The Difference Between Worry, Stress and Anxiety – New York Times, February 26, 2020
Most of us would agree that the past weeks, with news about the spread of the coronavirus ramping up daily, have been a source of worry, stress and anxiety. This short, highly digestible article does a great job of explaining the difference between these three notions. In a nutshell: Worry happens in our mind, stress happens in our body, and anxiety happens in our mind and body. It also proposes a few simple tips to better deal with them.
Gyms and Coronavirus: What Are the Risks? – New York Times, March 8, 2020
Sweat cannot transmit the virus, but high-contact surfaces, such as barbells, can pose a problem, say doctors. And there’s a lower risk of picking up the coronavirus at a gym or fitness studio than at church services, which typically include handshaking and proximity to others. How can you be smart? Ask what’s in those unmarked spray bottles at your gym/studio, and better yet, bring your own wipes with the right amount of alcohol (whether diluted household bleach, alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol, or common household disinfectants), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The article also discusses how gyms and yoga studios are taking action.
The 100-Year Life: How to Prolong a Healthy Mind – Guardian, February 24, 2020
As concerns about dementia grow, more research is investigating how we can keep our brains fit and sharp. This article is a great primer to understand what’s going on with simple responses to complex questions such as: How long will we live? Why are we living so much longer? How can we stay healthy for longer? Are there any anti-aging drugs in the pipeline? It also contains at the end a short and useful reading list.
Boredom Is But a Window to a Sunny Day Beyond the Gloom – AEON, February 14, 2020
The Oxford professor who authored Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of Emotions looks at the anatomy of boredom, which he defines as an awareness of unmet arousal and an inverse function of perceived need or necessity. But boredom also has an upside: It is an agent of change and progress, a driver of ambition, shepherding us out into larger, greener pastures. Next time we are bored, let’s go along with it and think of Samuel Johnson’s quote: “It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.”
How Ultrarunners Are Pushing the Human Body Beyond All Limits – Wired, February 25, 2020
Ultramarathons are surging in popularity: There were 600,000 participants taking part in one in 2018. As they do, elite athletes are pushing human boundaries, running faster for longer distances.
A Striking Stat: Stressful Macro Events Take Big Toll on Mental Wellbeing
Nearly 1 in 3 adults (32 percent) in Hong Kong reported symptoms of PTSD in September–November 2019—at the height of the violent protests. That’s an additional 1.9 million adults with PTSD symptoms in a city of 7.4 million.
Source: University of Hong Kong study in The Lancet, January 2020