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Mindful : August 2018
Share the pineapple love Lift the mask Scott Webb, a photographer who has anxiety and depression, founded Pineapple Supply Co., a stock photo site offering free pineapple snaps, digital wallpapers, merch, and good vibes, as a way to help people connect over something as simple as cute fruit. The site has more than 24,000 subscribers and 500,000 photo downloads. For 10 years, the Ever For- ward Club, an after-school program in Oakland, CA, has used a mask exercise to help students get to know themselves. And now you’re invited to take part. Search for #100kMasks Challenge, go to the site, and follow the instructions. The words displayed on the front of your mask Best friends, happy couples It’s long been known that people who are married or in a long-term relationship tend to be more satisfied with life. And those who consider their partners their best friends are happiest of all, a study shows. It’s a two-fer, say the researchers from the Vancouver School of Economics: Such couples enjoy the benefits of friendship as well as the sup- por t of a partner through life’s trials. indicate “qualities you let people see.” On the back, write down “the things you don’t usually let people see.” Ever Forward intends to collect at least 100,000 of them to “gather a deeper understanding of people all over the world and to show how connected we really are when it comes to the masks we live in.” The kindness of strangers Can eight minutes of mindfulness training increase the likelihood that people will behave with kind- ness toward strangers who are being ostracized? Maybe so, accorging to a set of four studies by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers. They set up experiments in which student volunteers played an online game in which one participant was ignored; students later had the oppor tunity to involve the ignored participant in another game and to write emails to that par ticipant. Before the games, one group of student volunteers received eight minutes of mindfulness training that emphasized moment-to- moment awareness of mental, physical, and emotional experience. A second group of students got instruction on the impor tance of focusing attention on goals. It turned out that the mindfulness-trained stu- dents showed more kindness and suppor t to the left-out par ticipants than the other students did—by involving them more during the second game and being more warm and suppor tive in the emails they wrote. Additional analy- sis showed that an increase in empathic concern was the motivating factor for the mindfulness group. The findings, the research- ers say, provide encourag- ing evidence that cultivating mindfulness can make the world a gentler place. PHOTOGRAPHBY100KMASKS,PINEAPPLESUPPLYCO. August 2018 mindful 11 what’s new