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In fact, switching to black can actually increase the penalties given to a team. The Pittsburgh Penguins switched to black uniforms during the 1979 to 1980 season. During the first forty-four games, when they were wearing blue, the team averaged eight penalty minutes per game. For the final thirty-five games, when they wore black, the team averaged twelve minutes per game! Meditation is a word, and words are used in different ways by different speakers. This may seem like a trivial point, but it is not. It is quite important to distinguish exactly what a particular speaker means by the words he or she uses. Probably every culture on earth has produced some sort of mental practice that could be termed meditation. It all depends on how loose a definition you give to that word. The techniques worldwide are enormously varied, but we will make no attempt to survey them. Within the Judeo-Christian tradition we find two overlapping practices called prayer and contemplation. Prayer is a direct address to a spiritual entity. Contemplation is a prolonged period of conscious thought about a specific topic, usually a religious ideal or scriptural passage. From the standpoint of mental cultivation, both of these activities are exercises in concentration. The normal deluge of conscious thought is restricted, and the mind is brought to one conscious area of operation. The results are those you find in any concentrative practice: deep calm, a physiological slowing of the metabolism, and a sense of peace and well-being. Out of the Hindu tradition comes yogic meditation, which is also purely concentrative. The traditional basic exercises consist of focusing the mind on a single object--a stone, a candle flame, a syllable, or whatever--and not allowing it to wander. Having acquired the basic skill, the yogi proceeds to expand his practice by taking on more complex objects of meditation--chants, colorful religious images, energy channels in the body, and so forth. Still, no matter how complex the object of meditation, the meditation itself remains purely an exercise in concentration.

Within the Buddhist tradition, concentration is also highly valued. But a new element is added and more highly stressed: the element of awareness. All Buddhist meditation aims at the development of awareness, using concentration as a tool toward that end. The Buddhist tradition is very wide, however, and there are several diverse routes to this goal. Zen meditation uses two separate tacks. The first is the direct plunge into awareness by sheer force of will. You sit down and you just sit, meaning that you toss out of your mind everything except pure awareness of sitting. This sounds very simple. It is not. (A brief trial will demonstrate just how difficult it really is.) The second Zen approach, used in the Rinzai school, is that of tricking the mind out of conscious thought and into pure awareness. This is done by giving a student an unsolvable riddle, which he must solve nonetheless, and by placing him in a horrendous training situation. Since he cannot escape from the pain of the situation, he must flee into a pure experience of the moment: there is nowhere else to go. Zen is tough. It is effective for many people, but it is really tough. Depression and sleep deficits are unarguably entwined. Yet in that interwoven relationship lie opportunities for treatment, relief, and healing. Indeed, when you take measures to improve the quality of a depressed person's sleep, you also relieve symptoms of his or her depression. The wisdom in cotreating sleep issues and depression is backed up by study after study. For example, research conducted at the sleep clinic at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Australia concluded that among their subjects the severity of depressive symptoms was directly correlated with the severity of sleep apnea. The study also observed that when sleep apnea was relieved via CPAP therapy, depressive symptoms were relieved.[11] Another study involved 545 patients in a randomized controlled trial.

One group was given Prozac (for depression) and Lunesta (for sleep), while the control group was given Prozac and a placebo. Compared to the control group, patients who received the Prozac and Lunesta not only saw greater sleep improvements but also showed greater improvements in depressive symptoms than the group that received Prozac alone.[12] The above studies documented improvements in depression when sleep problems were treated via CPAP therapy and medication. Of even greater interest, I believe, are the cotreatment studies that address the sleep portion of the equation using behavioral changes. Two studies come to mind. The first, conducted by Dr. Rachel Manber at the Stanford University Medical Center, discovered that after treating sleep issues with cognitive-behavioral therapy (which focuses on changing how a person thinks and responds to situations), the success rate for depression treatment nearly doubled. A different study showed similar results: after resolving sleep issues with talk therapy, 87 percent of those treated "saw their depression symptoms dissolve," nearly double the rate compared to patients who still suffered from insomnia. In order to develop auto-magnetism, you need to come from a place of giving, not taking. Wouldn't it be amazing to get what you want, without ever having to ask, beg or merely hope you'll get it? Trying to change their behaviour communicates disrespect, while asking for their opinion, placing value in their advice; work ethic or perspective is respectful. Respecting your partner isn't just about stroking his ego or making her feel like a queen. When you show that you accept your partner for who they are and what tremendous gifts they bring to your happiness, it can significantly increase the passion, and your emotional connection to one another. Some of the happiest couples can be seen working together, such as building a garden in their backyard, or exercising at the gym together. Respect is about building one another up, and working together to come up with a solution for the greater good of the relationship--and each person in it. Show appreciation. Everyone needs to be appreciated, and the longer you're in a relationship, the more essential that becomes. What motivation will your partner have to be caring, kind and considerate with you when he doesn't even think you value him enough to do the same for him? One of many studies not cherry-picked was conducted by Christopher Ferguson and published in Psychiatric Quarterly. It found only a negligible relationship between screen time and depression. Ferguson wrote in an article in Science Daily, "Although an `everything in moderation' message when discussing screen time with parents may be most productive, our results do not support a strong focus on screen time as a preventative measure for youth problem behaviors." As so often is the case, the devil is in the digital details.

A closer read of the studies linking screen time with depression finds correlation only with extreme amounts of time spent online. Teenage girls who spent over five hours per day online tended to have more depressive or suicidal thoughts, but common sense would have us ask whether the kids who have a propensity to spend excessive amounts of time online might also have other problems in their lives. Perhaps five hours a day on any form of media is a symptom of a larger problem. In fact, the same study found that kids who spent two hours or less online per day did not have higher rates of depression and anxiety compared to controls. A study conducted by Andrew Przybylski at the Oxford Internet Institute found that mental well-being actually increased with moderate amounts of screen time. "Even at exceptional levels, we're talking about a very small impact," stated Przybylski. "It's about a third as bad as missing breakfast or not getting eight hours sleep." When kids act in ways we don't like, parents desperately ask, "Why is my kid acting this way?" There's certainty in a scapegoat, and we often cling to simple answers because they serve a story we want to believe--that kids do strange things because of something outside our control, which means that those behaviors are not really their (or our) fault. Of course, technology plays a role. Smartphone apps and video games are designed to be engaging, just as sugar is meant to be delicious. But like the parents who blame a "sugar high" for their kid's bad behavior, blaming devices is a surface-level answer to a deep question. Easy answers mean we can avoid having to look into the dark and complex truth underlying why kids behave the way they do. But we can't fix the problem unless we look at it clearly, free of media-hyped myths, to understand the root causes. Frank and Gilovich also had football referees and fans view different plays that contained borderline calls. In one play, two members of the defensive team grabbed a ball carrier, drove him back several yards, and threw him to the ground with considerable force. The participants were asked to indicate on a nine-point scale how they would penalize the defensive team for the play. One end of the scale was labeled "cheap shot designed to hurt the opposing player," while the other end was labeled "legal and somewhat non-aggressive." Some of the referees and fans saw a video with the players wearing black, while others saw players wearing white. Again, the teams with black uniforms received harsher treatment (average score of 7.2) than the teams with white uniforms (average of only 5.3).13 Our expectations have consequences not only for our perceptions and judgments, but also for our reactions. For example, an intriguing study investigated the impact of expectations on patients' abilities to recover from abdominal surgery. One group of patients was told what to expect from the surgery, such as how long it would last, the type of pain they would experience, and when they would regain consciousness, while another group was told nothing. Those patients who were told what to expect complained less about the pain, required less medication, and recovered more quickly.

In fact, they were discharged from the hospital an average of three days earlier!14 Researchers in another study told students that they were drinking coffee with caffeine, when, in fact, it was actually decaf. The students said they were more alert and tense, and even had significant changes in blood pressure.15 While it's not used much now, doctors used to prescribe placebos for some patients.16 As we saw, when a patient expects a pill to work, he sometimes gets better even though the pill has no actual therapeutic effect. It's all about what we expect. While expectations can influence perceptions, our desires are perhaps an even more powerful influence on perception. Why? We have a strong motivation to see things that we want to see in order to maintain consistency in our beliefs. The more we perceive the world as supporting our beliefs, the more we think those beliefs must be true. A particularly rough football game was played between Dartmouth and Princeton. One of Princeton's star players suffered a broken nose, while a Dartmouth player was carried off with a broken leg. Researchers asked both Dartmouth and Princeton students who started the rough play.17 When the Princeton students responded, 86 percent said that Dartmouth had started it, while only 11 percent blamed both sides. When the Dartmouth students were asked, only 36 percent said Dartmouth started it, while 53 percent said both sides. The researchers then had other students watch a film of the game and write down any infractions they saw. While Dartmouth students saw about the same number of penalties on each side (averages of 4.3 and 4.4), Princeton students saw 9.8 infractions for Dartmouth and only 4.2 for Princeton. All the students saw the same game, yet they saw very different things. In a similar vein, researchers have asked voters whether the media coverage for a past presidential election was biased, and, if so, in what direction. One third thought it was biased, and of those, 90 percent thought it was biased against their candidate.18 Perceiving a negative, as opposed to a positive, bias toward our preferred candidate is so common that it's actually been termed the "hostile media effect." Other researchers showed both a rigged "successful" demonstration of ESP, and an unsuccessful demonstration, to skeptics and believers. While the skeptics tended to recall both demonstrations accurately, those who believed in ESP tended to recall the unsuccessful demonstration as successful.19 Our desires influence our perceptions. Since religion is a powerful motivating force in many people's lives, the impact of desires on perception can be especially strong when people are zealously religious. People have traveled from Canada to Houston because they thought the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe could be seen in an ice cream stain on the sidewalk. In June 1997 the virgin was seen in another stain (thought to be either urine or water) on a Mexico City subway platform.