The Reason Giving Feels So Good Is That The Feeling Lasts

Giving makes us feel connected to others and reinforces a positive self-image.

The joy of giving does not fade like the joy of getting, new research reveals.

Usually when people repeat pleasant experiences, happiness fades after each one.

However, when people keep on giving to others, the happy feeling remains powerful.

In fact, people in the study were just as happy giving money away after the fifth time as they were the very first time.

It may be because giving makes us feel connected to others and reinforces a positive self-image.

Dr Ed O’Brien, the study’s first author, said:

“If you want to sustain happiness over time, past research tells us that we need to take a break from what we’re currently consuming and experience something new.

Our research reveals that the kind of thing may matter more than assumed: Repeated giving, even in identical ways to identical others, may continue to feel relatively fresh and relatively pleasurable the more that we do it.”

For the study, people were asked to either spend $5 per day on themselves or to give it away to others.

Those that spent the money on themselves saw a pattern familiar to psychologists.

The first day they got a kick out of it, but that quickly faded as the days past (this is called ‘hedonic adaptation’).

But, for those that gave their money away, the joy was just as strong on the fifth day as it was on the first.

Dr O’Brien said they tested all sorts of alternative explanations for their results.

For example, perhaps people thought longer and harder when giving the money away.

This did not explain the effect, though:

“We considered many such possibilities, and measured over a dozen of them.

None of them could explain our results; there were very few incidental differences between ‘get’ and ‘give’ conditions, and the key difference in happiness remained unchanged when controlling for these other variables in the analyses.”

The study is to be published in the journal Psychological Science (O’Brien & Kassirer, 2018).

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How to Bring Up Thorny Issues

How to Bring Up Thorny Issues

Normal people choose pleasure over pain.

It’s normal to avoid thorny issues.

Image of children playing tug of war. Shift from pulling against to pulling with.

How to bring up thorny issues:

5 reasons people avoid thorny issues:

  1. The burden of feeling right creates stress to convince others they’re wrong.
  2. Power imbalance. No one wants to contradict the person who controls their salary, for example.
  3. Feeling good is good. Bringing up thorny issues feels bad. But it’s silly to believe spending more time walking on thorns makes you feel better.
  4. Memory of past blow-ups is motivation to shut up. Bad intervention makes thorny issues worse. If you are certain intervention will make things better, short-term pain is worthwhile.
  5. You see a thorny issue that others don’t see.

The thorny issue you can’t bring up is a lid in your life.

Not on their own:

Thorny issues don’t go away on their own, but some issues go away as time passes. Why?

Things that are true when thorny issues go away over time:

  1. People know there is an issue and they’re already working to make improvements. Undramatic progress may go unnoticed.
  2. People acclimate. Complaints about new procedures decrease as people adjust, for example.
  3. Competence gradually improves with practice. Incompetence sees big issues where competence sees opportunity.

Thorny issues don’t magically resolve themselves.

Number one:

You can’t solve thorny issues when people have conflicting concerns.

Shift from pulling against to pulling with.

We all know what we don’t want but ‘not wanting’ isn’t leadership. Determine what WE want.

You shift from pulling against to pulling with when you embrace a shared goal.

Four tips for bringing up awkward issues:

  1. Acknowledge awkwardness.
  2. Resolve emotion before solving thorny issues.
  3. Curiosity is less stressful than knowing the solution.
  4. Momentary relief from avoiding thorny issues results in calamity later.

Why do we avoid thorny issues?

What practices enable leaders to bring up thorny issues?

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How To Live Longer: The Best Type Of Food For Weight Loss, Lower Blood Sugar And Cholesterol

Eating high amounts of this type of carbohydrate makes you live longer.

Eating more high fibre foods is linked to a longer life, research finds.

However, it has to be from unprocessed foods.

Dietary fibres are indigestible carbohydrates as our body can’t break them down into sugar.

Fibre helps the body to keep blood sugar in control and makes you feel full for longer.

Consuming 35 g of fibre a day will reduce the risk of early death by more than a third.

Experts say that high fibre intake increases life expectancy, improves blood sugar levels, and causes weight loss, however, processed foods won’t have these beneficial effects.

One study found that consuming 35 g of fibre per day will lower the likelihood of early death by 35 percent compared with those who have only 19 g of fibre a day.

Fibre-rich foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.

Dr Andrew Reynolds, the study’s lead author, said:

“Try a few different ways to increase your fiber intake, see what works best for you.

If you eat white refined bread or rolls, try changing to wholegrain bread or rolls.

Try brown rice, try brown pasta, try adding half a tin of legumes to meals you already make.”

In this study, adults with prediabetes who consumed foods rich in fibre had lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as losing weight.

Another study has shown that not all foods with fibre are equal.

For example, whole grains are rich in fibre but their beneficial health effects will weaken with processing.

Participants were asked to eat unprocessed or less-processed wholegrain foods like brown rice, intact oats, and whole-grain bread made with coarsely ground flour for two weeks.

In the second fortnight, they ate more processed wholegrain foods like wholemeal bread and instant oats and whole-grain bread made with finely milled flour.

Professor Jim Mann, the study’s senior author, said:

“Wholegrain foods are now widely perceived to be beneficial, but increasingly products available on the supermarket shelves are ultra-processed.”

Eating minimally-processed wholegrain foods showed that participants after their meals had much improved blood sugar levels and during the day they had less swings in blood glucose levels.

During the study period they were asked to maintain their weight but the results showed that they lost a little weight in the first fortnight of consuming less processed whole grains and put on a little weight in the second two weeks of having processed whole grain foods.

The first study was published in PLOS Medicine (Reynolds et al., 2020) and the second study was published in Diabetes Care (Åberg et al., 2020).

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4 Tips & Tricks for Effective Social Commerce in 2022 

Social media has long been used to promote brands, products and services. In the early days of social media marketing, brands would simply post product pictures or videos on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, hoping to grab the attention of their target customers and drive some traffic to their website or online store. Now, thanks to an abundance of social commerce tools, businesses are able to make sales directly on social media.

Social commerce is expanding at the speed of light, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. 

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In this post, we’re going to take a look at everything you need to know about social commerce, including what it is, why you should embrace it, and how to get started. 

What is social commerce?

Social commerce is the practice of selling products directly from your brand’s social media profiles using Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, Product Pins and other native social media shopping solutions — or chatbots and AI assistants optimized for sales.

Here’s an example from jewelry brand Noemie showcasing what a Facebook Shop looks like:

social commerce Facebook shop

social commerce Facebook shop

Note that social commerce and e-commerce are not exactly the same thing. The goal of e-commerce marketing on social media is to drive traffic to an independent, off-platform website or online store. 

The difference between social commerce vs. marketing an e-commerce store on social media comes down to where the shopping experience (including browsing products, adding to cart, checking out) happens. 

Social commerce is also not the same thing as social selling. The latter is the practice of using social media to identify, connect with and nurture sales prospects. Social selling focuses on networking and relationship building and doesn’t always generate immediate sales.

Why should you care about social commerce? 

The biggest benefit to adopting a social commerce strategy is that it helps you convert sales directly on social media in a streamlined, entirely on-platform way.

If a customer discovers your brand or product on social media, they no longer have to leave the platform to make their purchase. This streamlined process removes friction and minimizes the risk of some customers dropping out mid-purchase because of a complicated or lengthy checkout process.

48% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 34 report that they have purchased something through social media. 81% of shoppers have researched products on social media before buying. 

On the other side, 45% of businesses in 2021 wanted to use social media to drive more conversions or sales.

So, social commerce is a win-win for everyone. 

Social commerce sales have jumped from $560B in 2020 to $732B in 2021. This trend is expected to continue year-over-year through 2026 (at least).

While originally the major adopters for social commerce were large advertisers and department stores, that’s no longer the case….

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5 Ways to Increase Your Capacity

Working more hours to get more done is the downfall of most failed leaders.

This problem is due to a lack of capacity. Capacity is the amount that something or someone can produce.

When someone moves into leadership, they typically have more responsibility. If they don’t increase their capacity per hour, they will by necessity have to work longer hours.

If over time a leader can increase his or her capacity–produce more results in a given period of time–they will not only succeed but potentially free up time to pursue new projects and revenue streams.

Here are five ways to increase your capacity:

Education.  Think of education as what you know that can be translated into skill. Knowledge is information understood. Education is information applied.

Not only does learning new things increase your capacity, it can also decrease stress and anxiety. In 2020 financial researchers found that even pre-pandemic, a low level of financial literacy was a top contributor to financial stress and anxiety. Learning how to understand and manage their finances made people less anxious.

In my book, Always Win, I suggest “first ask who before how.” Rather than trying to figure out how to do something, determine who already has that skill that you can learn from or collaborate with.

And here is a great resource for lifelong learners from my friend Eva Keiffenheim.

Delegation. Good delegators pick the best people to do the right jobs. Doing it yourself isn’t a luxury leaders can afford.

Effective leaders know that delegation isn’t about finding someone who can do a task better than you (but of course, if you can, that’s great), but finding someone who can do the task well enough.

For example: If you have an important message, you can draft the key points and delegate at least the proofreading, or at most the development of those key points into a message, to someone who is a good communicator.

Collaboration. In this insightful article, collaboration is defined as working together to create something new.

Done right, collaboration increases results. Done poorly, it wastes time and resources. Of all the ways to increase capacity, this is the most challenging.

A good collaborator has complementary skill sets, good communication skills and a desire to work together. The best collaborators inspire each other and discover ideas that neither would have by her- or himself. And that’s where the “something new” is created, whether a process, product or service.

Cooperation. The article referenced above defines cooperation as working together for mutual benefit.

A shared agenda with everyone working together is the foundation of cooperation. Everyone knows what needs to be done and is willing to do it. Cooperation done right is about removing resistance and obstacles, sharing the work and supporting and encouraging each other.

Innovation. Whether done alone or with others, innovation is figuring out new ways to do old things or new ways to do new things. Innovation can be as simple as improvements in processes and as…

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2 Plant Extracts That Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease

The extracts work by preventing the build up of sticky amyloid beta in the brain.

Compounds found in carrots and green tea have been shown to reverse Alzheimer’s, research finds.

The plant-based treatment was able to completely restore the memories of mice in the study.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a compound found in green tea.

Meanwhile, ferulic acid is found in rice, tomatoes, carrots, oats and wheat.

For the study, mice genetically programmed to develop the disease were given plant-based supplements for three months.

Although mouse studies often do not translate into humans, the findings are still promising, said Professor Terrence Town, study co-author:

“You don’t have to wait 10 to 12 years for a designer drug to make it to market; you can make these dietary changes today.

I find that very encouraging.”

For the research, 32 mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms were randomly assigned to different diets.

Four groups were fed with different combinations of EGCG and ferulic acid.

The dosages were 30 mg per kilogram of body weight.

This amount could easily be consumed by a human as part of a healthy diet or in the form of supplements.

The mice were given a range of tests of their memory and learning.

These are the mouse-equivalent of tests given to assess dementia in humans.

Professor Town explained the results:

“After three months, combination treatment completely restored working memory and the Alzheimer’s mice performed just as well as the healthy comparison mice.”

The group of mice that did best were those that were given both compounds together.

The two compounds appear to work by preventing the build up of sticky amyloid beta in the brain.

These are the clumps of protein seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

The compounds also reduced neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.

The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (Mori et al., 2019).

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Organic vs. Paid Social Media: How to Combine Them for a Winning Strategy

If you’re looking to increase your social media reach, you’ve no doubt heard about both organic and paid social media. There are certainly examples of accounts that use one or the other as their primary method of posting.

But the plain truth is that you shouldn’t choose between organic and paid social media tactics. Both approaches can help you get to where you want to go. In fact, it will only help your case to use a combination of the two. More people and brands do so than you probably think.

2022 is on track to be a record-breaking year for ad spend on social media. According to research, global ad spend is projected to exceed 173 billion (sic!) dollars.

In short, that’s gigantic. And it proves that social media ad spending is here to stay.

Of course, there’s another side of that coin too. Often, the only way that you’re going to develop an audience is through organically building brand awareness and earning trust. It’s hard to do that just purely through advertising.

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Let’s go through the pros and cons of organic and paid social media tactics, and how you can use both to your advantage.

What is organic social media?

Organic social media is the free content (posts, photos, video, memes, Instagram Stories, etc.) that all users, including businesses and brands, share with each other on their feeds.

It’s the most commonly used form of social media activity. Brands and users like you and I use it to engage with their followers and show their personality.

When you post organically to your account, you get your content in front of what’s called your organic reach. That’s the percentage of your followers that will end up seeing the post.

The other ways people will see your organic social media posts include:

  • Your followers’ followers (if people share your posts or interact with them)
  • People following the hashtags you use.

Brands and individual users use organic social media for a number of different reasons. Here are a few, and some examples of how businesses execute on them.

Build a personality

No one wants a business to act like, well, a business. Instead, we want them to have some sort of personality. Some way of emoting that reaches us as consumers, yes, but more importantly, as people.

The best brands on social media have a distinct voice that they use to great effect. It gets to the point where people have an idea of what to expect from them.

In this example, Merriam-Webster is doing exactly what you’d expect from a dictionary. It’s engaging people using words. The account’s popular “Word of the Day” feature often delights followers and gives them something to expect and look forward to.

Start conversations


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How Depression Is Linked To Social Media Use

Social media use does not predict later depression, research finds.

Using social media does not predict the onset of depression, research finds.

The conclusion contradicts previous studies claiming that social media use causes depression.

The study, unlike previous investigations, followed people for up to six years to see which came first, social media use or depression.

The results showed that heavier social media users did not become more depressed later on.

However, one group of young people (adolescent girls) who were already depressed did end up using social media more.

This suggests social media use does not cause depression, but could be a way of dealing with it (whether successful or not).

Ms Taylor Heffer, the study’s first author, said:

“This finding contrasts with the idea that people who use a lot of social media become more depressed over time.

Instead, adolescent girls who are feeling down may turn to social media to try and make themselves feel better.”

The study followed 594 Canadian children from the 6th, 7th and 8th grades for two years, as well as 1,132 undergraduate students for six years.

Ms Heffer explained the reasoning behind this strategy:

“You have to follow the same people over time in order to draw the conclusion that social media use predicts greater depressive symptoms.

By using two large longitudinal samples, we were able to empirically test that assumption.”

The results showed that social media use did not predict later depression.

However, specifically among adolescent girls, being depressed predicted increasing use of social media.

Ms Heffer said:

“There may be different groups of people who use social media for different reasons.

For example, there may be a group of people who use social media to make social comparisons or turn to it when they are feeling down, while another group of people may use it for more positive reasons, such as keeping in contact with friends.”

The study was published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science (Heffer et al., 2019).

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