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States of Mind, Resiliency, and Cognitive Performance (Sunday Reads #16)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.  As it’s been several weeks since I’ve posted, some of these links may be a few weeks “old” – but given that we’re looking at mostly timeless information, that shouldn’t matter much.

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On High Performance Work

How much does your state of mind matter during the work day?  Quite a bit.  94% of leaders reported that Calm, Happy and Energized (CHE) are the states of mind that drive the greatest levels of effectiveness and performance.

Humans are meant to move a lot during the day, and most office workers are unlikely to do so. WellnessFX has 5 mobility hacks to improve your morning routine.  Get moving.

A positive mood allows your brain to think more creatively.

Being happy at work matters.  People want a meaningful vision of the future, a sense of purpose, and great relationships.

What sets people with high emotional intelligence apart at work?  I particularly like #4 – they focus on the future and are willing to let go of the past.  They know that failure isn’t permanent or a reflection of themselves.

“Resilience is essentially a set of skills–as opposed to a disposition or personality type–that make it possible for people not only to get through hard times but to thrive during and after them.”  How can you become more resilient?  Hint: it involves meditation.

On Sleep & Nutrition

More reasons to eat (high-quality) dark chocolate!

Want to sleep like your ancestors?  Turn your lights off at dusk and leave them off until dawn.  That’s easy in Seattle in the summer (since dusk is at 9:51pm tonight – dawn is 4:30am) but in the winter would be brutal.  The cool thing is that after about 3 weeks of this, people were in a “different state of consciousness” between two distinct periods of sleep.  A period of distinct security, quiet, and peace that we’re completely lacking in the modern world.

Eating more spinach, kale, collards and mustard greens to your diet could help slow cognitive decline, according to new research.

Another meta-analysis shows that your kids aren’t rowdy at birthday parties “because of all the sugar”.  Specifically, they “found that sugar does not affect the behavior or cognitive performance of children. The strong belief of parents may be due to expectancy and common association.”  I’ve stopped correcting people though… since people really don’t care if it’s true or not.

Great infographic of the Paleo Diet by and NordicTrack.

A third of all “wild” salmon coming from Alaska isn’t really wild – it’s “hatch and catch”.

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Written by Mike Torres

June 21st, 2015 at 3:24 pm

  • “Want to sleep like your ancestors? Turn your lights off at dusk and leave them off until dawn.”

    During my 18 months of travel over the past 2 years, I slept under the stars (mostly in a tent) for over 80 nights far from cities and often in super remote places. I woke up and slept with the sun.

    I never slept so well in my life and I can attest to the fact that my mind went to a whole new level of consciousness. It’s a peace and stillness most people NEVER find in their lifetime. It’s tough to maintain once you rejoin society but once you have a taste of “it” you can get back to that place of consciousness more easily. For me, a couple nights of back-country camping puts me there.

    This is a pic of a site where I camped with my wife for about a week, in southern Utah – until gale-force winds forced us to seek shelter in Moab! It’s typical of where we spent much of our time camping last year.