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Health Scan

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

delhi Updated: Dec 01, 2012 22:04 IST

Physically trashing negative thoughts works

It sounds silly, but it really works — physically throwing away or protecting your thoughts influences how you end up using those thoughts. Merely imagining engaging in these actions has no effect.

Simply put, writing down unwanted negative thoughts on a piece of paper and then chucking it away helps you mentally discard the thoughts as well. Similarly, writing positive thoughts and keeping it on your pocket is more likely help you. How you tag your thoughts makes a difference, says the study by the Ohio State University.

Fighting parents can trigger teen depression

Children who often see their parents having rows are at risk of depression, experts have warned. Teenagers who witnessed lots of arguments in early childhood were more likely to suffer from the illness than others, said a Cambridge University team. Those who did badly had a gene — present in one in five people — that made them less emotionally resilient. Highest at risk were those who had been exposed before the age of six to intermittent parental arguments.

Losing a job raises heart attack risk further

People who have recently lost their jobs are more likely to suffer a heart attack than their employed peers, with each successive job loss raising risk of heart problems, shows a study covering more than 13,000 older adults. Unemployment was linked to a 35% increased risk of heart attack after the researchers accounted for the effects of poverty and education, as well as race, age and other heart risks.

“We weren’t surprised to find the association, but we were surprised to find that the effects were so large, on par with classic risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes,” said Matthew Dupre, the lead researcher the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina, US.

Winning grin makes women obey

Women are more likely to obey male colleagues if they flash a winning smile. A study of how a man’s smile impacted on a woman’s perception of him and her body language showed that when the man was in a dominant role women obeyed him more often if he grinned at them. This happened even if he said a blatantly sexist statement afterwards.

Women also assumed a more narrow and submissive posture when a man smiled at them, the study from Spain found, with men’s perceived warmth affecting women more as they relied on body language more than men to make decisions. “Even if there’s dissonance between what’s been said and what his body is doing, women will look to the body,” explains UK’s body language expert Patti Wood.

Impulsiveness makes you a cell addict

Urges that drive cell phone and instant messaging addiction are driven by the same materialism and impulsiveness that drive shopping addiction, report US researchers in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. Although cell phone addiction is yet defined as a psychological condition, experts say it is most often characterised by feelings of withdrawal if you don’t have it, compulsive checking
of the phone, and using it to feel good. The fear of being out of contact with someone via mobile phone is called nomophobia. A TIME magazine poll released earlier this year of people around the world showed that 84% of people don’t think they could be
separated from their phone for just one day.