Connect with us

Lifestyle

Be generous to live happily: Study

Published

on

Happy-Girl

London, July 12: Want to live a happy life? A mere promise to be generous is enough as it can trigger a change in the brain areas that can make you happier, a study has shown.

The findings showed people who behaved generously were happier afterwards than those who behaved more selfishly. However, the amount of generosity did not influence the increase in contentment.

“You don’t need to become a self-sacrificing martyr to feel happier. Just being a little more generous will suffice,” said Philippe Tobler from the University of Zurich. 
The results also provided insight into the interplay between altruism and happiness.

Simply promising to behave generously activated the altruistic area of the brain and intensified the interaction between this area and the area associated with happiness.

“It is remarkable that intent alone generates a neural change before the action is actually implemented,” Tobler said.

“Promising to behave generously could be used as a strategy to reinforce the desired behaviour, on the one hand, and to feel happier, on the other,” he added.

For the study, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, 50 participants were promised a sum of money that they would receive in the next few weeks and were supposed to decide to spend it on someone they knew (experimental group) or on themselves (control group).

The results showed that depending on whether the people committed to generosity or selfishness, their brain areas such as the temporoparietal junction (where prosocial behaviour and generosity are processed), the ventral striatum (which is associated with happiness), and the orbitofrontal cortex (where we weigh the pros and cons during decision-making processes) interacted differently.

IANS

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Analysis

Can yoga make the cut for Olympics?

It’s only natural that the voices for and against will get louder and more competitive. Being the unofficial benefactor of yoga, India is expected to take an unequivocal call.

Published

on

Yoga

On a day when yoga is having to jostle for mind space with a hugely popular sporting event like the FIFA World Cup, many fans of the ancient regimen are seriously dreaming up for a world cup of their own. Are they getting too carried away by the euphoria around of the 4th International Day of Yoga? Or is it a case of trusting yoga’s extreme versatility to adapt itself to the demands of the time?

Will there ever be a time when a Yoga World Cup driving up a mania like the FIFA World Cup does? As yoga gets mainstreamed big time in the last four years, a debate on whether it can become a competitive sport has actually begun. The jury is still out with both sides of the divide putting out equally tenable and credible arguments.

It’s only natural that the voices for and against will get louder and more competitive. Being the unofficial benefactor of yoga, India is expected to take an unequivocal call.

Unfortunately, we have seen quite a flip-flop on this. After deciding to treat yoga as a sport in 2015, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) reversed the decision in the following year.

Giving in to the Puritans who frowned at any dilution of its spiritual core, it concluded yoga has quite a many subtle elements in which competitions are not possible. Many watchers see a not-so-yogic hand in this change of heart. Some of them ascribe to it a compromised arraignment to end a tug of war between MYAS and the Ministry of AYUSH over the control of yoga.

Surely, yoga isn’t just about asanas or body postures. According to the eight-limb (Ashtanga) paradigm of yoga, the other dimensions include such subtle things as adherence to social and personal ethics, control of breathing and senses and one-pointedness and meditation. It will be next to impossible to draw up a championship format for these realms of activities. Yet, sport-yoga is not a dead dream.

While it wouldn’t be possible to adapt the whole philosophy of yoga into competitive sports, we shouldn’t underestimate yoga’s flexibility to adapt itself. From being an ancient spiritual pursuit for those seeking enlightenment and becoming a hippies’ fad, yoga has shown remarkable flexibility to become the most-chanted lifestyle mantra of today.

The point is that some kind of competitive sports based on one or more limbs of yoga is a distinct possibility. Though it may not live up to the loftier promises, yoga-based games and sports will do no harm. Instead, they will do a lot of good to the cause of yoga promotion. Yoga as a sport will comfort quite a many who see a baggage of faith and welcome the greatest number of people.

Though some fear a dilution, not all yoga protagonists are against such an innovation. Big names have openly spoken about taking yoga to the Olympics. Going by the rising global craze for yoga, mats are going to roll sooner in the sporting arena. The real challenge will be in drawing up a competitive format that not only conforms to the definition of modern sports, but also doesn’t dilute the core. I don’t see any difficulties in making yoga “amusing”, “leisurely”, or “entertaining”. When martial arts and gymnastics can qualify and even make it to Olympics, asanas, the most primed candidate for being turned into competitive sports, can definitely make the cut!

Traditional yogis who swear by the spiritual and philosophical lineage of yoga need not worry. The tradition is on their side. The eight limbs of yoga are so interconnected that even if one does asanas, and that too as an exercise or a game, the practitioner is most likely to experience other dimensions like meditation, one-pointedness and bliss.

Even asanas, the most gross form of yoga, hold out endless promises. Maharishi’s Patanjali Yoga Sutra envisions asanas as a means of attaining what’s beyond the obvious. That means that adapting them into competitive sports isn’t likely to rob them of the power to unveil the Infinity.

Is it time then to tick a Perfect 10 on that gravity-defying Sirsasana?

(A former journalist, M. Rajaque Rahman is a full-time volunteer of the Art of Living. He can be reached at [email protected])

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Yoga Day 2018: Present-age guides to yog and its health benefits

Published

on

Yoga

New Delhi, June 21: Is yoga just about being twisted into different positions like a pretzel or sitting cross-legged on a mat with closed eyes?

One might think of it as a class where you learn to twist your body but multiple gurus from Paramahansa Yogananda to Baba Ramdev, the yoga tycoon of the contemporary age, who have had a contribution in publicising Yoga in India and the world have popularised it as an ancient philosophy, much more than a mere physical activity and something which needs to be understood in order to fully benefit from it.

In December 2014, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted an India-led resolution recognising that “yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being” and declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga.

Since the time when Yoga gained prominence, the market has been inundated with books on
Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Bikram Yoga which are certainly among the most popular types.

A recently launched read written by Madan Kataria endorses something called Laughter Yoga, which is slowly making its way to the ashrams, gyms and fitness centres.

Kataria in his book, “Laughter Yoga”, published by Penguin, speaks of various ways of practicing Yoga with an abundance of laughter. The book costs Rs 250 and has 230
pages.

“…I credit laughter yoga with giving me the ability to walk through this dark valley to the light and happiness on the other side,” he writes.

He says that laughter triggers the release of a cocktail of chemicals and hormones that are extremely beneficial and crucial to good health.

Theories and researches confirm that humour plays for people in situations such as dealing with misfortune, making sense of rule violations, and bonding with others, we propose that underlying each of these theories are the physiological benefits of laughter.

“We draw on findings from empirical studies on laughter to demonstrate that these physiological benefits occur regardless of the theory that is used to explain the humour function.

Findings from these studies have important implications for nurse practitioners working in hospice settings, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals,” says research done at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at Bethesda, Maryland.

Another new book in the market, “Yoga Shakti” by Shailaja Menon, is a like a catalogue of various yoga exercises presented on glossy pages alongside pictures demonstrating them. Published by Niyogi, the book costs Rs 495 and consists of 179 pages.

Menon, in the book, critiques the notion that yoga is a class where you learn to twist your body into different asanas.

Using personal experiences, she explains the origins of the philosophy and recommends daily exercises to help introduce beginners to it.

When we experience major trauma, the instinctive reaction is to shrink, Menon in her book writes, to the contrary the invitation of life and yoga is to keep expanding to keep evolving.

IANS

Continue Reading

Entertainment

On World Music Day, singing legend Lata Mangeshkar’s tips to singers

I never could bear to hear myself. Whenever a song of mine would play on the radio or television, I’d quickly leave the room. If I ever hear myself singing, I find a dozen faults.

Published

on

Lata Mangeshkar

Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) Singing Legend Lata Mangeshkar doesn’t listen to much of today’s music. Not that she listens to her own songs either.

“I never could bear to hear myself. Whenever a song of mine would play on the radio or television, I’d quickly leave the room. If I ever hear myself singing, I find a dozen faults,” says the eternal songstress with a laugh.

Strange, coming from a singer who is known to be ceaselessly faultless. In fact once the great Hindustani classical vocalist Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan had affectionately cribbed: “Kambhakt, kabhi besura nahin gaati(the devil, she never goes off-key).”

Lataji laughs at this. “Woh unka badappan tha (that was his greatness). But any artiste, singer or otherwise, must keep striving for excellence, no matter how much they achieve. Nowadays I don’t see that ‘lagan’ (discipline), that ‘junoon’ (passion) in singers.

“I get the feeling they are happy achieving what they get to achieve in no time at all. No artiste should be satisfied with what he or she has achieved. There is always another sky to conquer beyond the one that you think you’ve just reached.”

The one thing that Lataji sees lacking in singers today is practice. “Riyaaz. That is what makes singing worthwhile. I never felt I had enough time to do riyaaz because I was in and out of recordings constantly. But I still made time to do riyaaz. Alas, not enough time. I wish I had devoted more time to practicing my classical singing. Singers today are losing touch completely with their classical heritage. An A.R. Rahman or a Shankar Mahadevan are so successful and long-lasting because they know their classical heritage.”

Lataji also warns against imitative music. “Re-mixes and cover versions of old classics are very lazy routes to instant success. Remember, a song that has attained a classic’s status is regarded so highly because it is of a quality that cannot be replicated. I’ve heard some of the re-mixes of the songs sung by Rafi Saab, Kishoreda (Kumar), Mukesh Bhaiyya, me and my sister Asha. And I cringe.Please, create original music. Imitation is not creation. It isn’t even art.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular