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A wide-angle assessment of emotional states

My all-time favorite topic in positive psychology is the study of positive emotions. I'm fascinated by how pleasant experiences, which can be so subtle and fleeting, can add up over time to change who we become. I'm especially excited these days about investigating how positive emotions change the very ways that our cells form and function to keep us healthy.  Barbara Fredrickson

Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - this is not easy.   Aristotle

We transmit and catch moods from each other in what amounts to a subterranean economy of the psyche in which some encounters are toxic, some nourishing.    Daniel Goleman

Emotions give life colour & vitality.  Yet we are often relatively unaware of our emotional states.

Vitality project - measurement issues

                                   What gets measured, gets managed.   Peter Drucker

If one's going to put a good deal of effort into measuring and so better managing something, then it's important that what one is measuring is significant.  The earlier (and first) blog post in this series - Background & importance of a three month vitality projecthighlights several reasons why nourishing zest & vitality is likely to be very worthwhile.  So how can one measure one's level of zest/vitality and how track whether the things we do to try to increase this very important quality are actually helping or not?

Awe: how it's good for us, a self-assessment quiz and a series of 'awe-inspiring' exercises we can try.

"“It’s a question of seeing so much clearer.  Of doing to things what light does to them.”  Eugene Guillevic

I've been interested by 'Awe' recently ... partly inspired by the recent publication of Dacher Keltner's book Awe: The Transformative Power of Everyday Wonder.  

There is so much emerging material highlighting the importance & value of Awe ... see, for example, this piece on the excellent Greater Good website: Eight Reasons Why Awe Makes Your Life Better.

The association between vitamin D serum levels, supplementation, and suicide attempts and intentional self-harm

Another interesting recent study - The association between vitamin D serum levels, supplementation, and suicide attempts and intentional self-harm - with its abstract reading: "Objectives The purpose of this study is to determine the associations between Vitamin D supplementation, 25(OH) blood serum levels, suicide attempts, and intentional self-harm in a population of veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Methods A retrospective cohort study of US Veterans supplemented with Vitamin D. Veterans with any Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) or Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) fill between 2010 and 2018 were matched 1:1 to untreated control veterans having similar demographics and medical histories.

Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations

Sobering recent article - Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations.  Its abstract reads: "Long COVID is an often debilitating illness that occurs in at least 10% of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. More than 200 symptoms have been identified with impacts on multiple organ systems. At least 65 million individuals worldwide are estimated to have long COVID, with cases increasing daily. Biomedical research has made substantial progress in identifying various pathophysiological changes and risk factors and in characterizing the illness; further, similarities with other viral-onset illnesses such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome have laid the groundwork for research in the field.

Best diets in 2023: Mediterranean diet wins again

Medscape has just commented: "It's officially 2023, and if history repeats, millions of Americans are likely vowing that this year will be one when they drop those unwanted pounds for good.  After all, weight loss usually lands one of the top spots on New Year's resolution surveys.  And just in time, there's guidance to pick the best plan. Released today are U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the best diet plans.  Once again, the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish, got the top spot, as best diet overall. It's the sixth consecutive year for that win. But many other diets got top marks as well."

Adiposity, body fat distribution, and risk of major stroke types among adults in the United Kingdom

This recent article from JAMA - Adiposity, body fat distribution, and risk of major stroke types among adults in the United Kingdom - comments: "In 2019, stroke was the second leading cause of death globally, estimated to be responsible for approximately 10% of all deaths.  Of the 12.2 million incident strokes worldwide in 2019, approximately two-thirds were ischemic strokes, one-quarter were intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs), and one-tenth were subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAHs).  In the United Kingdom (UK), stroke incidence is increasing after a longstanding decline, possibly due to an increasing prevalence of major modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, including adiposity, blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. However, the evidence regarding the associations of body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height i