The study's author, MaryAnn Noonan, explained that your brain adapts to its surrounding society, and your social skills play a role in that adaptation. This statement is grounded in research conducted by MaryAnn and her colleagues. Eighteen volunteers aged from 27 to 70 answered specific questions, such as:

“How many friends and acquaintances did you contact in the last month?”
“How do you communicate with friends and acquaintances?”
“Which ways of communication do you usually use?”
“How often do you visit each other?”
“How long do your conversations last on the Internet and during face-to-face meetings”, etc.

The scientists took into consideration all forms of social contact used by volunteers. During the experiment, scientists made MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) pictures of the volunteer’s brains. The comparative analysis of the images showed that people with similar social activity have a similarbrain structures. The research showed that communicating with a large number of friends increases certain brain areas in size. The number of connections between other brain areas grows as well, compared with subjects who do not have a wide circle of acquaintances. Moreover, sociable people have much better management and analytical skills.

The researchers suggest that the increase in the size of certain brain areas is the body's adaptive response to the surrounding social environment. However, some scientists have questioned the causality of this research. In other words, increased sociability of some individuals may be a consequence of the increased areas of their brains.

Nevertheless, all this does not mean that sociable people have a bigger brain than reserved ones. While some areas of the brain increase, other are reduced, and, as a result, the total brain volume remains the same. In addition, this study, scientists determined the average person has 20 friends.

Commitment to excellence.The key to personal success lies in rejection of comfort and safety. A hermit crab, who has to look for a new home as it grows and needs a larger shell, is an excellent example of this. A soft and defenseless creature, accustomed to being under the armor, finds itself in a world full of predators. Interestingly, the hermit crab grows fastest during this dangerous search for a new shell. If you set high goals and take risk in each new encounter, in the end you will find out that the lessons you have learned in the process are far more valuable than immediate trophies.

Life is like walking on a log. A baby has no fear of falling while trying to walk on a log. The log seems wide and reliable, and the infant’s cheerfulness and love of adventures pushes him to creative exploration and helps him learn fast. However, the older you get, the more you are aware of possible injuries. In order to optimize our learning, we need to cultivate an optimistic competence in ourselves, which successfully replaces the playful nonchalance of children.

Learn through temporary loss or deprivation. Consider how great is to finally walk on your legs after walking on crutches for weeks. Sadly, nothing helps us appreciate our health better than disease. Think how delicious food tastes after you have fasted for a day.  The human mind tends to assess the value of things relative to each other. Use it!

What is your level? If you got fired from your job, you may go into a deep depression and passively wander around, waiting for a call with a new job offer. However, if you want to be the best your field, you need to take the risks that others avoid, and learn to convert any unfavorable situation to your advantage. Recognize that obstacles will strengthen your determination and give you an additional boost for learning something new. Any challenge is easier to complete if you do not give up.

Reality is different from Hollywood. You cannot pre-determine the outcome of important competitions, adventure or love in advance. The only thing you can safely expect is the life surprise. You must not only learn how to be ready for anything, but you need to embrace it! After all, our life would be so boring without changes and new experiences. Do not be afraid to change and get better.

The idea of standing up while working is not new. Ernest Hemingway, a famous rebel, was the first known to work standing up. He put his typewriter on the windowsill and typed for hours, shifting from one foot to another. In 1950’s, there was scientific evidence that standing desk is good for health. British researchers tested bus drivers and conductors for the presence of coronary insufficiency. It turned out that people who sit all day long have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, as nutrients and oxygen are carried more slowly through the human body in a seated position.

Nowadays the Internet, working remotely and food delivery services let us sit in front of a TV or computer screen for hours on end. Working in the office, especially if you drive by car, leaves no more than an hour a day for physical activity. As a result, progressive office workers decided to try to work standing up. And if Hemingway was alone in his effort to stand behind the desk, today there is a mass movement supporting the standing office worker.

What motivates people to work standing up? Generally, the main reason is a focus on health. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to excess weight, increases the likelihood of heart problems and risk of diabetes. Of course, regular exercises help to prevent health problems and diseases. However, unlike going to the gym, working standing up does not require additional time and money, and so is very convenient.

Yet there is another benefit. Many people who have tried to work standing find their productivity increases for simple daily tasks. A person standing is more focused on the task and less distracted. However, employees who worked sitting showed better results with complex and creative tasks. It seems that we often need to sit down to help think things through.

There are also "light" versions of standing at work. For example, you could sit down at the computer, but get up every time your phone rings. University of Chester professor John Buckley argues that it is necessary to change your position constantly from a sitting to standing. He recommends standing while doing some routing work such as checking email, viewing documents and responding to phone calls. Moreover, if you regularly spend three hours on your legs, your will burn 144 calories per day, and lose approximately seven pounds per year.

So, standing up or sitting down? If you decide to try working standing for all that, here are some tips that might be useful:

1. Until you get used to standing continuously for at least one hour, your legs will hurt. But do not worry, in a few days you will develop stronger muscles.

2. If you wear heels, keep a pair of flats at your desk to wear while you are standing.

3. Modern desktops are designed specifically for sedentary working.  You will either need to get a stand for your monitor or a special standing desk.

4. Getting used to a standing lifestyle is not that difficult, but it is important not to go too far.

Physiologists recommend starting small: first make a standing desk at home and try to do as much work as is comfortable for you.


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