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5 Industries That Could Change Life as We Know It

5 Industries That Could Change Life as We Know It

“Making the world a better place” is a tired cliché we hear a lot, but there’s a lot of good behind the phrase as well. Most people want to do more than just collect a paycheck, go home, and watch TV every day. Most of us want to make a difference in the world through the work we do. Some new industries that are emerging could have a positive impact on how we live, and shake up our lives in a big way. If you’d like to be part of something bigger, consider a career in one of these 5 industries. Because they’re new (or evolving) industries, you’ll have to think out of the box to score a job in one of these fields. Don’t let that stop you: these industries need talented, driven people to help ‘make the world a better place.’

1. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is here, and it’s only going to become more lifelike as time goes on. The industry isn’t just making our entertainment more immersive, it’s making everything more interactive and engaging. From the Game of Thrones exhibit, which allows viewers to visit the frigid Wall, to cellphone games that require collaboration with friends, to VR training for professional athletes, VR is changing the way we communicate and consume entertainment.

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If you are interested in joining this growing field, don’t expect to find a single curriculum to help you learn the skills and terminology you need to succeed. You may have to make your own training program and be prepared to do a lot of fiddling on your own before you become a competent VR designer.

2. Civil & Industrial Engineering

Engineers are essential to the growth of society and improving life as we know it. Infrastructure might not be an exciting topic for most people, but when bridges begin to crumble and electric grids become obsolete, we need talented engineers to come up with solutions for our expanding population.

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If you’d like to make a difference in how our communities function on a daily basis, there are many excellent engineering programs at universities across the country. If you’re logical, methodical, and ready to put in the work, you could be the perfect candidate for this field!

3. Blockchains

Internet security has become a hot-button issue these days, and there’s no wonder why. More cyber attacks take place globally every day, compromising identities, medical records, and credit cards. Blockchains are an audacious solution to these problems, and promise to make payment a safer, more user-friendly experience, by cutting out the middleman (i.e. 3rd parties that process payment, like big corporations). Bitcoin is the biggest example of blockchain technology. It’s using encryption and a historical “chain” of records to ensure the security of a transaction. This information isn’t stored in a central database and is essentially “open source” making the technology accessible to nearly anyone.

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If you’re interested in exploring the blockchain industry, get coding! C++ is a great language to get started with.

4. Bioengineering

Bioengineering isn’t a new field, but it’s come a very long way and could make a huge difference in how we live our lives. The field has resulted in some amazing advancements, including a major reduction in malaria deaths by bioengineering mosquitos. Through the program, there were 37% fewer cases of malaria and 60% fewer deaths. Though malaria is still a problem worldwide, bioengineers have significantly reduced the impact of the disease, and are still working toward fewer cases. Engineering the mosquitos to be sterile has reduced populations, and will continue to improve outcomes.

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Bioengineering is a tough field, but there are many excellent programs if you’d like to make a difference around the world.

5. Sustainability

Our planet is facing challenges, thanks to our modern lifestyle and massive use of resources. Fortunately, there has been a push toward more sustainable “green” initiatives in the last few decades. This field is only going to continue growing as we tackle the problems of rising global temperatures, overflowing landfills, and depleted resources.

If you’d like to work in the field of sustainability, the best way is to work for an agency that sets standards and regulations for green initiatives. Engineers and inventors can also contribute to this growing field. No matter what career you choose in the sustainability field, you’ll be helping to change life as we know it—for the better.

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Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

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Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

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In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

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Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

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In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

Reference

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