To Your Brain, A Runner’s High Looks A Lot Like Smoking Weed | Popular Science

Intense exercise may not feel good to those unaccustomed to it, but does have at least one great perk: a runner’s high, a feeling of relaxed euphoria, which sets in at the end of long bouts of activity. Scientists recently discovered that this happens because exercise causes the body to produce a particular neurotransmitter that makes the body relaxed—the same one trigged by smoking marijuana, according to a study published online this week in PNAS.

For a long time, scientists thought that runners felt great because their bodies released endorphins, hormones that block pain and trigger the brain’s reward system. But recently, researchers realized that endorphins don’t cross the blood-brain barrier, so they weren’t causing the runner’s high, as Chemical and Engineering News reports.

Exercise causes an increase in another of the body’s chemicals calledanandamide, a neurotransmitter also known as the “bliss” molecule. This molecule does cross the blood-brain barrier, and when it does, it activates neurons’ cannabinoid receptors—the same ones activated when THC or other chemicals from marijuana are in the blood stream.

To test anandamide’s effects, the researchers trained 32 mice to run on a wheel over the course of three days. Then they split them in two groups; half the mice would run for five hours per day, while the others would not run. They found that the mice that had been running responded with less anxiety to stress tests and were less sensitive to pain when put on a hot plate.

The researchers performed the same tests on two groups of mice: one group was given drugs that blocked only endorphins, while the other group was given drugs to block only endocannabinoids, such as anandamide. The group of mice that had only their endorphins blocked—but could still produce anandamide—reacted in much the same way as the mice that had been exercising. They showed less stress and sensitivity to pain when compared to the group that had the anandamide blocked.

This isn’t the first study to connect endocannabinoids to a runner’s high–several have done so since 2003, even in humans. But by minimizing the possibility that the effect could be triggered by endorphins, this study proves the connection more strongly than others that have preceded it.

To the researchers, these results indicate that cannabinoids are the chemical culprit behind the runner’s high, in addition to the one associated with smoking marijuana. Unfortunately, the researchers could not determine if the mice felt euphoria because “euphoria is a highly subjective feeling that may be difficult to model in mice,” the study authors write. In addition to answering a basic question about our biology, this research could also help develop new treatments for chronic pain or anxiety conditions, or convince those who are reluctant that exercise comes with benefits beyond physical health.

The Internet May Be Changing Your Brain In Ways You’ve Never Imagined

Five years ago, journalist Nicholas Carr wrote in his book The Shallows: How The Internet Is Changing Our Brains about the way technology seemed to be eroding his ability to concentrate.

“Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words,” he wrote. “Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”

In the book, which became a New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Carr explored the many ways that technology might be affecting our brains. Carr became particularly concerned about how the Internet seemed to be impairing our ability to think deeply and to focus on one subject for extended periods.

Today, social media and digital devices have an arguably greater place in our lives and hold on our attention spans than they did in 2011.

So what has  changed since Carr wrote his seminal work five years ago? We chatted with the journalist and author about how our increasing interactions with mobile technology might be affecting the most important organ in our bodies.

Since you wrote this book, the Internet has only taken on a bigger role in our lives. What are some of the main changes you’ve observed in the way we interact with technology? 

When I wrote the book, the iPhone was still very new and the iPad had just come out. Social media wasn’t as big as it is today. So when I wrote the book, I was thinking about laptops and computers but not so much about smartphones. Of course, now the main way that people interact with the Internet is through mobile devices.

In the book, I argued that what we created with computers and the Internet was a system of distraction. We got the great rewards of having basically unlimited information at our fingertips, but the cost of that was we created a system that kept us in a state of perpetual distraction and constant disruption.

What psychologists and brain scientists tell us about interruptions is that they have a fairly profound effect on the way we think. It becomes much harder to sustain attention, to think about one thing for a long period of time, and to think deeply when new stimuli are pouring at you all day long. I argue that the price we pay for being constantly inundated with information is a loss of our ability to be contemplative and to engage in the kind of deep thinking that requires you to concentrate on one thing.

To me, all the things I worried about have become much worse now that we carry around this permanently connected device that we’re constantly pawing at. Things are very different in a way that makes the things I worried about worse.

Research has found that millennials are even more forgetful than seniors. What do we know about how technology is impacting our memory?

Technology definitely has an effect on our memory. What happens is that to move information from your conscious mind (what’s known as the working memory) into your long-term memory requires a process of memory consolidation that hinges on attentiveness. You think about the information or rehearse it in your mind in order to form a strong memory of it, and in order to connect it to other things that you remember.

If you’re constantly distracted and taking in new information, you’re essentially pushing information into and out of your conscious mind. You’re not attending to it in a way that is necessary for the rich consolidation of memory.

Since I wrote The Shallows, there have been some very interesting studies which show that we seem to be less able to form long-term memories than we used to, thanks to technology. Onestudy out of Columbia University showed that when people know that they’ll be able to find information online easily, they’re less likely to form a memory of it.

Are you also concerned about this lack of depth, or shallowness, in our social interactions? 

That isn’t something that I’ve studied much, but I think there are some indications that this kind of culture of constant distraction and interruption undermines not only the attentiveness that leads to deep thoughts, but also the attentiveness that leads to deep connections with other people.

One study I mentioned in the book seemed to show that the more distracted you are — the more your train of thought is interrupted — the less able you are to experience empathy. So distractions could make it more difficult for us to experience deep emotions.

In the book you talk about the “dark side” of brain plasticity. What does that mean? 

Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain is plastic, meaning that it’s very malleable or adaptable. Our brains are constantly adapting at a physical level to our environment. You can imagine that what’s really changed our environment in the past 10 or 20 years is the Internet and social media.

A lot of people will assume that if our brains can adapt, then our brains will adapt to the flow of information and all will be well. But what you have to understand about neuroplasticity is that the process of adaptation doesn’t necessarily leave you a better thinker. It may leave you a more shallow thinker.

What you have to understand about neuroplasticity is that the process of adaptation doesn’t necessarily leave you a better thinker. It may leave you a more shallow thinker.

Our brains adapt, but the process of adaptation is value-neutral — we might get smarter or we might get dumber, we’re just adapting to the environment.

Are you optimistic about any of the ways we currently seem to be adapting? 

No. It’s the ease with which we adapt that makes me most nervous. It doesn’t take long for someone to get used to glancing at their smartphone 200 times a day. We’re creatures of habit mentally and physically.

When you develop that habit of distraction, it becomes harder and harder to back away and engage our minds in deeper modes of thinking.

Is there anything we can do to keep our mental faculties intact, or is it pretty much hopeless at this point?

Well, you can use the technology less and set aside your phone and spend a good part of your day trying to maintain your focus and not be interrupted. The good thing about that — because of the plasticity of our brains — is that if you change your habits, your brain is happy to go along with whatever you do.

What makes me more pessimistic is that we’re kind of building our personalities and our entire societies around this new set of norms and expectations that says you need to be constantly connected. As long as we continue going down that path it’s going to be ever harder for us to buck the status quo.

There’s a ton of research being done on technology and the brain. What sort of findings are you most troubled by? 

There are studies suggesting a loss of cognitive control — not only a loss of attention, but a loss of our ability to control our mind and determine what we think about. One researcher from Stanford pointed out that the more you acclimate yourself to the technology and the constant flow of information that comes through it, it seems that you become less able to figure out what’s important to focus on. Instead, your mind gets attracted just to what’s new rather than what’s important.

We can see signs of that in the compulsiveness with which people become attached to the streams of information that swirl by your eyes.

What do you say to people who argue that at every stage of history, we’ve been up in arms about new technologies that ultimately proved benign — and that the Internet is no different?  

We’ve never had a technology like a smartphone before — a technology that you carry around with you all day long and are pretty much constantly interacting with. Even television was traditionally segregated into different parts of the day — it wasn’t like people carried around a TV in their pocket.

This is a very different kind of technology that we’ve created for ourselves that does interfere with our thoughts. We’ve never had a media technology that so shapes the way our mind works.

Smoking and COPD

Smoking causes damage to the airways of the lungs. This video provides an overview of how the lungs work and the effects smoking can have on their bronchioles and alveoli, leading over time to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, collectively known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)..

How Sound Works: The World’s Loudest Noises .

When it comes down to it, humans are really rather fragile creatures. We don’t have fur to protect us from the Sun’s radiation or claws to protect us from predators. Our skin is, unfortunately, rather delicate and our eyes are easily rendered useless by a bright light or a harsh glare (and of course, darkness). Even something as seemingly innocuous as sound can cause us pain.

In truth, all of us have likely experienced a sound that is a tad too loud at one point or another, but what is it that actually triggers this pain?

In order to understand this, you need to understand a little something about how sound works. To begin, sound waves are “mechanical waves.” This is the term that is given to any wave that propagates through a material (be it a solid, liquid, or gas). In other words, the sounds that we hear are vibrations traveling through particles in the air (or sometimes the water, if we happen to swimming).

When sound is produced, it is because something is vibrating (like a vocal cord), and this something hits the air next to it. This air then bumps into the air next to it, causing it to vibrate. And the process continuess over and over and over, ultimately causing all the other air particles to bump together in a particular way, and—Presto!—you have sound.

Once these vibrations reach us, our eardrums take over.

human ear

Our ears are able to detect the changes in air-pressure that are created by the vibrating air. When this happens, the eardrum moves back and forth, vibrating itself.  In this respect, hearing is based entirely on physical movement, unlike some of the other senses (for example, taste which is based on a chemical reaction). From there, other parts of the ear (the cochlea) take the physical vibration caused by the sound wave and translate it into electrical information that the brain is able to interpret as distinct sounds.

For the purposes of this discussion, all we really need to remember is that sound is vibrations (for more on how hearing works, see this link).

Now then, notably, sound waves can be measured in both frequency and amplitude. Frequency is measured in Hertz, and determines how many vibrations occur in a second. Amplitude measures how forceful the wave is, and it used decibels.

In relation to pain, we really look at the amplitude. If the amplitude is enough (if the vibrations are intense enough i.e., if a sound is loud enough), it can cause our eardrums to rupture, windows to shatter, and a host of other not-so-fun things.

The infographic below is an interactive, educational infographic look at the decibel levels of different noises – from the sounds of rustling leaves to a TNT bomb. So take a moment to hear what sound can do to you.

25 Inspirational Steve Jobs Quotes That’ll Help You Reach Your Goals .

Fact: Steve Jobs didn’t become successful overnight.

Steve Jobs

It took years of hard work, determination, and perseverance to build Apple into the company that it is today. When you take a step back from your MacBook (and put down your iPhone), and really think about all that he accomplished, it’s beyond remarkable. He changed the way we live.

Thanks to his many lectures and speeches, we have a glimpse into his day-to-day work ethic and how he managed to do as much as he did. And, in order to help you reach your career goals, we’ve rounded up 25 of his best quotes. Read them, be inspired by them, and then get out there and make your dreams come true.

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.

I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.

Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful…that’s what matters to me.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.

Things don’t have to change the world to be important.

Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.

I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.

Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.

My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

Medical Care Cartoons – Funny Doctor Cartoons

Ten Minute Rule for Increased Productivity.

Call me crazy, but I’ve always preferred sleep to caffeine. But with erratic schedules and tight deadlines, getting six or more hours of sleep per night is no easy task for a consultant—just ask any of my diet soda and coffee-addicted colleagues. Between a demanding job and an even more demanding home life, I’ve spent a lot of time trying various productivity hacks to squeeze as much as I can out of each day.

Career Guidance - The 10-Minute Rule: It Seems Crazy, But it Will Revolutionize Your Productivity

My favorite tool for getting things done? The 10-minute timer on my phone.

My “10-minute rule” is pretty straightforward: Every task on your to-do list should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. If it takes longer than 10 minutes, then you should have broken it down into smaller tasks or delegated it to someone else. The key to this rule is in enforcing it, which means setting the timer on your phone to go off at the 10-minute mark. The level of speed and focus that this brings to your day is nothing short of astounding.

When I first challenge my teams to put the 10-minute rule into action, I am typically met with skepticism. Questions like, “That’s crazy—can I really build this big Excel model in 10-minute increments?” and “Are you telling me that you do this in your home life too, taking 10-minute showers and doing 10-minute workouts?” abound. (The answer to both of these questions, by the way, is “yes!”)

Want to give it a try? Here are three tips for making the 10-minute rule work for you.

1. Delegate

By far, the most effective means of finding additional time in your day is to outsource the things on your to-do list that someone else can easily do in 10 minutes or less. For example, I have a very successful and revered colleague who claims that a linchpin of his success is that he “says ‘yes’ to everything, but only actually performs the tasks that only he can do best.” Everything else, he delegates.

Delegating is not as easy as it sounds. It can be difficult to let go of a task when you fear that another person’s work won’t be as good as your own. It’s helpful to remember that “done is better than perfect,” and the only way you are going to move ahead in your career is if you let go of the things you’ve mastered and take on new challenges. Another mindset shift that helped me was realizing that delegating creates opportunities for others. Now I actively think about what tasks and projects I can create for my team that will help them learn, grow, and advance their careers (which conveniently helps clear up my plate as well). (Here are a few more delegating tips.)

One of the challenges I see most with people who have trouble delegating—especially those in entry-level positions—is that they forget that they can and should delegate up. If you feel uncomfortable asking a supervisor or superior to do something, try this: Start by pointing out what you are doing, and position your “ask” as a request for help. For example, instead of, “I need you to call the team leads,” you could say “I’m working on pulling the data for this analysis—would it be possible for you to help me by calling the other team leads?”

As a manager, I can tell you that I too often find myself begging my teams to delegate something up to me, and I love it when they create opportunities for me to help.

2. Find the Easy, 10-Minute Task

You may be skeptical at first, but by simply changing how you frame your tasks, you will see that just about everything can be broken down into 10-minute tasks. Do you need to research a new topic? Start with 10 minutes on Google scanning news articles, followed by 10 minutes of jotting down everything you know and the top few questions you still need to answer, and then 10 minutes each calling people to get advice on answering your open questions (bonus points if you were savvy enough to notice that the phone call is a form of delegation!).

Voilà! You have just squeezed a task that may have otherwise lingered on into hours into 30 minutes.

This approach works after hours, too. I have a colleague who was so intrigued by the 10-minute rule and how it helped her during work hours that she decided to try it at home. She took out her timer for a few mornings to time her pre-work routine, and with a 10-minute shower, 10-minute breakfast, etc., she found that she was able to cut her standard “getting ready” time, trading it in for coveted sleep instead. She had never thought it was possible to shower in 10 minutes—until she tried it and realized it was actually pretty easy!

3. Use That Timer

Using your timer is a critical part of the rule, so don’t forget it. As everyone in the business world knows, “we do what we measure.”

This is true of the 10-minute rule as well—you must use a timer or clock to keep track of how long you are spending on things. Smartphones make this easier with their built-in timer apps, but any clock with a minute hand will do. Whatever you do, don’t guess—because if your approximately 10 minutes always becomes 20, you’re not maximizing your productivity.

Sometimes, you’ll spend less than 10 minutes on a task (more time back—yay!), and sometimes that alarm will ring and you’ll still be on the phone (no, I’m not suggesting that you just hang up when the alarm goes off). Don’t feel badly about running over—just make note of it for next time.

For example, if one co-worker tends to ramble, preface your next conversation by telling her you have 10 minutes to brainstorm. What if you really need more time? That’s fine too: Tracking your time spent will provide insight into how you work, so you can plan your day better next time.

The 10-Minute Rule in Action

One of my favorite examples of this rule in action occurred a few years ago when a team I was working on received the dreaded 4 PM phone call from a client redirecting the work that we would be presenting the following morning. Ugh, so much for a relaxing evening!

There were two big pieces of work involved, so we split our team of four in half. Each of our two sub-teams had about the same number of PowerPoint slides to revamp, with similar amounts of analysis, so it should have taken us about the same amount of time to complete.

I said to my teammate that I really wanted to finish by 6 PM so we could go get dinner, and he agreed but was doubtful about our ability to get it done. So, we tallied up the pages, divided by the two hours left in the day, and found that if we could achieve a rate of 10 minutes per page, we would have enough time to complete it—plus a buffer for anything that proved to be particularly tricky. Reenergized, we split up the pages, set the timer, and started cranking. To make a game out of it, we kept a tally on the whiteboard of how many pages each of us completed under or over the 10-minute mark.

By 6 PM, we were finished—and feeling really good about it. The other team who didn’t use the 10-minute rule? They finished around 9.

The challenge is on. For your next task today, get out your timer and try it for yourself. The clock is ticking!

World Mental Health Day: The selfie obsession.

Three months ago, psychiatrist Dr Sagar Mundada counselled a 20-year-old girl at his clinic after her parents found her addicted to clicking selfies.

The college student would take more than 20 selfies on a daily basis and her habit alarmed her parents.

“She was constantly clicking selfies and uploading them on social networking sites everyday. Her parents brought her to the hospital as they were worried about the change in her behavior,” said Dr Mundada from GT Hospital.

Clicking numerous selfies has been recognised as a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.

In fact, city doctors said that clicking selfies is also a form of gadget addiction.

“The main cause of clicking a number of selfies is low self-esteem because of which people are trying to find a way to boost themselves,” said Dr Mundada, adding that once a person starts getting addicted to it, he becomes irritable and impatient if somebody deters them from doing so.

Echoing the view, psychiatrist Dr Dayal Mirchandani said, “People clicking too many selfies could be attributed to the neglect they face from family members. It is a mechanism to gain attention from the community. Most people are buying selfie sticks and you can see that the cultural phenomenon is hampering this behavior.”

Doctors explain that the disorder can have many psychological effects such as depression and addiction.

The obsession is also most common among girls in the age-group between 18 and 25 years.

People who click selfies round the clock and have the urge to post them on social media are said to have chronic selfitis, according to the classification by the American

What’s Really Behind Rebound Sex.

The ending of a close romantic relationship is difficult for all involved. There’s no one “best” way to cope with abreakup, and much depends on timing, but one likely outcome is that people look for rebound relationships. When those involve sex, especially casual hookups, the impact actually may be to magnify the extent of the loss.

Although there are ample online sources of advice about how to handle the temptation to engage in rebound (or revenge) sex, there is surprisingly little research. University of Missouri psychologists Lindsay Barber and Lynne Cooper (2014) could find only 12 published articles in psychological journals but they found approximately 18 million online sites on the topic through a Google search. Barber and Cooper’s investigation paves the way for gaining insight into this often experienced but little understood aspect of sexual behavior.

As you might imagine, or perhaps have experienced, when you’ve been left behind by a romantic partner, your feelings of self-esteem are likely to dip and you may feel general sadness and perhaps anger. At the same time, after a partner has left, it’s harder to meet your general needs for affection, not to mention sexual activity.


Barber and Cooper decided to examine these potential psychological results of a breakup. They were also interested in assessing recovery from breakup, so they followed their participants over the course of an entire semester. On average, the participants had broken up with partners 3 months prior to the study’s beginning. As a result, the investigators could examine up to 8 months of feelings of distress, low self-worth, and patterns of rebound sex.

For the purposes of definition, the authors defined rebound sex as a desire to ease the pain of losing one’s partner, and revenge sex as a desire to hurt or exact payback on the partner. There are different motives for rebound and revenge sex, but both occur in the aftermath of a serious relationship. To truly qualify as rebound or revenge sex, the activity has to be with a new partner—not an ex (and definitely not the most recent ex).

Using the criterion of having recently ended a serious relationship, Barber and Cooper followed a sample of 170 undergraduate students (two-thirds of whom were female) over the course of one semester, assessing their feelings of anger and distress toward their ex-partner; their self-esteem; their motives for sexual activity (solitary or with a partner); and frequency of sex with a new partner. All of these were tracked via online diaries in relationship to the individual’s gender, the causes of the breakup, and the length of time since the breakup.

Of the two-thirds of the sample who had sex following a breakup, more than half fit the criterion of having rebound sex (since it was not with an ex or the ex-partner). In general, the evidence affirmed the existence of rebound sex as a bona fide phenomenon occurring among approximately one-third of people who experience a relationship’s ending. And at least some people cope with a relationship’s ending by becoming involved in sex with a stranger.

However, the nature of a relationship, and the way it ended, play important roles in determining who becomes involved in a rebound romance. In the first place, the partners left behind were initially angrier and more distressed, using rebound sex as a coping strategy. By the end of the study, those who were dumped eventually leveled out on all measures—other than anger about the relationship’s ending.

Levels of commitment to the relationship while it was in existence also served as predictors of rebound sex involvement. Those with higher commitment to their ex wereless likely to have rebound sex, at least immediately after the breakup. However, when they did have rebound sex, they were more likely to admit that they used it to help cope with their loss.

Those with lower commitment to the relationship got involved in rebound sex more readily, but for them the sex was not a way to help them cope. Eventually, their rates of rebound sex leveled off. Considering all factors together, the highest continuous rates through the study for rebound sex were among the people highest on these four motives: the desire for revenge; self-affirmation; coping; and getting over the partner.

Barber and Cooper concluded that rebound sex serves a variety of functions for people who’ve experienced the involuntary ending of a relationship. Individuals on the rebound use sex to cope with feelings of distress, anger, insecurity, and self-doubt. They’re particularly likely to do so when they expressed a strong commitment to the now-extinct relationship.

Interestingly, self-esteem itself seemed less vulnerable to the effect of a relationship’s ending. People high in self-esteem were more likely to be in strongly committed relationships, but when those relationships ended, their self-esteem didn’t suffer.

Having high self-esteem about one’s appearance also seemed to serve as a protective factor against the negative effects of a relationship’s ending. It’s possible that people who feel better about their appearance because they are objectively more attractive can bounce back and become involved in stable relationships rather than continuing to have sex with strangers as a way to cope.

There are, of course, limitations in the study which pertain mostly to the nature of the participants. Students in their first few months of college are going through a whole host of changes, not only in their relationships, but in their identities in general. They are also being placed under a pressure-cooker in which the factors impacting their social lives are perhaps more intense than at any other point in adulthood. On the positive side, the longitudinal nature of the study made it possible to observe changes over time rather than, as in much relationship research, examining reports obtained on one occasion.

Barber and Cooper also point out that whether rebound sex is healthy or not remains a debatable point. Rebound sex may very well be risky sex. Particularly among the most vulnerable, who don’t seem to level off in intensity of seeking sex with strangers, this could mean that they become taken advantage of or are more likely to develop sexually-transmitted infections. On the other hand, rebound sex serves as a way to cope with the pain of being left and might facilitate the recovery process, at least in the short term.

To sum up: Your chances of engaging in rebound sex are likely to be highest for a few weeks after a relationship’s ending. If you’re still seeking casual sex as a way to fill an emotional gap, it might be time for you to seek other, more adaptive ways to find relationship fulfillment.

15 Things Only Highly Sensitive People Do

15 Things Only Highly Sensitive People Do

Are you a highly sensitive person too? Just think if you do some of the following things, such as like caring too much about other people’s emotions or like being mostly in peaceful places.

The meaning of “highly sensitive” was first used by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in the early 1990s. Aron, who has written many studies and books on high sensitivity, including The Highly Sensitive Person, also created a personality test (which you can take here) to help you make sure that you are (or aren’t) highly sensitive.

Recently, more and more people are interested in the subject of introversion and the personality traits sensitive people have. Take a look in Susan Cain’s book “Quiet”, for example. Aron also notes that many people refer to the highly sensitive ones as “the minority”.

However “minority” isn’t something bad. On the contrary, highly sensitive people are different in a good way, since they are characterized by many positive traits.

1) They take things personally.

That can be bad for some people, but it’s not. Actually, highly sensitive people tend to understand others better and they are also very helpful! According to a research, sensitivity can be perceived as an asset or a negative trait, depending on the culture. For example, in Thailand and India, highly sensitive people are almost never teased. In North America things are completely different.

2) They avoid team sports.

Highly sensitive people prefer exercising on their own, because they don’t want to feel like everyone is watching their every move. Most highly sensitive people tend to occupy with individual sports, like bicycling, running and hiking. Nevertheless, we need to understand that this is not what always happens; there are many highly sensitive people who like to participate in team sports. That may be related to how their family supported them when they were kids.

3) Their emotions are really deep

In fact, highly sensitive people can feel in a deeper way than the ones who are less sensitive. They tend to process things really deeply. As Ted Zeff states: “They’re very intuitive, and go very deep inside to try to figure things out.” Ted Zeff, Ph.D., is the author of The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide and other books on highly sensitive people.

4) They tend to react more in tough situations.

Highly sensitive people are also more reactive. They act with empathy when they listen to a friend’s problem, for example. In addition, they seem to care more about others’ reactions in case something bad happens.

5) They are not too spontaneous.

On the contrary, highly sensitive people have a hard time making decisions, since they want to check every singly detail. This may sounds a little anxious, but in fact careful decisions can save them from a lot of trouble. As Aron writes in a recent issue of her Comfort Zone newsletter, highly sensitive people can find it easier to make a decision by following some steps: “Take as long to decide as the situation permits, and ask for more time if you need it and can take it. During this time, try pretending for a minute, hour, day, or even week that you have made up your mind a certain way. How does that feel? Often, on the other side of a decision things look different, and this gives you a chance to imagine more vividly that you are already there.”

6) That’s why they hate it when they make a bad decision.

Highly sensitive people get really annoyed with themselves when they realize that their decision was “wrong” or “bad”, according to their criteria. As Aron explains, the reason why highly sensitive ones can’t stand making a mistake is because “the emotional reactivity is higher”.

7) They are very observant.

In fact, highly sensitive people tend to notice every single detail in a room by the moment they walk into it!

8) People think they are introverted… But not all of them are!

As Aron states, only 30 percent of highly sensitive people are extroverts. What is essential about them is that most of the times these sensitive but extrovert people have grown up in a close-knit community and had the chance to interact with many people.

9) They can cooperate really well.

As we previously said, highly sensitive people are really careful and watch every detail. That’s why they are also perfect workers. They make good decisions, can take great responsibilities and they are really thoughtful. For example, if a highly sensitive person worked in a medical team, they would be great in counting the positive and negative reasons why a patient should or shouldn’t have a surgery.

10) Unfortunately, many of them suffer from anxiety or even depression.

But that’s true only for those who’ve experienced something bad. According to Aron, “If you’ve had a fair number of bad experiences, especially early in life, so you don’t feel safe in the world or you don’t feel secure at home or … at school, your nervous system is set to ‘anxious,'”. Being surrounded by supportive family members and friends, can really help a highly sensitive person face his anxieties and fears. “You can’t over-protect them, but you can’t under-protect them, either. You have to titrate that just right when they’re young so they can feel confident and they can do fine”, Aron explains.

11) They get annoyed more easily.

… especially if it is an annoying sound. Well, everyone hates annoying noises more or less, but highly sensitive people are even more “fragile”, when it comes to this. As Aron explains, that happens because they tend to be more easily overwhelmed and overstimulated by too much activity.

12) They hate violent or horror movies.

We all remember that friend who’s always whining: “Please, let’s watch another movie! I won’t be able to sleep at night!”. Empathy and overstimulation can explain this situation too. You may call them fearful but they’ve got stronger emotions than you have.

13) They cry more often.

As Zeff underlines, highly sensitive people rarely put themselves in situations where they will be made to feel embarrassed for crying easily. What their friends and family need to understand is that crying easily is not a sign of weakness but a form of expression. In other words, highly sensitive people let it all out. Crying can really make you stronger, because you get rid of all that made you feel bad.

14) They are very kind.

Highly sensitive people are also highly conscientious people, Aron states. That’s why they will probably be considerate and exhibit good manners. They also tend to notice when someone else isn’t being conscientious – and they disapprove it.

15) Criticism can affect them a lot.

Highly sensitive people have reactions to criticism that are more intense than less sensitive people. That’s why they may employ certain tactics to avoid said criticism, including people-pleasing, criticizing themselves first, and avoiding the source of the criticism altogether, according to Aron.