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You're hearing a lot about #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth - but how can you apply it to your everyday life? @bengarland63 shared a few things he incorporates into his routine to stay in a healthy space, like meditation, exercise, getting outside + being open about how he's feeling. pic.twitter.com/dDkZ3CXG56

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 5, 2021
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Take care of yourself. For #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, @BenGarland63 shares a helpful resource: talking to someone.

The NFLPA has a list of vetted clinicians and players can get up to 8 free sessions with insurance: https://t.co/3RrGJDCh8K. pic.twitter.com/zjWhGeQ7In

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 7, 2021
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"You don't realize how mental health truly affects everyone in their everyday lives." -@haydenrhurst #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth pic.twitter.com/0ba2shyLCG

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 8, 2021
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Adversity will come, so how can you prepare mentally? @21DM_ERA talks about why it's important to train your mind just like you do your body. #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

Resources: https://t.co/ud7EASyU9f pic.twitter.com/f0ggm87ET4

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 10, 2021
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All the work that's been done to help destigmatize mental health means people can feel more comfortable being themselves and being vulnerable–a change @21DM_ERA is happy to see. #MentalHealthMatters pic.twitter.com/0ahjqJSnjg

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 11, 2021
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Continuing the conversation around #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth - @21DM_ERA shares his top tips on staying mentally healthy, including identifying a support person & finding a healthy outlet. pic.twitter.com/9yt0HL58op

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 12, 2021
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"It was tough, but I commend everyone, all the players, for making it through." -@21DM_ERA touches on what it was like playing a full football season through a pandemic & how it affected mental health #MentalHealthMatters pic.twitter.com/0l8dhUN71c

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 13, 2021
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.@Saints LB Chase Hansen reminds us why it's important to stay on the offense when it comes to mental health: "Being proactive about mental health isn't just for people with mental health illnesses, it's for everyone." #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth pic.twitter.com/BCwKA8VAfL

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 18, 2021
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Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but some tools can help you manage them better. @Saints LB Chase Hansen incorporates apps like Calm and Headspace into his daily routine.
Active players: DM us for info on a free @Headspace subscription ☁️ #mentalhealthmatters pic.twitter.com/0dmUx7bJzT

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 21, 2021
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.@Osagoeshard reminds us of the importance of doing daily check-ins to keep a sound mind🧠 Stay tuned for more tips + resources this week from him. #mentalhealthmatters pic.twitter.com/ZDWwa8ETS0

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 25, 2021
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3 things from @osagoeshard that add up to a positive day:
Exercise ✅
Talking it out ✅
Practicing gratitude ✅

"There are always things I can be grateful for at any given time." #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth pic.twitter.com/U8jysf4vd7

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 26, 2021
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May is Mental Health Awareness Month: What’s cognition got to do with it?

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This article provides information about ongoing scientific research and does not provide any medical advice.

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This month is mental health awareness month, so we're asking, What effect has the pandemic had on mental health? What effect does mental health have on cognition? And, how does mental health awareness month help?

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Finland is one among several countries with high rates of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that are consistently ranked among the happiest in the world by the annual World Happiness Report. The report takes into account various elements of wellbeing, including mutual trust, safety, confidence in government, access to education and healthcare, and self-realization. All of these are, in one way or another, connected to mental health. And while SAD is prevalent in these northern nations, Finland (#1 in the happiness rankings for the sixth year in a row), Denmark (#2), and Iceland (#4) have robust healthcare systems that include mental health treatment. Not only do these countries’ policies make mental health treatments accessible to all, but they de-stigmatize them.

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Countries around the world have in recent years come to understand how stigma plays a role in mental health challenges and are working to undo negative associations with accessing mental health treatment. Among them is the United States where May is Mental Health Awareness Month and which, in 2021, is more relevant to many of us than ever before.

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Over a year ago, when the worldwide pandemic arrived, it threatened our health and left 1 in 3 Americans with the loss of someone to covid-19. In many cases that grief has been compounded by having had to work harder or not being able to work enough. Others have struggled to balance additional demands at home, and still others have languished as their lives were put on hold. All of these scenarios come with mental health challenges, but some may be harder to recognize than others. And, the idea that “someone else has it worse” can influence our decision to seek mental health treatment. Mental Health Awareness Month is intended to overcome the reluctance to care for our psyches as well as our bodies which are, after all, intimately connected.

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Loneliness has soared during the pandemic, affecting young people in particular. It can be difficult to solve for, since it may seem surmountable through willpower; that is, it may be perceived as a weakness to admit to feelings of loneliness. But the feeling of being socially isolated is associated with a complex set of effects, some of which are mutually reinforcing and which may need a professional to help sort out. For instance, loneliness is closely associated with depression, which “can impair your attention and memory, as well as your information processing and decision-making skills. It can also lower your cognitive flexibility (the ability to adapt your goals and strategies to changing situations) and executive functioning (the ability to take all the steps to get something done),” according to the Harvard Health blog. And, the more isolated a person is, the more they are likely to perceive social threats even where there are none, like being laughed at or disrespected by strangers. Loneliness can lead to a self-protective frame of mind that, ironically, may further isolate a person.

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Stress, like loneliness, is an everyday occurrence that, when it becomes chronic, can have a constellation of associated affects. Chronic stress has immediate, short-term effects on cognition, like those described by people who experience burnout at work or at home: they have difficulty focusing on their daily tasks, have lower executive control, and have more inhibition errors (or, responding appropriately in the moment, which helps with following through on goals).

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Stress produces cortisol, a hormone whose presence in large amounts is neurotoxic (ie. poisonous to neurons). That’s why in the long term, there is a clear correlation between high levels of cortisol and problems in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is involved in emotion production and regulation, learning, and memory formation, and it’s one of the brain areas most affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. And, as we’ve discussed previously on our blog, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—which often manifests as a sense of constant or impending danger—is associated with dissociative disorders and other cognitive consequences. Thus, understanding when stress becomes chronic—something you experience most of the time for a long while—, or when it passes into the realm of PTSD, is critical to seeking help and forestalling some of the long term symptoms.

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Perhaps the most difficult of pandemic-related experiences to sort out is when feelings of grief pass from the expected to the pathological—something a person should seek treatment for. It used to be that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) suggested no interference with the grief process for two months following the death of a loved one. Now, though, it allows for a person who is consumed by grief to be evaluated for complicated grief disorder, which is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, and even a higher incidence of cancer. Whether or not the natural response to the death of a loved one has crossed over into pathology can be a tricky needle to thread, but if a person is persistently so overwhelmed by grief as to be unable to function, their grieving process may be something for which they should seek treatment.

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Here are some national organizations in the United States that cater to mental health concerns (including substance abuse) and offer resources for accessing care, plus the numbers for hotlines and text support if you or someone you know is in immediate need:\nhttps://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml\nhttps://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Month\nhttps://www.4help.org/ (Hotlines for immediate need)\nhttps://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/tools-resources/individuals/index.htm\nhttps://www.mentalhealth.gov/\nhttps://www.thenationalcouncil.org/mental-health-month/\nhttps://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month

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Here are sites linking to resources in the UK and Canada (which also celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week in May):\nhttps://mentalhealthweek.ca/\nhttps://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

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References:\nhttps://worldhappiness.report/blog/in-a-lamentable-year-finland-again-is-the-happiest-country-in-the-world/\nhttps://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/stress-disorder\nhttps://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/care/toolkits/police/policeworkRecognizingPtsd.asp\nhttps://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/ajp.154.5.616\nhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548359/#:~:text=Hippocampus%20is%20a%20complex%20brain,of%20neurological%20and%20psychiatric%20disorders.\nParletta N, Milte CM, Meyer B (2013). Nutritional modulation of cognitive function and mental health, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 24(5):725-743\nMarin, M.-F., et al. Chronic stress, cognitive functioning and mental health. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (2011), doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2011.02.016\nhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18201122/\nhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752489/#R17\nhttps://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sad-depression-affects-ability-think-201605069551\nhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752489/\nhttps://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/02/young-adults-teens-loneliness-mental-health-coronavirus-covid-pandemic/\nhttps://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/05/us/covid-deaths.html#:~:text=One%20in%20three%20Americans%20has,people%20the%20pandemic%20left%20behind.\nhttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carol-Ott-2/publication/10796566_The_Impact_of_Complicated_Grief_on_Mental_and_Physical_Health_at_Various_Points_in_the_Bereavement_Process/links/581888a408ae6378919e4134/The-Impact-of-Complicated-Grief-on-Mental-and-Physical-Health-at-Various-Points-in-the-Bereavement-Process.pdf

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I have a Dracaena marginata plant in my study that has grown to within three inches of our ten foot ceilings. Its highest branches have hovered at that height for a couple of years, and while it keeps growing, the plant appears to know where the ceiling is and contorts itself to avoid it.

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We’ve all seen plants that grow towards a light source, from trees that seem determined to rise above the foliage around them, to the spindly succulents of college dorm rooms. Other plants, like poppies and morning glories “sleep” at night by furling their petals closed. And recently, experiments on plants have shown that they can adapt in the moment to new environmental conditions. Which leads scientists to wonder, What’s driving these responses in the moment that they occur?

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Plant Cognition is an emergent field adjacent to the cognitive sciences and behavioral ecology, which investigates how the environment affects and produces behaviors. Evolutionary ecologist Monica Gagliano (most recently of the University of Sydney) prefers the name Plant Cognitive Ecology, which points to the interplay between the environment and plant intelligence. But using the word “intelligence” to describe plants is controversial. Although a finely tuned definition of intelligence may well describe the adaptations that plants undertake, the word “intelligence” is so closely associated with the presence of a brain that it can be a hard pill to swallow when it comes to describing plant abilities.

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Thus, and as Gagliano notes, the field of plant cognition is undergoing a difficult birthing process, largely because it relies on expertise from both behaviorists and physiologists. The former sees an organism that evolved in its environment holistically, and the latter deduces cognitive possibilities from the sum of the organism’s parts. So, while a behaviorist analyzes actions as coordinated responses to their surroundings, a physiologist may conclude that an organism without a central nervous system simply isn’t capable of intelligently coordinating such a response.

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Gagliano’s research is behavioral and includes a study that elicited a Pavlovian response from a plant. Instead of using food plus a sound cue to make a dog drool even in the absence of food, Gagliano used light plus the breeze from a fan to make pea plants turn in expectation of light, even when only the fan was blowing. Pea plants turn toward the light naturally, so Gagliano tested whether they could, like Pavlov’s dogs, be trained to physically respond to something they merely associated with light. Over the course of just three days, the plants learned to associate the fan with the light they craved.

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The parallels to Pavlov’s experiment are compelling, but other scientists have objected that comparing the plants’ responses to those of dogs is mixing apples and oranges. Lincoln Taiz (professor emeritus of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at UC Santa Cruz) argues that Gagliano’s language is metaphorical: according to Taiz, plants “habituate” or “become desensitized” rather than “learn.” But Gagliano insists that using the language of learning is necessary for plant and animal cognition to be comparable, and that comparing the two sheds light on each and is thus important for scientists’ understanding. Interestingly, her perspective is reflected in one Darwin held in the nineteenth century when he compared the apex or “radicle” of the plant root to the animal brain.

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Experiments to determine whether learning occurs in other non-animal organisms may shed further light on the plant question. Slime molds in particular demonstrate uncanny abilities given that they are single celled organisms (which used to be classified as fungi, but which are now considered more akin to amoeba, though in a class unto themselves). They can migrate over land to reach food sources, suggesting that they can smell or otherwise sense the presence of food, even without a nervous system. And that’s the least of their accomplishments. Slime molds can also form memories—and pass them on when they fuse with other slime molds—and even solve problems. In one experiment, a slime mold called Physarum polycephalum was presented with a version of the Traveling Salesman problem, which requires finding the most efficient route among a number of cities, with each visited once. Not only did it solve the problem, but it did so as efficiently as if an algorithm had directed it.

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Other single-celled organisms called Stentor roeselii—a tube shaped ciliate—learned a variety of methods to avoid a noxious dye and, more debatably, learned to escape from a glass vial. So, it would appear that some sort of learning is taking place at the cellular level, which has interesting implications for the question of plant cognition, since plants are comprised of a variety of cell types.

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Slime mold, Stentor, and plant behavior show how difficult it is to describe the boundaries of intelligence, especially in the absence of a central nervous system.

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We can think of the nervous system as something of an expectation machine involving a sensory apparatus, an evaluator or memory, and an actor or operator that interprets difference and problem solves. What scientists across primitive organisms appear to be learning is that something akin to a nervous system need not be centralized. In other words, maybe our own limited understanding of the human brain should not, given those limitations, foreclose the admission of other life as intelligent.

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By Aimee Fountain

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References:\nhttps://www.nature.com/news/how-brainless-slime-molds-redefine-intelligence-1.11811\nhttps://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jul/03/group-of-biologists-tries-to-bury-the-idea-that-plants-are-conscious\nhttps://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.180396#d3e2496\nhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28875517/\nhttps://www.forbes.com/sites/andreamorris/2018/05/09/a-mind-without-a-brain-the-science-of-plant-intelligence-takes-root/?sh=738ba2be76dc\nhttps://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/23/the-intelligent-plant\nhttps://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/smarty-plants\nhttps://www.pnas.org/content/106/10/4048\nhttps://www.sciencealert.com/an-amoeba-has-solved-an-exponentially-complex-problem-in-linear-time\nhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982219313740\nhttps://www.quantamagazine.org/slime-molds-remember-but-do-they-learn-20180709/

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This article provides information about ongoing scientific research and does not provide any medical advice.

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What is the self? Is it a constant sense of being the same? Is it your self-conception, or the collective perceptions of others that determine who you really are? Or, is it a core authenticity that’s obscured by the need to fit into society? And, if you recognize having a variety of selves—a \"work self\", an extroverted version of yourself, a \"true self\"—that compete with one another, can you integrate them into a whole that gels nicely?

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The arts and humanities have contemplated these questions for centuries and sought to capture how notions of the self change over time. Yet, while we might recognize the complexity of accurately defining selfhood, most of us go through the world feeling a sense of integration that we casually recognize as the self. And if that basic awareness of being at home in one's body and mind were to disappear, it would be frightening.

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Dissociation is the state of failing to recognize your current or former self. A certain level of dissociation is an everyday event: We often step out of our immediate environment or consciousness when we daydream or have “highway hypnosis”—the sense of not having been aware of driving, especially on a familiar route. Dissociation has even been considered a cognitive skill associated with absorption in a task. But we count on emerging from these states.

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Dissociation becomes pathological when the brain fails to recognize the self as the self. It has been described as an “out of body” experience, where a person may see what’s happening to them but not feel affected by or in control of their body and mind—this is especially true of drug-induced dissociation. The most well-known form of dissociation is multiple personality disorder (aka dissociative identity disorder), but dissociation is also behind dissociative amnesia, a fairly common symptom arising from trauma.

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Dissociation has long been considered primarily an internal psychological problem, where thoughts and feelings are suppressed as a means of defending a person’s conscious mind against a trauma that they can’t cope with. Suppressing a trauma can result in an inability to remember details of traumatic events, or in converting the traumatic feelings into physical ailments, as Freud found in his “hysterical” patients. Interestingly, people susceptible to hypnosis had more of a tendency to develop dissociative or “hysterical” symptoms, and a review by Timo Giesbrecht et al (2008) suggests that trauma isn’t the only culprit when it comes to pathological dissociation; instead, they argue, a variety of other cognitive failures, such as disinhibition, are predictive of dissociative episodes.

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Regardless of how it’s triggered, dissociation is a subjective experience—it involves personal perception. But it’s not simply a matter of perspective, as a recent paper published in Nature shows. In it, Karl Deisseroth and colleagues at Stanford University examine the biological basis of cognitive dissociation: their work describes the brain circuitry that produces the experience of dissociation and identifies a protein that’s present during the cellular choreography seen during dissociative episodes. The scientists used ketamine to manufacture dissociative states in mice, observing that dissociative behavior was accompanied by rhythmic and coordinated neuron firing in the area of the brain associated with dissociation. They also pinpointed and observed the same rhythm—coordinated neuron firing at intervals of 3 hertz (that is, 3 times per second)—in the posteromedial cortex of a man with epilepsy who experienced dissociation prior to seizures.

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After establishing that the rhythm corresponded with dissociative episodes, the researchers induced dissociation—in mice by using light, and in the human subject via electrical stimulation—to trigger the rhythm in the associated brain area. Then, they experimented further on the mice to learn that a certain protein—an ion channel that regulates electrical activity in the brain—was responsible for the 3 hertz rhythm that they were seeing.

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The upshot? Identifying this protein as the physiological root of dissociation may give researchers a path towards medically targeting one of the most debilitating aspects of a variety of diseases, including PTSD. This is especially important, because dissociative disorders are associated with a high risk of self-destructive behaviors and suicide, and given the prevalence of PTSD in the United States, they pose a serious public health concern.

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Still, it’s worth remembering the benefits of temporary and controlled dissociative moments, such as we might find in daydreaming or through meditation. Stepping outside of ourselves is a key ingredient in empathy, too. And Buddhist meditation—as with many religions—encourages the practice of releasing thoughts and feelings in an effort to achieve a heightened awareness of the world around us. A unified sense of selfhood is crucial to healthy functioning, but there’s a long philosophical tradition suggesting that an over-emphasis on selfhood is problematic, too.

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By Aimee Fountain

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References:

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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2731-9

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18729565/

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https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/dissociative-disorders/what-are-dissociative-disorders

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https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/09/researchers-pinpoint-brain-circuitry-underlying-dissociation.html

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https://www.bbrfoundation.org/content/researchers-discover-rhythm-cortex-involved-causing-dissociation

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https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/82/3/332

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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J229v07n04_07

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6296396/

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8203010/

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https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/customs/meditation_1.shtml

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Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2021? Since our User Experience (UX) team’s job is to make Lumosity engaging, we’re looking back to an interview from 2017 with then UX Director Abhishek Gupta as well as summarizing some new insights into why people stick with some resolutions and not others.

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In his graduate work at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Abhi researched how to design positive habit-forming experiences. Insights from Charles Duhigg, B.J. Fogg and Nir Eyal in particular helped him to design features that encourage ongoing engagement.

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Whatever your New Year’s resolutions are —Lumosity-related or not—read on for our best tips on how to make this the year you stick with them.

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It’s hard to stick to resolutions over a long period, but it’s better than not making them at all. Only about 8% of people achieve their resolutions, and less than half of those maintain resolutions for more than six-months. Still, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10x more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t make them.

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To successfully follow through with resolutions and maintain new habits, it’s important to put emphasis on the way you start. Here are a few tips:

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Start with a resolution setting exercise

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Begin by defining your resolutions and planning ahead. Block an hour one morning on your calendar near the beginning of a new year, and use this time to determine your resolutions. Write them down—and avoid distractions by using a notebook and pen.

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The Pre-Mortem Exercise

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The practice of conducting pre-mortems was invented by psychologist Gary Klein and popularized by Daniel Kahneman. Pre-mortem exercises are catching on in the business world to help mitigate the risk of failure, too. Here’s how they work: think ahead and imagine that you have failed to stick with your resolutions, and ask yourself why. Then, write down the list of potential pitfalls. Generating a list of plausible reasons for your potential failure will help you be mindful of what might hinder you down the road.

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The Fail-safes Exercise

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As a next step, come up with solutions for those reasons for potential failures. For example, if you’ll crave sweets, stock up on diet sodas to have instead. To keep a new habit, it’s important to create fail-safes for two types of inevitable roadblocks: short-term procrastination and long-term habit maintenance (see the examples below).

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The Fine-tuning Exercise

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Next, fine-tune your resolution based on the solutions for your failure scenarios. For instance, if you decide to cut out sweets but know that you crave them when you’re upset, tweak the resolution to allow for 1 or 2 sweets per week. Make your resolution specific and easily measurable on an ongoing basis. Barring major unforeseen life events, the pre-mortem exercise and the designed fail-safes will help you see your resolution through to the end.

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Short-term procrastination scenario:

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Let’s say your resolution is to practice playing violin more often. In your pre-mortem, you realize that you could fail because you are usually too tired after work to even pick up the violin. For this scenario, you could design a fail-safe that forces you to pick it up without thinking: you could place the violin on the chair you sit in. This could stop you from procrastinating as you have to pick up the violin before you sit down. You can now fine-tune your resolution to be more specific: practice the violin for 2 minutes each time you sit in your chair after work.

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Throughout this process, don’t forget to focus on the positive. As a recent article in The Atlantic notes, “practicing self-liberation (that is, strengthening willpower by reinforcing the belief that one can change); rewarding oneself for ongoing success; avoiding situations of temptation; and engaging in positive thinking (envisioning success)” are all associated with resolution completion. Resolutions are sabotaged by negativity, even when it might seem useful. For example, “focusing on the harm from the old behavior; berating oneself for slipping up; wishing that the challenge didn’t exist in the first place; and minimizing the threat (denying the importance of the resolution)” are all likely to torpedo your efforts.

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Long-term habit maintenance scenario:

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Let’s say your resolution is to go to sleep on time each day. In your pre-mortem, you anticipate failure because you like to watch TV shows that encourage bingeing. For this scenario, you can set an alarm for when to start watching (say, 8pm) and another for when you’ll stop, no matter where in an episode you are. Then, you can reward yourself with a cup of tea or a face mask that will help you transition to bedtime. Be sure to fine-tune your resolution to be specific and measurable—ie. “Go to sleep by 10:00 PM at least 6 days a week.”

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Another framework that can help you keep your resolutions overlaps with the strategies above and is easy to remember: the Cue-Routine-Reward Loop (we like to think of it as the CRRL or “curl”).

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A Cue is a trigger that reminds you to do the action you intend to perform. A strategy called Habit Chaining can be helpful here, whereby you link your new resolution with something you’re already in the habit of doing. Identify an existing habit and then place a Cue that you’d likely notice in the path of performing an existing habit (e.g., place your violin—the cue—in the comfy chair you tend to sit in after work).

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A Routine is the action you intend to perform repeatedly. A strategy called Tiny Habits can be helpful. A tiny habit is the smallest action you can do that still feels meaningful (e.g. playing the violin for just 2 minutes). Do something tiny, consistently—it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get into the habit, but the power of inertia can get you to maintain that habit longer. This can help you accrue benefits over time.

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A Reward is something that provides you with gratification for sticking with your habit. A strategy called Withholding can help. Hold back something you desire and have it become a reward for following through with your resolution (e.g., no dessert until you practice the violin). Replace your reward periodically with something new to sustain your habit for the long-term.

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The cue-routine-reward loop will make it easier for you to sustain new habits, but be sure to supplement it with bigger rewards when you reach key milestones. As you go, check in on your progress regularly, adjust your strategy as necessary, and ensure that these habits are moving you closer to your goals.

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Here are a few features we’ve developed over the years that are intended to help members make Lumosity a habit:

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Have any of these contributed to your Lumosity habit formation?

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