April 7th, 2012

You Create Your Own Luck!

Posted on 07 Apr 2012 at 2:59pm

After struggling to wake up, Julie misses her train and, raging, buys a new ticket and jumps on the next one. In the buffet carriage, she comes across Mario, her old childhood friend, when she was just thinking about him that very morning. They haven’t seen each for more than a year. Luck or coincidence?

Life and the encounters which punctuate our existences are a mix of both order and chaos, of gambling and determinism. The word ‘hazard’, which comes from Arabic, actually means “game of dice”. To be able to master what is random, it is worth knowing more about coincidences. What are they, and how do they happen?

A tale of synchronicity

According to Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, who spent his time exploring the deepest layers of the unconscious, these lucky occurrences are examples of “synchronicity”. This term describes apparently independent events which occur at the same time and are tied together by meaning. For example, a friend tells you about her trip through the desert, the mythical film ‘Lawrence of Arabia” is shown on TV, and at lunchtime, when you were in the supermarket, you went wild for some serviettes with beaches and camels on them… From the mass of external information you get every day, life is drawing your attention to something important.

A question of intuition

So what purpose does this serve? Chance is essential in life. It is an effective strategy for making some new priority emerge. In being surprised by an improbable event, a meeting or a series of coincidences, you will get going again at a point in your life when you are either trapped or about to get stuck in a rut. In reality, coincidences are not that rare. In order to be able to get something out of them, the first step is to be able to spot them. All you need to do is learn to watch the world which surrounds you. Then get rid of your restrictive, rationalist mindset and develop your intuition. (more…)

Well Being: Junk food link to depression

Posted on 07 Apr 2012 at 2:54pm

Eating too much junk food can affect your mental as well as your physical health, according to the latest research.

A study published in the Public Health Nutrition Journal found that people who regularly eat fast foods such as hamburgers, hotdogs and pizzas are 51 per cent more likely to develop depression compared with those who eat little or none.

The risk of depression was linked to the amount of junk food consumed.

“The more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” said study leader Dr Almudena Sánchez-Villegas from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

People who ate the most of this type of food were more likely to be single, less active, eat less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil and work more than 45 hours a week, the study found. They were also more likely to smoke.

The study included 8,964 people who had never been diagnosed with depression or taken anti-depressant medication. The scientists assessed the mental health and diet of the participants for an average of six months. At the end of the study period, 493 people were diagnosed with depression or had started taking anti-depressants.

The researchers also added that the link between commercial baked goods and depression was as “equally conclusive” as that seen with fast food.

“Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression,” said Dr Almudena Sánchez-Villegas.

A previous larger study, published in the journal PLoS One, linked eating fast food with a 42 per cent increased risk of depression.

Others studies suggest that certain nutrients, including group B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil may help to protect against depression. A Mediterranean diet has also been linked to a lower risk of developing the condition.

Dr Sánchez-Villegas concluded: “Although more studies are necessary, the intake of this type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obesity, cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being.”

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