The link between imagination and anxiety

“Anxiety is the price we pay for an ability to imagine the future. That’s what anxiety is, an imagination of a future that hasn’t happened yet, but that you are concerned with, worried about, dreading, and so on.” Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety art by @aishwaryasadasivan

The effect of expectation

The placebo creates a ceremony of expectation. It builds off novelty and reinvigorates confidence in the possibility of recovery. We all fall victim to the soft mental implantation of a placebo, the oldest medicine in the world. One simple belief kickstarts a chemical revolution. But in reality, the answer just needed to be poked from dormancy. […]

Michael Pollan goes tripping on psychedelics for his new book

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That’s the short and sweet dietary advice offered by journalist Michael Pollan. But after writing Cooked, now he’s back with a new challenge: psychedelics. Pollan’s autobiography on his first-hand experience with LSD and mushrooms are sure to interest people once more. He tells the Financial Times: “There is […]

The dopamine surge

Dopamine is a superpower. Our brain hunts it down in the expectation of feeding it with some type of satisfaction, be it coffee or social media. But our anticipation often exceeds reality. The coffee aroma smells better than the grounded beans actually taste. Capturing the photo and preparing to share it feels better than receiving all […]

There are two types of progress:

Progress you can make toward an end-goal such as a project with a final completion date Progress you can make against an ailment like OCD which you can never fully defeat Progress is just as good as perfection. In fact, no one ever achieves perfection. They just achieve more and more exactitude. “I listened, I […]

Having Heart: Can We Rethink Life’s Stresses?

What if the learner’s fear could be construed as a positive challenge? What a skier—or anyone—could be made to believe that the pounding and fluttering were actually a resource, tools for enhanced performance? If you look at stress in positive light, “reappraise arousal,” and get excited about the forthcoming challenge you’re more likely to have […]