There’s so much to gain by being positive. Research
shows that there are links between a positive outlook, better health and longer life span. Studies also reveal that positive emotions help us develop our 'personal resources' – be they physical, intellectual or social.
Rather than dwelling on all the negative news stories that the media loves to share (hey, if it bleeds, it leads), we prefer to highlight some of the wonderful things happening in the world. Here are just a few.
- There’s now scientific proof that meditating makes your brain quicker. A team of researchers at New York’s Binghamton University have used brain scans to test whether 10 minutes of daily meditation can change cognitive behaviour. They found it led to faster switching between the brain’s two general states of consciousness: the ‘default mode network’, which is active when the brain is awake but not focused, like when you’re daydreaming – and the ‘dorsal attention network’, which kicks into gear for attention-demanding tasks. These findings suggest that regular meditation makes our brains more effective at jumping between the states – a bonus for those among us whose minds are prone to wandering. Just another item to add to the list of meditation’s many benefits.
- A factory built to suck carbon dioxide out of the air opened earlier this month in Iceland. Known as ‘Orca’, it’s the world’s first climate-positive ‘air capture and storage plant’, capable of drawing 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. While this might not seem like a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, the groups behind the project plan to scale up the model over the next few years, giving them the power to potentially remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air by the end of the decade.
- In a global survey of 13,000 people, almost 90 per cent of respondents revealed they’re currently taking steps to improve their health – and the majority of them say the pandemic has helped them kickstart their new habits. More than half of the respondents say they can now run or exercise longer without feeling winded, while 48 per cent have gone down a clothing size or belt notch. So much for corona kilos!
- Therapy dogs really are the greatest. Not only are COVID vaccination clinics recruiting them to calm people with needle anxiety, but in the US, the government recently authorised a new law, through which veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be able to train and eventually adopt aspiring service dogs. With PTSD affecting as many as 30 per cent of veterans who have served in conflicts over the past several decades, the pups will be performing a valuable service by learning new skills, such as, how to shield veterans from an overwhelming crowd, or wake them up if they're having a nightmare. Truly man’s best friend.
- This is one for the parents out there: new UC Berkeley research has found that the many hours your teenagers are spending on screens these days might not be so bad. Researchers studied more than 700 adolescents in Peru during the country’s toughest lockdown last year and found that, when it comes to screen time, the problem is not so much the quantity of hours spent online, but the quality of the interactions. It turns out that positive online experiences, whether chatting with friends or playing video games, can help reduce loneliness. So perhaps we can cut those screens some slack after all.
- Remember nightclubs? Ah yes, a fixture of the ‘good old days’ – well apparently they still exist, and one in Glasgow Scotland has plans to do its bit for the environment by harnessing the energy released from patrons on the dance floor, by turning it into a source for heating and cooling. The initiative, which is part of the club’s plan to become carbon neutral, will save 70 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. It’s safe to say that if the idea expands to clubs closer to home, we’ll all be lining up to get our groove on – to help the environment, of course!
That’s all from us for now. We hope these happy stories get your week off to a great start.
– The Coach Place Global
Image by @unsplash
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