All posts filed under: Health

The perils of seeking happiness: why our fixation on happiness might be bad for us

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Health / Myths / Psychology

It’s easy to imagine that if you live in one of the world’s happiest countries, your life is probably pretty good. But it turns out that the relationship between social expectations around happiness and our mental health is not so simple. Share the love: this post was written by University of Melbourne Science Communication student Spencer Clark. Do we overvalue happiness? Every March, in the lead-up to the International Day of Happiness, the Sustainable Development […]

A black box for the planet?

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Anthropology / Environment / Health

What happens if we don’t address the climate crisis? If the harm that comes from human greenhouse gas emissions goes on to irreversibly and catastrophically change the planet? Will there be a record of what came before? And of what went wrong? Share the love: this post was written by University of Melbourne Science Communication student Spencer Clark. In the aftermath of a horrific plane crash, one of the top priorities is the recovery of the […]

Taking the plunge into cold water immersion

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Health / Myths / Psychology

Can 30-seconds of cold water change your life? Let’s dive into the age-old topic of whether being immersed in cold water can bring you better health and wellbeing. Share the love: this post was written by University of Melbourne Science Communication student Talia Oates. What is cold water immersion? Have you ever heard of ‘The Iceman’? He’s a famous Dutch motivational speaker and founder of the ‘Wim Hof Method’. His method aims to achieve an […]

The sound and the fury in misophonia

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Health / Myths / Psychology

Does the sound of eating, a pen clicking or finger tapping grate on your nerves? We dig into the unusual phenomenon of why some people are enraged by everyday sounds. Picture this: the person sitting across from you at a communal table is enjoying their meal – really enjoying it by the sound of it. You try to ignore it but you can’t stop your eyes zeroing in on their mouth. Every smack and slurp […]

Rethinking daydreaming

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Health / Myths / Psychology

Your mind often escapes when you’re in a boring meeting or washing the dishes. Previously considered undesirable and unhealthy, science has come around to the silver linings of letting our thoughts drift. Driven to distraction (in a good way) Daydreaming, otherwise called mind-wandering or self-generated thought, often gets a bad rap as something indulgent, unwanted and unproductive. It distracts us from the task immediately at hand and can result in errors. In extreme cases, called […]

Time flies, but why?

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Health / Myths / Psychology

Time is meant to be one of the few completely reliable and objective things in life. But it seems to slow down when we are afraid — think of a slow-motion car crash. And time flies when we’re having fun. Why is it that time seem to pass more quickly the older we get? Does our ability to assess the passing of time change as we age? I remember vividly as a child the last […]

Blame it on the full moon

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Astronomy / Health / Myths / Psychology

Tomorrow is Halloween, which leads to thoughts of ghosts, witches, vampires and scary pumpkin faces. But year round, many people believe a full moon is linked with other spooky stuff. Crime rates, psychiatric hospital admissions, emergency room visits, dog bites, sporting injuries and hyperactivity in kids are all said to increase during a full moon. Is there any truth to the rumours? Bad moon rising Also known as the Transylvania Effect, the idea that people […]

How super is your superfood?

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Health / Myths

Chia seeds, goji berries, kale, blueberries, turmeric, green tea, quinoa, açaí (which I’ve now learned is pronounced ‘ah-sah-ee’). There’s no shortage of so-called superfoods. But what does that term mean, and are superfoods worth your money? All in a name Need to lose weight? Want to slow down ageing? Want to minimise your risk of cancer and other diseases? These days you could be forgiven for thinking all you need to do is eat the […]

The truth about early birds

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Anthropology / Biology / Evolution / Genetics / Health / Myths / Psychology

We all know the saying ‘The early bird catches the worm’. But are there any real benefits to being a morning person? What determines whether you’re an early bird or a night owl anyway? And can night owls become early risers if they want to? Tick tock Your body has an internal clock. It’s located in the base of your brain, in the hypothalamus. You’ve probably heard the term circadian rhythm: this is the natural […]