ICYMI Health features what we're reading this week.
In honor of one of our favorite holidays this week -- as long as we're not seated next to our crazy uncle at the dinner table, that is -- we read up on gratitude, empathy and of course, food.
One columnist advised that we worry less about feeling "authentic" gratitude for the big things in our lives and spend more time taking stock of ordinary, everyday pleasures.
Another writer explored how live-action role-play, a subculture that hinges on imagination and make-believe, can actually increase empathy among adults.
And finally, we spent time with the review of new book on the sticky history of picky eating, including the powerful forces in childhood that set the stage for poor eating habits later in life and how we can undo the damage as adults.
Read on and tell us in the comments: What did you read and love this week?
1. Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier. -- New York Times
Having trouble being grateful? Try giving thanks for life's simple, insignificant wonders, like the spots on a trout.
My correspondent made, in brutal detail, a case against every chapter of my book. As I made my way through the long email, however, my dominant thought wasn’t resentment. It was, 'He read my book!'
2. The U.S. Surgeon General Wants To Bring You Health And Happiness -- The Huffington Post
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is on a country-wide tour to put happiness front and center in Americans lives.
Murthy argues that happiness is a perspective, and that everyone can create it for themselves with four simple, free approaches: gratitude exercises, meditation, physical activity and social connectedness.
3. Great Pretenders -- Aeon
Adults who participated in live-action role-play were able to "hack reality" and better identify with the experiences of strangers.
The social framework of the game seems to encourage an organized and sustained form of empathy. You identify with your character, and then you start to understand her world, and the world of others around you.
4. Science Proves Empathy Could Change The Entire Debate About Refugees -- The Huffington Post
Liberals and conservatives have a hard time seeing past their own moral reasoning when they craft political arguments.
When you fit the moral undergirding of an argument to people’s underlying moral values, it’s more persuasive to them.
5. Give Up -- The Atlantic
Overly persistent people don't always know when to throw in the towel -- sometimes to their own detriment.
Consider the perks of buying the frozen Trader Joe’s egg rolls for the party rather than wrangling hot oil in your studio apartment.
6. Food, Interrupted -- New Republic
A new book argues that life-long picky eaters can expand their limited palettes with extensive retraining.
To me it’s not surprising that today the restaurant scene for millennials -- in London as in New York -- more often than not means upscale children’s classics: 'grown-up' burgers, artisanal pizza, and truffled mac and cheese.
7. The Unexpected Charm Of Facebook Memories -- Science Of Us
In a 2014 study, participants were far more excited about revisiting ordinary moments from the past (via a time capsule) than they anticipated they would be.
It’s a little wave hello from a past version of you, one you didn’t even realize you'd forgotten.
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