Animal/How to stay calm/Better pet grooming brush

Recomendo - issue #417

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Eccentric animal podcast

Writer Sam Anderson travels to distant places in order to encounter his favorite animals eye to eye. He made a highly entertaining podcast series, called Animal, about these encounters for the New York Times. The podcasts are super great, creatively edited.  A large part of their appeal is their unusual style of reporting. Sam is warmly idiosyncratic and the animals are mirrors to his own internal life. I’ve not heard any other podcasts like it. My favorite in the series is Puffins. — KK

How to stay calm in stressful interactions

Compassion-Focused Therapy helps manage your threat system and activate your safeness system during stressful interactions with other people. The four main points are recognizing triggers, practicing mindfulness, using soothing techniques like rhythm breathing, and responding with compassion. For instance, when provoked, pause, breathe deeply, and express your feelings calmly to avoid escalating conflict. For more, read “How to take the high road” at Psyche. A shorter version: “Be polite to rude strangers – it’s oddly thrilling.” — MF

Better Pet Grooming Brush

To manage pet hair shedding, we recently upgraded from our Furminator to the Maxpower Planet Pet Grooming Brush. I’m amazed by how well it works and how much hair it removes from our dog. We also use it on our outdoor cat, who always has matted knots and debris in her long-hair coat. Both pets are now better groomed, and I’m not constantly vacuuming pet hair from my office carpet. — CD 

Phone track pad

When you are entering text on an iPhone and many Android phones, you can turn the space bar on the keyboard into a trackpad. While pressing down the space bar, slide the cursor to exactly where you want it on the screen. Much more accurate than tapping. — KK

Exploring the Emotion Wheel

I recently stumbled across an interactive wheel designed to help explore the complexities of human emotions. This wheel displays eight basic emotions and illustrates how they relate to each other, intensify, and combine to form more complex feelings. Although I don’t know much about the organization behind it, Six Seconds is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the world’s emotional intelligence. What I found most fascinating and useful is learning the typical sensations that one feels in the body based on the emotion, because that is how I tend to recognize an emotion before naming it. It’s a great tool for anyone looking to enhance their emotional literacy or better understand the nuances of their own feelings. — CD

Advice from books

Recomendo is just one of several newsletters we publish. This week, I want to highlight Book Freak. With over 12,000 subscribers, each issue offers short pieces of advice distilled from a wide range of books, including both popular and obscure fiction and non-fiction. The goal is to share practical wisdom and insights in an easy-to-digest format that you can apply to your daily life. 

Here’s an example from BJ Fogg’s book, Tiny Habits, from issue 61:

 Change your behavior with this 3-step plan

“In order to design successful habits and change your behaviors, you should do three things. Stop judging yourself. Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviors. Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward.”

Before making a decision, ask yourself these two questions

“Will it help you do what you already want to do? Will it help you feel successful? The answers to those questions is freeing because if the change program doesn’t satisfy these two requirements, it’s not worth your time. ”

For more advice from useful books, subscribe to Book Freak. — MF


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