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They kept moving us, until we ended up in a bigger room where they brought in piles of pizza boxes and bottled water. I was freezing in a tank top. Someone wrapped a Red Cross blanket around me. At one point, I went to the bathroom and fell to the floor, screaming at the top of my lungs, just screaming without any possibility of controlling myself. At that point, I could feel in my body that she was gone. I don't know how time passed that day, but from when I got that first text at 10:30 in the morning, somehow it became eight o'clock at night and we still had no confirmed news. But it wasn't that which interested Piff, who was watching proceedings through a secret one-way mirror. What he wanted to see was how these rich' people behaved. <a href=''>The</a> answer was, in a word, obnoxiously. <a href=''>For</a> example, they tended to be noisier, whooping triumphantly as they bounced their racing car along the board in pursuit of ever greater riches. <a href=''>And</a> they even took more than their fair share of the pretzels from a bowl left out for both players. <a href=''>After</a> the game, these participants were asked why they thought they'd won. <a href=''>And</a> guess what, they talked of the effort they'd put in and the wise decisions they'd made, but not one mentioned that they'd had an advantage from the start. <a href=''>Despite</a> the use of the wordlottery' in the title of the competition, which you'd think might be a clue to its random nature, almost two-thirds felt that they in some way deserved to have won. Again, it's an astonishing finding, and Piff concluded from it that while, yes, competitive people, who often have selfish instincts, are good at making money, it can also be shown that having money, even temporarily, even when it's all just a game, shapes a person's behaviour, making them more self-centred and arrogant. It works both ways, in other words. Me, I start thinking of what I want to eat for breakfast, I'm irritated by the barking dog outside, I want to cheat and do 15 minutes instead of 20. When this happens, we are instructed to come back to our mantra (or our breath or whatever), gently and effortlessly. Now here's the boon bit: if you're a great meditator, you might do this a few times in a session. But if you're crap you have to gently bring your attention back every few seconds.

Which means you build a bigger coming back gently' muscle. <a href=''>Which</a> in turn means that when you go back out into your real life, you have a greater ability to stay in crappy discomfort and keep going. <a href=''>To</a> feel the shittiness but do whatever life is calling you to do anyway. <a href=''>My</a> challenge to you is to take up meditation (if you've been avoiding it because it seems too loose and unguaranteed as a life-bettering technique) and to meditate even (especially) on the days where you're too frazzled, you're too busy, you've taken sleeping tablets and you'll probably be crap at it. <a href=''>We</a> can be bored <a href=''>Check</a> this: bored, as in the word, wasn't invented until 1760. <a href=''>The</a> active women seemed able to turn off their stress response faster despite ruminating. <a href=''>Use</a> the Power of Your Breath <a href=''>You</a> can use breathing rate and depth to both instantly dampen a stress response and recover faster from it. <a href=''>Sympathetic</a> activity and breathing pattern are linked. <a href=''>Adjusting</a> one may adjust the other. <a href=''>One</a> study on people with mild hypertension revealed that slowing down the rate of breathing from 16+/-3 beats per minute to 5. <a href=''>If</a> you are otherwise healthy, slowing your breathing rate down for fifteen minutes, aiming for about six to seven breaths per minute, may help to reduce your sympathetic tone. <a href=''>Engage</a> Your Senses <a href=''>You</a> may be able to help your mind return to a relaxed state immediately after a stressful experience by engaging your senses. <a href=''>LISTEN</a> TO DELTA WAVE OR THETA WAVE BINAURAL BEATS FOR THIRTY MINUTES. <a href=''>About</a> two hours later, I spoke with Rabbi Mendy Gutnick from my synagogue, but he didn't know anything, either. <a href=''>It</a> wasn't until two o'clock in the morning that we were taken into a private room where an FBI agent said that he didn't want to speak in front of me, that he only wanted to talk to my husband. <a href=''>No,</a> I said, you're going to tell me, too. <a href=''>The</a> agent told us that Alyssa had been shot in the face and that she was unrecognizable, which turned out to not be true. <br /><br /><a href=''>This</a> was the most traumatic moment I could ever have imagined and this professional from the FBI didn't know what he was talking about. <a href=''>What</a> he said was a lie or a mistake. <a href=''>I</a> had no idea in that moment, but finding out like that was so wrong and so irresponsible of him, especially after we'd been waiting for so long for any kernel of information. <a href=''>How</a> could the FBI get that so wrong? <a href=''>For</a> hours and hours, authorities had been asking us for pictures and names, and we kept e-mailing them and they kept losing the information and putting us through the same process over and over again. <a href=''>We</a> signed more paperwork and left. <a href=''>A</a> NOTE OF DUTCH CAUTION <a href=''>Had</a> you been in the San Francisco Bay Area one sunny day, you might have seen people lurking behind the bushes next to a pedestrian crossing. <a href=''>Of</a> course, as a reader of this article, you would have immediately realised that these people were not up to something nefarious, but were researchers conducting a psychology experiment. <a href=''>This</a> time they weren't dropping things to see who helped out but were observing the behaviour of motorists at the crossing. <a href=''>The</a> man behind the experiment was once again Paul Piff. <a href=''>In</a> California, as in many places, cars are supposed to stop if a pedestrian seems about to step onto the crossing. <a href=''>It's</a> one of those protocols of road use, partly a matter of safety, partly of law, but perhaps above all of courtesy. <a href=''>And</a> by now I hardly need to tell you what Piff's researchers observed. <a href=''>Yes,</a> of course, all the people driving cheap cars stopped to allow pedestrians to cross, while only half the drivers of expensive models did the same. <a href=''>Let</a> me hastily add, as Piff himself did, that the total number of cars observed in this study was pretty small. <a href=''>Before</a> that I guess we just sat in tedium and sucked it up and benefited from the anti-fragile effects parlayed. <a href=''>Around</a> the time capitalism also reared its head. <a href=''>Just</a> saying . <a href=''>Researchers</a> have found that boredom leads to more creativity - it promotes daydreaming which sees the brain create new innovative connections. <br /><br /><a href=''>Newton</a> was purportedly just sitting under an apple tree staring into space when he discovered gravity. <a href=''>The</a> theory of relativity struck Albert Einstein as he rode aimlessly on his bike. <a href=''>Subsequently,</a> I read another study that showed innovation among young people is at its lowest in history, with scores decreasing each year since 1990 (even while IQ increases). <a href=''>I</a> wonder if not being able to stay in boredom has led to this uncolourful outcome for young people? <a href=''>I</a> read Bertrand Russell's Has Man a Future? <a href=''>The</a> dude was well ahead of his time. <a href=''>In</a> a randomized, controlled trial on a group of patients preparing for general anesthesia for outpatient surgery, listening to thirty minutes of delta wave frequency binaural beats significantly reduced levels of preoperative anxiety. <a href=''>LISTEN</a> TO SHAMANIC DRUM BEATS OR MEDITATION MUSIC FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES. <a href=''>In</a> a study on twenty-nine volunteers, listening to either shamanic drumming or meditation music for fifteen minutes reduced the level of cortisol in the blood. <a href=''>LISTEN</a> TO NATURE. <a href=''>Listening</a> to an ocean wave recording for just seven minutes brought down the pulse rate and self-reported stress of a group of college students waiting in a waiting room for fifteen minutes, compared to listening to pleasant classical music or sitting in silence, in one small study. <a href=''>LOOK</a> AT NATURE. <a href=''>A</a> randomized crossover study has shown people recover faster from an acutely stressful experience if they have been looking at nature beforehand. <a href=''>Looking</a> at nature raises parasympathetic tone, even if you are only looking at a picture. <a href=''>SMELL</a> LEMONS. <a href=''>One</a> study has shown how smelling the scent of a lemon for fifteen minutes can reduce heart rate and blood pressure and make you feel calmer. <a href=''>I</a> picked up my mom and we headed to the medical examiner's office. <a href=''>Nobody</a> told me I could go or suggested it, but I just went. <a href=''>I</a> told them who I was and they came back with a photo of Alyssa. <a href=''>That</a> was the first time I knew with 100 percent certainty that she had died. <br /><br /><a href=''>They</a> shared that photo but they wouldn't allow me to see her because they were still preparing her body. <a href=''>I</a> had to sign paperwork to release Alyssa to the funeral home. <a href=''>My</a> husband and I went there to start planning her funeral. <a href=''>Two</a> hours later, we were finally able to see her. <a href=''>I</a> remember touching her with my hands, trying to warm Alyssa's body, trying to bring her back to life. <a href=''>Her</a> body felt so cold. <a href=''>And</a> to the extent that there's proof to show that being rich makes you mean and selfish, it comes not from single studies, but from an accumulation of evidence. <a href=''>Even</a> then, there is also some evidence that points to the fact that being rich can make you generous and selfless. <a href=''>More</a> to the point perhaps, none of these studies show or purport to show that all rich people are mean, just that on average the richer are a bit meaner than the poorer. <a href=''>Of</a> course it helps if a study involves a big sample of people and doesn't use proxies if they can be avoided. <a href=''>After</a> all, taking the experiment above as an example, it could have been the case that one of the people driving an expensive car that didn't stop at the pedestrian crossing was not some wealthy businessman but a desperate car thief - or as Stefan Trautmann of Heidelberg University observed of Piff's study (using the language of the academic journal)low status individuals may over-consume highly visible goods', which translates as poor people sometimes have cars they can't afford. With the aim of avoiding such problems in his own work Trautmann used an authoritative survey carried out in the Netherlands. In it, a representative sample of 9,000 people are quizzed four times a year, and their socio-economic status is assessed using detailed questions about wealth, income, job type and job security. Trautmann discovered that people of higher socioeconomic status seemed to be more independent and less engaged with other people. He also found that the better-off people were more likely to be tolerant of tax evasion, though at the same time the less well-off were more forgiving of benefit fraud, which perhaps suggests that having more money doesn't make you more immoral, but rather that your notions of morality are dictated at least to some degree by your financial circumstances. All that said, however, the data from the survey only allowed Trautmann to draw conclusions about attitudes, not behaviour. He wrote the article in 1961 aged eighty-nine and launched a campaign of civil disobedience off the back of it, such was his concern for the future of the human race. I like this line: A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation . <a href=''>And</a> then we canstay longer' I now have a phrase that I work to when meditating, or I'm on a call with a chronic repeater of stories, or I'm listless, or I want to flee from a moral injury: `Stay longer.