A Hug a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Art by Eva Campbell – EvitaWorks.com

Common sense tells us that a hug is good for us.  Now a new study confirms just how and why hugs are so beneficial.

A study of 404 healthy adults by experimenters at Carnegie Mellon University examined the effects of hugs on the health of participants, particularly their susceptibility to developing the common cold.  People who reported more hugs and greater social support were 32% less likely to come down with a cold, and the researchers interpreted that a “stress-buffering” effect of hugging explained the beneficial effect.

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The Myth of Heroic Revenge?

Is revenge heroic?

In movies and TV shows revenge is often depicted as a courageous act, and those who succeed in getting revenge are portrayed as heroes.  The Lifetime Channel on TV specializes in revenge movies.  They’ve got it down to a formula.

In each story, there is an innocent heroine and a malicious villain.  The villain tries to take away the heroine’s job, family, children, reputation, identity, mansion, rubies or all of the above.  Eventually the heroine turns into a vigilante and goes after the villain to make him or her pay for what they have done.  And the heroine (almost always female) doesn’t just shoot one bullet into the villain’s body, but about ten or eleven.  He or she gets what they deserve.

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Another Sign America is Going Mad

The fourth Democratic debate ended with a question that most candidates evaded and later metwith a hailstorm of slams on Twitter.  The question was about Ellen DeGeneres’ friendship with President George Bush.

This was in reference to Degeneres being largely criticized by liberals after she and former President George W. Bush were seen laughing together at a football game. Ellen defended their friendship, saying, ‘We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK, that we’re all different,’”   Anderson Cooper, debate moderator, brought this up and asked. “So in that spirit, we’d like you to tell us about a friendship that you’ve had that would surprise us and what impacts it’s had on you and your beliefs.”

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What Can Snowball Teach Us?

Snowball is a cockatoo who dances. He dances so well that two different scientific studies have been done about his ability to dance.

Snowball first came into public attention when he appeared on the David Letterman Show in 2008 and danced on the back of a chair. His dancing then went viral and his owner, Irena Schulz, made a dozen or so videos of him dancing. Over the years his repertoire of dance moves kept expanding. Today, according to the latest scientific article, he is capable of doing 14 different dance moves.

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Study: We Are All Biased

We see what we want to see and think what we want to think, no matter what the actual evidence indicates. This is the finding of research by Yuan Chang Leong and colleagues at Stanford University, which was published in a recent issue of Nature Human Behavior.

This is not a new idea. At the turn of the 20th century Sigmund Freud discovered the human unconscious and stated that we are motivated by unconscious, rather than conscious thoughts and impulses. Hence, we may tell ourselves we are consciously choosing to wear black instead of red because black becomes us, but unconsciously we are biased toward black and are choosing it because of our bias.

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Therapized Folks are the Healthiest

Is it often assumed that people who go into therapy are less mentally healthy than those who do not go into therapy. However, my own research suggests that this is not necessarily true. Functional neurotics (that is, you and I) who receive therapy—at least two years of therapy or more—are generally healthier than those who do not receive therapy. Those who do not receive therapy often delude themselves into thinking they are mentally healthier, but they are not.

People who stay in therapy, particular a psychodynamic therapy in which they get in touch with themselves and learn to know themselves in the Freudian as well as the Socratic or Daoist sense, develop a balanced attitude toward life. As they become more aware of their unconscious, they are able to let go of aspects of their personality that are detrimental and to actualize parts that are more beneficial.

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