to do with it... Regardless of my reasoning, I was determined to test a new autophagy inducing supplement I had heard of called Ultra-Spermidine by LZR Labs. I knew spermidine ingestion could mimic the postives outcomes seen by long fasts (cell turnover etc.) but I am human afterall and not some Tim Ferriss like guru. I can't just not eat for 4 days ever couple months because my wife would probably end up hating it even more that I woul

Should I Put My Foot Down? People Pleasing 101

People ask me all the time what the secret to happiness is. “If you had to pick just one thing,” they wonder, “what would be the most important thing for leading a happy life?” Ten years ago, I would have told you a regular gratitude practice was the most important thing, and while that is still my favorite instant happiness booster, my answer has changed. I believe the most important thing for happiness is living truthfully. Here’s the specific advice I recently gave my kids: Live with total integrity. Be transparent, honest, and authentic. Do not ever waiver from this; white lies and false smiles quickly snowball into a life lived out of alignment. It is better to be yourself and risk having people not like you than to suffer the stress and tension that comes from pretending to be someone you’re not, or professing to like something that you don’t. I promise you: Pretending will rob you of joy. I’ve spent the better part of my life as a people-pleaser, trying to meet other people’

The Science of Falling In Love

"How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?—Albert Einstein Einstein was correct—science will never clinically sterilize the wonderment of love (first or otherwise). But I think he’d also agree that it’s a mistake to confuse increased understanding with diminished meaning. No matter what we learn about love, it will continue to be one of the most meaningful and powerful forces on the planet, as it should be. With that disclaimer, let’s jump in and discover what we've learned so far: Love is addictive. Thinking about one’s beloved—particularly in new relationships—triggers activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain, which releases a flood of the neurotransmitter dopamine (the so-called "pleasure chemical") into the brain’s reward (or pleasure) centers—the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens. This gives the lover a high not unlike the effect of narcotics, and

How Growing Up In Poverty Negatively Alters Your Brain

Crucial parts of the human brain are poorly connected in children of poverty, yet another study finds. fMRI scans of 105 kids from seven to twelve indicated weaker associations in the hippocampus and amygdala. The hippocampus is an important component of the brain linked to the storing of memories and the management of anxiety. The amygdala is linked to handling feelings and stressors. Poverty stricken kids showed the worst connectivity in the hippocampus and amygdala. Being poor was likewise linked with elevated reports of depression. [The US government poverty line for a house of 4 is $24,250 a year.] Kids brought up in such circumstances are at a higher risk of developing mental illnesses and acting out. Moreover, these children perform worse in school and on tests measuring thinking ability. The lead researcher, Professor D. M. Barch said: "Many things can be done to foster brain development and positive emotional development. Poverty doesn’t put a child

Hot Cocoa Surges Cognitive Abilities: Cocoa and Brain Function

One big helping of hot chocolate a day could keep the mind solid, a new study finds. The exploration included 60 individuals whose normal age was 73. They were given tests of memory and deduction abilities and the blood stream in their brains was measured. 50% of the study participants were given hot chocolate rich in a cancer prevention agent called flavanol. The other half got flavanol-less hot chocolate. Both gatherings kept on having hot chocolate consistently for two a month. The outcomes demonstrated that individuals who had weakened blood stream in the cerebrum enhanced in the wake of drinking the flavanol-rich cocoa. Individuals with weakened blood stream likewise enhanced tests of memory and intuition abilities. There was no change for individuals with typical blood flow. The study was distributed in the journal Neurology .