We all smile. We smile when we’re happy, but also when we’re sad, embarrassed or in pain. If someone smiles at us, we can’t help but smile back. But is it true even a forced smile will make you feel happier?
It’s been claimed a humble walk can clear your head, put you in a good mood, treat depression, increase creativity, help you deal with stress, improve your health and even make you live longer. Is walking really all it’s cracked up to be? Absolutely.
We’ve all heard ‘Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’. But what evidence did Benjamin Franklin have when he said it? Is it true the hours of sleep you get before, rather than after, midnight contribute more to your health and wellbeing? Nighty night, sleep tight Most parents I know prioritise getting their kids to bed early. We all know only too well how kids fare if they’re short […]
Have you ever had your palm read? I haven’t; I don’t believe that the lines on my palms can tell me anything whatsoever about who I am or how long I’m going to live. But look down at your hands. There’s something else staring you right in the face that genuinely can tell you about yourself: the relative lengths of your fingers. Seriously. Talk to the hand The art of palm reading has been around for thousands […]
Do you blush easily? We tend to blush when we’re embarrassed, ashamed or nervous. Why do our cheeks go red, and why can’t we control it? And does blushing serve a purpose?
Do you doodle? Sketch? Or like many people, were you told at some point you were bad at drawing and gave it up completely? While virtually all kids draw, few adults do. But there’s good evidence we should all pull out our coloured pencils: drawing and doodling improve focus and memory and can help us learn. Is drawing a thing of the past? In days gone by, drawing was an important and valued skill in a variety […]
Got any bad habits? Smoking, biting your nails, compulsively checking your email or heading to the vending machine every day at 3pm? We’ve all got habits we’d like to break. Perhaps there are a few new habits you’d like to adopt too. What can science tell us about how to do it? Your brain on autopilot Ever arrived somewhere in your car and realised you have no memory of having driven there? Do you remember […]
Do you often forget things? Wish you had a better memory? Me too. But there’s a far more sinister way your memory may be failing you. Being positive you remember an event is actually no guarantee it ever happened. Your memory is fickle It’s tempting to think our memories work like video recorders: faithfully recording our surroundings, thoughts and feelings. We can accept our brains might not have room for everything, so we end up holding […]
Your panic is rising. The walls are closing in. You’re sweating, trembling, having trouble breathing and on the verge of fainting. It’s claustrophobia and it’s all-consuming. Many people experience claustrophobia and it can be utterly debilitating. Why, and what can be done? When the ceiling is too close Last week, I had an MRI. And for the first time, I had an inkling of what claustrophobia must feel like. I couldn’t see out either end of […]
You may not have noticed, but you spend about ten per cent of the time you’re awake with your eyes closed. I’m talking about the fact you blink your eyes every few seconds. Why do we blink so often and why don’t we notice the world plunge into darkness every time we do? Be clean, eyeball If you’re awake for 16 hours a day, you have your eyes closed for more than an hour and […]