TIME Addiction

Plain Cigarette Packs May Deter Smokers, Studies Show

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Largely based on findings in Australia, which removed branding from tobacco packaging two years ago

Tobacco packaging without labels or branding may keep new smokers away and prevent habitual smokers from lighting up regularly, a new series of studies finds.

According to the studies, published in the journal Addiction, there is growing evidence that plain packages of cigarettes and other tobacco products reduce smoking rates and reduce outdoor smoking. The findings are largely based on evidence noted in Australia, where the government removed labels from cigarette packages and added graphic health warnings to packs two years ago.

The studies also show that by removing the branding, young experimental smokers focus more on the health warnings on the package — though it found the impact on daily young smokers is minimal.

“Even if standardized packaging had no effect at all on current smokers and only stopped 1 in 20 young people from being lured into smoking it would save about 2,000 lives each year,” Addiction editor-in-chief Professor Robert West said in a statement.

Addiction published the series just months before the U.K. Parliament votes on standardizing tobacco product packaging, following in the footsteps of Australia. The government is already facing fierce backlash from tobacco companies in response to the law, Reuters reports.

John Oliver brought up Australia’s law in his segment on tobacco marketing on this week’s Last Week Tonight:

Read next: This Is The Easiest Way to Get Better Sleep

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TIME Research

A Quarter of New Psychotic Disorders Linked to ‘Skunk’ Cannabis, Study Says

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Daily users of high-potency marijuana are five times more likely to suffer psychosis than those who never touch it

One in four new cases of psychotic disorders could be directly linked to the use of high-potency “skunk-like” cannabis, a new study has found.

Researchers from King’s College London found smokers of super-strength cannabis, colloquially known as skunk, were three times as likely to develop symptoms of a psychosis than those who don’t use the drug, the BBC reports.

That risk increases to five times as high if the user smokes skunk on a daily basis.

“The results show that psychosis risk in cannabis users depends on both the frequency of use and cannabis potency,” said Dr. Marta Di Forti, lead author of the study.

However, the team found that milder varieties of cannabis such as hashish did not increase the risk of psychotic illness.

Psychosis refers to hallucinations or delusions that can be found in certain psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Read next: Driving While Stoned Is Much Safer Than Driving Drunk, Says a New Study

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TIME Research

Scientists Say Aggressive New HIV Strain Discovered in Cuba

Reports of people in Cuba infected by new strain developing AIDS in less than three years

A recently-discovered form of HIV in Cuba has been found to progress into AIDS some three times faster than the most common strains of the virus, according to a recent study.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium, followed several reports of HIV-infected people in Cuba developing AIDS in less than three years, far faster than the usual 10 years it typically takes. All patients infected with CRF19, a recently-discovered strain of the HIV virus, had higher levels of it in their body.

They were also more likely to have developed AIDS within three years, the study published in the journal EBioMedicine found. The researchers, who looked at 95 patients at various stages of infection, concluded that the strain must be “particularly fit.”

Approximately 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV or AIDS, and nearly 40 million have died of the disease since the 1980s. Drugs exist to keep the worst effects of the disease at bay, but this new strand threatens to take a toll on patients before they realize they need treatment.

TIME Research

Most Women Experience Hot Flashes for Over 7 Years, Study Finds

Symptoms of the menopause last longer than previously thought

Hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause typically affect women much longer than previously thought, a median of 7.4 years, according to a new study.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at a group of nearly 1,500 women with frequent symptoms of the onset of menopause and found significant variations in duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) between ethnic groups.

African-American women experience symptoms for a median of 10.1 years, more than any other ethnic group. On average, Chinese and Japanese women experienced the symptoms for the shortest duration—5.4 and 4.8 years, respectively.

Women who experienced hot flashes and night sweats at a younger age tended to have them last longer, the study found, as did women with less education and greater levels of stress.

Read More: Do Married People Really Live Longer?

“These findings can help health care professionals counsel patients about expectations regarding VMS and assist women in making treatment decisions based on the probability of their VMS persisting,” said the study, which notes that 80% of women experience such symptoms.

The study challenges the long-held notion that these experiences “minimally affect women’s health or quality of life and can be readily addressed by short-term approaches,” according to a commentary that accompanies the study.

TIME Research

This Is The Easiest Way to Get Better Sleep

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A new study suggests a simple and inexpensive fix for better sleep

Half of people over age 55 have a sleep problem, but a new study suggests meditating can improve sleep in those who can’t seem to get enough.

In the study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers looked at 49 men and women around age 66 who were experiencing poor sleep but didn’t have a diagnosed sleep disorder. About half of them enrolled in a standard sleep hygiene education program, and the other half learned mindful awareness practices.

For six weeks, the mindful group spent two hours a week learning a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices, including mindful sitting, eating, movement and meditation. They were asked to practice what they learned at home—but throughout the program, the group never discussed sleep.

“A lot of individuals who are undergoing sleep problems don’t want to talk about their sleep anymore. It just further exacerbates their issue,” says study author David S. Black of the University of Southern California. “I wanted to look at a program where you wouldn’t have to talk about sleep and it would indirectly remediate some of those problems that go along with sleep, like worrying about it.”

At the end of the sessions, the researchers measured everyone’s sleep quality and found that the people learning mindfulness scored higher in better sleep than the other group. They also had improvement in areas like depression, insomnia symptoms and fatigue. The two groups had similar results for anxiety and stress.

The researchers speculate that mindfulness meditation improves nervous system and cognitive system processes that relate to arousal and stress. “Before going to bed, people who can’t sleep worry a lot, and they start ruminating about not being able to sleep,” says Black. “Through mindfulness practice, people learn how to observe thoughts without having to elaborate. It allows people be present without further interpretation of their symptoms.”

Another possibility is that by curbing mood disturbances, meditation can lessen anxiety and let people relax more. Mindfulness might also simply make people think they’re getting higher quality sleep.

The findings are still preliminary, and while they’re not yet robust enough to make clinical recommendations, Black says he envisions mindfulness as a simple, inexpensive intervention for people who don’t have serious sleep problems, like those enrolled in the study. “This trial was intended for the majority of older adults who face sleep problems but do not have a clinical diagnosis of insomnia,” he says. “It opens it up to a broader audience.”

TIME Research

This Is What’s Keeping Teens From Getting Enough Sleep

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The biggest factor keeping teens up at night isn't technology

Up to a third of teens in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep each night, and the loss of shut-eye negatively impacts their grades, mental well-being and physical health. Biologically, adolescents need fewer hours of slumber than kids — but there’s a bigger reason for teens’ sleep loss, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

MORE: The Power of Sleep

Katherine Keyes, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, looked at survey data from more than 270,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-grade students at 130 public and private schools across the country, gathered between 1991 and 2010. Each student was asked two questions about his or her sleep habits: how often they slept for at least seven hours a night, and how often they slept less than they should.

MORE: School Should Start Later So Teens Can Sleep, Urge Doctors

She found that over the 20-year study period, adolescents got less and less sleep. Part of that had to do with the fact that biologically, teens sleep less the older they get, but Keyes and her team also teased apart a period effect — meaning there were forces affecting all the students, at every age, that contributed to their sleeping fewer hours. This led to a marked drop in the average number of adolescents reporting at least seven hours of sleep nightly between 1991–1995 and 1996–2000.

That surprised Keyes, who expected to find sharper declines in sleep in more recent years with the proliferation of cell phones, tablets and social media. “I thought we would see decreases in sleep in more recent years, because so much has been written about teens being at risk with technologies that adversely affect the sleep health of this population,” she says. “But that’s not what we found.”

MORE: Here’s How Much Experts Think You Should Sleep Every Night

Instead, the rises in the mid-1990s corresponded with another widespread trend affecting most teens — the growth of childhood obesity. Obesity has been tied to health disturbances including sleep changes like sleep apnea, and “the decreases in sleep particularly in the 1990s across all ages corresponds to a time period when we also saw increases in pediatric obesity across all ages,” says Keyes. Since then, the sleep patterns haven’t worsened, but they haven’t improved either, which is concerning given the impact that long-term sleep disturbances can have on overall health.

Keyes also uncovered another worrying trend. Students in lower-income families and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities were more likely to report getting fewer than seven hours of sleep regularly than white teens in higher-income households. But they also said they were getting enough sleep, revealing a failure of public-health messages to adequately inform all adolescent groups about how much sleep they need: about nine hours a night.

“When we first started looking at that data, I kept saying it had to be wrong,” says Keyes. “We were seeing completely opposite patterns. So our results show that health literacy around sleep are not only critical but that those messages are not adapted universally, especially not among higher-risk groups.”

TIME Research

13 Ways Inflammation Can Affect Your Health

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You can't live without inflammation, but it can also be hazardous to your health

You’ve heard of anti-inflammatory medications and anti-inflammatory diets, but do you really know what inflammation is? In short, it’s the body’s response to outside threats like stress, infection, or toxic chemicals. When the immune system senses one of these dangers, it responds by activating proteins meant to protect cells and tissues. “In a healthy situation, inflammation serves as a good friend to our body,” says Mansour Mohamadzadeh, PhD, director of the Center for Inflammation and Mucosal Immunology at the University of Florida.” “But if immune cells start to overreact, that inflammation can be totally directed against us.” This type of harmful, chronic inflammation can have a number of causes, including a virus or bacteria, an autoimmune disorder, sugary and fatty foods, or the way you handle stress. Here are a few ways it can affect your health, both short-term and long.

It fights infection

Inflammation is most visible (and most beneficial) when it’s helping to repair a wound or fight off an illness: “You’ve noticed your body’s inflammatory response if you’ve ever had a fever or a sore throat with swollen glands,” says Timothy Denning, PhD, associate professor and immunology researcher at Georgia State University, or an infected cut that’s become red and warm to the touch. The swelling, redness, and warmth are signs that your immune system is sending white blood cells, immune cell-stimulating growth factors, and nutrients to the affected areas. In this sense, inflammation is a healthy and necessary function for healing. But this type of helpful inflammation is only temporary: when the infection or illness is gone, inflammation should go away as well.

It prepares you for battles

Another type of inflammation occurs in response to emotional stress. Instead of blood cells rushing to one part of the body, however, inflammatory markers called C-reactive proteins are released into the blood stream and travel throughout the body.

This is the body’s biological response to impending danger—a “flight or fight” response that floods you with adrenaline and could help you escape a life-threatening situation. But unrelenting stress over a long period of time—or dwelling on past stressful events—can cause C-reactive protein levels to be constantly elevated, which can be a factor in many chronic health conditions, like those on the following slides.

Read more: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation

It can harm your gut

Many of the body’s immune cells cluster around the intestines, says Denning. Most of the time, those immune cells ignore the trillions of healthy bacteria that live in the gut. “But for some people, that tolerance seems to be broken,” says Denning, “and their immune cells begin to react to the bacteria, creating chronic inflammation.”

The immune cells can attack the digestive tract itself, an autoimmune condition known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, ulcers, and may even require surgical removal of the intestines. Doctors aren’t exactly sure why some people get IBD, but genetics, environment, antibiotics, diet, and stress management all seem to play a role.

It can harm your joints

When inflammation occurs in the joints, it’s can cause serious damage. One joint-damaging condition is rheumatoid arthritis(RA)—another example of an autoimmune disorder that appears to have a genetic component, but is also linked to smoking, a lack of vitamin D, and other risk factors. A 2013 Yale University study, for example, found that a salty diet may contribute to the development of RA.

People with RA experience pain and stiffness in their inflamed joints. But because the immune reaction isn’t limited to the joints, says Denning, they’re also at higher risk for problems with their eyes and other body parts.

Read more: 10 Ways to Protect Your Joints from Damage

It’s linked to heart disease

Any part of your body that’s been injured or damaged can trigger inflammation, even the insides of blood vessels. The formation of fatty plaque in the arteries can trigger chronic inflammation. The fatty plaques attract white blood cells, grow larger, and can form blood clots, which can cause a heart attack. One specific protein, called interleukin-6 (IL-6), may play a key role, according to a 2012 study published in The Lancet.

Obesity and unhealthy eating increases inflammation in the body, but even otherwise healthy people who experience chronic inflammation because of an autoimmune disorder—such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or celiac disease—appear to have a higher risk of heart disease, regardless of their weight or eating habits.

It’s linked to a higher risk of cancer

Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancers of the lung, esophagus, cervix, and digestive tract, among others. A 2014 Harvard University study found that obese teenagers with high levels of inflammation had a 63% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer during adulthood compared to their thinner peers. The inflammation may be due to obesity, a chronic infection, a chemical irritant, or chronic condition; all have been linked to a higher cancer risk.

“When immune cells begin to produce inflammation, immune regulation becomes deteriorated and it creates an optimal environment for cancer cells to grow,” says Mohamadzadeh.

It may sabotage your sleep

In a 2009 study from Case Western Reserve University, people who reported sleeping more or less than average had higher levels of inflammation-related proteins in their blood than those who said they slept about 7.6 hours a night. This research only established a correlation between the two (and not a cause-and-effect), so the study authors say they can’t be sure whether inflammation triggers long and short sleep duration or whether sleep duration triggers inflammation. It’s also possible that a different underlying issue, like chronic stress or disease, causes both. Shift work has also been found to increase inflammation in the body.

Read more: The Best Bedtime Routine for Better Sleep

It’s bad for your lungs

When inflammation occurs in the lungs, it can cause fluid accumulation and narrowing of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Infections, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are all characterized by inflammation in the lungs.

Smoking, exposure to air pollution or household chemicals, being overweight, and even consumption of cured meats have been linked to lung inflammation.

It damages gums

Inflammation can also wreak havoc on your mouth in the form of periodontitis, a chronic inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria accumulation. This disease causes gums to recede and the skeletal structure around the teeth become weakened or damaged. Brushing and flossing regularly can prevent periodontitis, and one 2010 Harvard University study found that eating anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (such as fish or fish oil) may also help.

Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect oral health, either. Studies show that inflammation of the gums is linked to heart disease and dementia as well, since bacteria in the mouth may also trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body.

It makes weight loss more difficult

Obesity is a major cause of inflammation in the body, and losing weight is one of the most effective ways to fight it. But that’s sometimes easier said than done, because elevated levels of inflammation-related proteins can also make weight loss more difficult than it should be. For starters, chronic inflammation can influence hunger signals and slow down metabolism, so you eat more and burn fewer calories. Inflammation can also increase insulin resistance (which raises your risk for diabetes) and has been linked with future weight gain.

Read more: 14 Lifestyle Changes That Make You Look Younger

It damages bones

Inflammation throughout the body can interfere with bone growth and even promote increased bone loss, according to a 2009 review study published in the Journal of Endocrinology. Researchers suspect that inflammatory markers in the blood interrupt “remodeling”—an ongoing process in which old, damaged pieces of bone are replaced with new ones.

Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (as with inflammatory bowel disease) can be especially detrimental to bone health, because it can prevent absorption of important bone-building nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Another inflammatory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, can also have implications because it limits people’s physical activity and can keep them from performing weight-bearing, bone-strengthening exercises.

It affects your skin

The effects of inflammation aren’t just internal: They can also be reflected on your skin. Psoriasis, for example, is an inflammatory condition that occurs when the immune system causes skin cells to grow too quickly. A 2013 study published in JAMA Dermatology suggested that losing weight could help psoriasis patients find relief, since obesity contributes to inflammation.

Chronic inflammation has also been shown to contribute to faster cell aging in animal studies, and some experts believe it also plays a role (along with UV exposure and other environmental effects) in the formation of wrinkles and visible signs of aging.

It’s linked with depression

Inflammation in the brain may be linked to depression, according to a 2015 study published in JAMA Psychiatry; specifically, it may be responsible for depressive symptoms such as low mood, lack of appetite, and poor sleep. Previous research has found that people with depression have higher levels of inflammation in their blood, as well.

“Depression is a complex illness and we know that it takes more than one biological change to tip someone into an episode,” said Jeffrey Meyer, MD, senior author of the 2015 study, in a press release. “But we now believe that inflammation in the brain is one of these changes and that’s an important step forward.” Treating depression with anti-inflammatory medication may be one area of future research, he added.

Read more: 12 Strange-But-True Health Tips

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME Research

What Pheromones Really Reveal About Your Love Life

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In search of the lingua franca of odor

Beauty may not be in the eye of the beholder after all.

It may actually lie just south, in the nose. At least that’s what the latest research on pheromones, substances that social animals secrete to communicate with and attract other members of their species, suggests. Moths, pigs, goldfish, and even we, as social animals, have them. But exactly what role do these scents play in sexual attraction between people?

“There are millions of hits on websites that are trying to sell—mostly to men—the sex attractant,” says Charles Wysocki, a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “Wear this and you’ll score tonight.” The promise: with the spritz of a mate-attracting mist, the sniffer would fall helplessly, chemically, scientifically under the smell spell of pheromone-emitting you.

Sounds good, but scientists have yet to conclusively identify a single known human pheromone, let alone bottle the stuff, although they have been chasing some fascinating leads. We now know, for example, that pheromones do help you smell someone else’s gender, and there’s some preliminary evidence that pheromones might be a potential X factor for attraction and fertility. According to one study, in which 18 professional lap dancers recorded their menstrual cycles, work shifts and tip earnings for two months, researchers found that during the phase when the women were most fertile, right before ovulation, dancers earned about $335 per shift, compared to $260 during other parts of their cycle. When they were menstruating, they only earned about $185 per shift. Interestingly, dancers who took birth control pills, which contain hormones that prevent ovulation, didn’t experience this fertile peak in tips.

Of course, many other explanations for the spike in sexual attractiveness are possible, but the data on the potential link between fertility and pheromones is getting hard to ignore. Another study published in Psychological Science found that when men smelled T-shirts worn by women who were close to ovulation, they displayed higher levels of testosterone than when they sniffed shirts from women further away from ovulation or T-shirts with a control scent.

Other research suggests that pheromones may regulate people’s moods, and that may explain the link—albeit more indirect—to sexual attraction. Wysocki’s lab collected underarm secretions from men and put them on the upper lips of women, who reported feeling less tense and more relaxed when they smelled the sweat than when they smelled a placebo.

Read more: Is Perfume Bad For Me?

What element of that sweat, or of any scent we emit that’s picked up by others, is driving the attraction is still unclear. Experts believe it may likely be a bunch of them. People also seem to have one-of-a-kind odor prints, or signature smells that we can’t help but produce uniquely. That’s thanks to something called a major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a collection of proteins that regulate the immune system—and maybe even mate choice, say some scientists. According to their theory, you naturally sniff out a mate whose immune system is optimally different from your own, which would make the immune system of your offspring more diverse, robust and better positioned to fend off more pathogens.

“The evidence is strong that there’s something in the major MHC genes that influences mate choice,” Wysocki says. In one study also involving well-worn T-shirts, women sniffed shirts worn by men and picked the one they’d most prefer to socialize with. They tended to select shirts from men with MHC genes that differed from their own. Women on birth control pills, however, show the opposite effect and are drawn to MHCs similar to theirs, possibly because the pill puts the body into a hormonal state similar to pregnancy, when you’d want safe, supportive and similar relatives around. Wysocki believes that birth control pills might be messing with the mating game. “Some have argued that for women who are on the birth control pill, they’re not getting the right olfactory information about their potential mate,” he says.

“We know that hormones affect the sense of smell especially in women,” Wysocki says. But he’s reluctant to say anything more about what role, if any they play in attraction, since results from studies so far aren’t conclusive, and the topic is controversial and tough to investigate well. “That’s about as far as I can say; the underlying mechanism has not yet been established.”

Part of the challenge comes from the fact that people perceive smells in different ways; one of Wysocki’s studies determined that no two people experience the olfactory world in exactly the same way. Add in all of the other complexities of attraction, and it’s no surprise we haven’t found an eau d’amour quite yet. That bottle may be many, many Valentine’s Days away.

Read next: The Truth About Aphrodisiacs

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TIME Careers & Workplace

7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Achieve Better Success in Life

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Hard work alone won't get you there

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This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

Success is a subjective notion, if there ever was one. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume the higher you are on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the better you’re doing. In case you don’t remember the levels from Psych 101, essentially, people can’t be their best possible selves (self-actualization) until lower-level needs are met first. In other words, you can’t be an ideal version of yourself if you don’t have enough food and money to pay the bills, or enough love and esteem to feel good about your value as a human being. So, what can you do to move yourself up the pyramid?

Check out the findings from several studies, which shine a light on what it takes to achieve more in life.

Increase your confidence by taking action.

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of The Confidence Code, wrote a stellar article for The Atlantic on this subject. Highlighting scads of studies that have found that a wide confidence gap exists between the sexes, they point out that success is just as dependent on confidence as it is on competence. Their conclusion? Low confidence results in inaction. “[T]aking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed,” they write. “So confidence accumulates–through hard work, through success, and even through failure.”

Broaden your definition of authenticity.

Authenticity is a much sought-after leadership trait, with the prevailing idea being that the best leaders are those who self-disclose, are true to themselves, and who make decisions based on their values. Yet in a recent Harvard Business Review article titled “The Authenticity Paradox,” Insead professor Herminia Ibarra discusses interesting research on the subject and tells the cautionary tale of a newly promoted general manager who admitted to subordinates that she felt scared in her expanded role, asking them to help her succeed. “Her candor backfired,” Ibarra writes. “She lost credibility with people who wanted and needed a confident leader to take charge.” So know this: Play-acting to emulate the qualities of successful leaders doesn’t make you a fake. It merely means you’re a work in progress.

Improve your social skills.

According to research conducted by University of California Santa Barbara economist Catherine Weinberger, the most successful business people excel in both cognitive ability and social skills, something that hasn’t always been true. She crunched data linking adolescent skills in 1972 and 1992 with adult outcomes, and found that in 1980, having both skills didn’t correlate with better success, whereas today the combination does. “The people who are both smart and socially adept earn more in today’s work force than similarly endowed workers in 1980,” she says.

Train yourself to delay gratification.

The classic Marshmallow Experiment of 1972 involved placing a marshmallow in front of a young child, with the promise of a second marshmallow if he or she could refrain from eating the squishy blob while a researcher stepped out of the room for 15 minutes. Follow-up studies over the next 40 years found that the children who were able to resist the temptation to eat the marshmallow grew up to be people with better social skills, higher test scores, and lower incidence of substance abuse. They also turned out to be less obese and better able to deal with stress. But how to improve your ability to delay things like eating junk food when healthy alternatives aren’t available, or to remain on the treadmill when you’d rather just stop?

Writer James Clear suggests starting small, choosing one thing to improve incrementally every day, and committing to not pushing off things that take less than two minutes to do, such as washing the dishes after a meal or eating a piece of fruit to work toward the goal of eating healthier. Committing to doing something every single day works too. “Top performers in every field–athletes, musicians, CEOs, artists–they are all more consistent than their peers,” he writes. “They show up and deliver day after day while everyone else gets bogged down with the urgencies of daily life and fights a constant battle between procrastination and motivation.”

Demonstrate passion and perseverance for long-term goals.

Psychologist Angela Duckworth has spent years studying kids and adults, and found that one characteristic is a significant predictor of success: grit. “Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality,” she said in a TED talk on the subject. “Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Embrace a “growth mindset.”

According to research conducted by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, how people view their personality affects their capacity for happiness and success. Those with a “fixed mindset” believe things like character, intelligence, and creativity are unchangeable, and avoiding failure is a way of proving skill and smarts. People with a “growth mindset,” however, see failure as a way to grow and therefore embrace challenges, persevere against setbacks, learn from criticism, and reach higher levels of achievement. “Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training,” she writes.

Invest in your relationships.

After following the lives of 268 Harvard undergraduate males from the classes of 1938 to 1940 for decades, psychiatrist George Vaillant concluded something you probably already know: Love is the key to happiness. Even if a man succeeded in work, amassed piles of money, and experienced good health, without loving relationships he wouldn’t be happy, Vaillant found. The longitudinal study showed happiness depends on two things: “One is love,” he wrote. “The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”

TIME sexuality

Fifty Shades of Grey Gets Women Into Porn, Research Says

After reading the best-selling book, some women begin using pornography for the first time

E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey is introducing more women to porn — at least according to a narrow study conducted at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Researcher Diana Parry interviewed 28 women in their 20s to 50s about their pornography habits. She discovered that women in the group increased their consumption of sexually explicit content after reading the book.

“So many of the women [we interviewed] were hopping in for the first time to pornography or sexually explicit material that was written by women for women,” Parry told Salon in an interview.

“I find it’s motivating women. It is exposing them to a genre of material that they either didn’t know existed or they didn’t know that they liked,” the professor said.

Parry employed a broad definition of porn, using a catchall label of “sexually explicit material” to reduce stigma surrounding erotica, porn websites and other sexual entertainment.

“But I think we need a cautionary note around it, because while they open up opportunities and provide women with unprecedented access to new genres or ways of thinking about their sexuality, at the same time, many of the scripts that are reproduced are really patriarchal scripts around women’s sexuality.”

[Salon]

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