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Mindful : December 2017
Emojitation Ever wished for an emoji to express your love of mindfulness? Soon you’ll have it! The Unicode Con- sortium, the standard-bearer of emojis, will add an icon of someone in lotus pose, a traditional posture used for meditation, to its library, which is used by platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Apple. Furry friends A new indie game presents a way to make social situations a little easier for partygoers with anxiety: In “Pet the Pup at the Party,” your goal is to navigate through crowds to uncover (and pet) over 50 friendly dogs. An Uber driver in Florida was con- cerned when he saw his depressed passenger’s destination was a bridge. Discreetly aler ting patrol- lers, he stayed and talked with the man until help arrived. YOU TOUCH IT, YOU BUY IT Researchers at the University of British Columbia found in a survey that online shoppers using a touchscreen device made more “hedonic” purchases (like a restaurant gift card) than “useful” ones (like a grocery gift card). The reverse was true for laptop users. Touch- screen shoppers were also more likely to repor t impulsive, fun-seeking thoughts while shopping. One explanation is that touch triggers an emotional connection, so if we “touch” an item, we tend to want it more. In addition, many of us associate laptops with logic and work, whereas our smartphones or tablets are for leisure and reward. A retrofitted mini- van delivers books to refugees living in Athens, Greece. With reading mate- rials in English, Greek, French, Arabic, Kurdish, and Farsi, this trav- eling library makes culture more widely accessible. How far would yougotosavea beloved pet? A man in Gloucester, England, revived his drowning tor toise, Freda, by giving her mouth- to-mouth resusci- tation for an hour. EXTRA ORDINARY ACTS OF KINDNESS Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe led Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, The Tonight Show’s audience, and those watching at home in a two- minute guided mindfulness meditation on the August 5, 2017 show. Drink less with mindfulness intervention daily for 15 minutes but were not monitored. One week later, the mindful- ness group—who practiced 3-4 times for 8-9 minutes—reported drinking 9.3 fewer units of alcohol. There was no significant difference among those doing the relaxation exercise. As the researchers concluded, these findings “suggest that even ‘ultra-brief’ experiences with mindfulness can have measurable and potentially clinically mean- ingful effects.” Even short sessions of mindful- ness meditation may help heavy drinkers imbibe less, according to a team of University College Lon- don psychologists that compared mindfulness to simple relaxation. A group of 68 women, who drank an average of 26 units of alcohol a week (14 units is the maximum recommended weekly amount), learned either an 11-min- ute mindfulness practice—simply noticing cravings, without acting on them—or a relaxation exercise. They were asked to practice their PHOTOGRAPHCOURTESYNBC,ILONAKRIJGSMAN,FANCYCRAVE1/PIXABAY,EMOJIPEDIA.ORG 14 mindful December 2017 what’s new