Blinkist : Books Summary

Blinkist : Books Summary

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on its sustainable approach to the environment its dislike of waste and its resistance to cheap and environmentally damaging products but it is too focused on purity. 
And such “uptight” minimalism can actually drain a space of joy. In contrast maximalism can trigger it through the pleasure it takes in abundance and contrast. 
Abundance also makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: it is a sign of health and vitality. Just think of the peacock’s ornamental feathers. They might seem silly and bit over-the-top at first glance but they’re there to give clear mating signals to peahens. 
If you transfer that logic to maximalist design principles it’s clear that maximalism is a signal. It shows that you’ve got buckets of energy and creativity since you’ve been able to create beauty in your home. 
Dorothy Draper the famous American interior decorator was proof of this principle. She redesigned the decor of the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. She had the lobby painted with broad green
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Part of 2/23

gos are so beloved; and  
where your flower beds belong. 
Color can make spaces more joyful if you follow some basic guidelines. 
In the fall of 2000 something seemingly odd began to take place in the run-down and crime-ridden city of Tirana Albania. Painters began painting a nondescript building bright orange. 
The work was carried out at the order of the city’s mayor Edi Rama and it was the first building of many to be painted in bright colors. This bold project helped encourage the city’s population to take better care of their neighborhoods and also of their own lives. For his efforts in helping to regenerate the city Rama received the 2004 World Mayor award. 
It just goes to show that even a little smudge of color can be a powerful thing. 
Specifically speaking the power of color comes from its ability to make spaces more joyful. 
Now joy is a difficult thing to define but we all know it when we see it. Simply put joy arises as a vigorous moment of positive emotion. And it c
11/5/2019 11:39:45 AM
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an be triggered by color. 
One couple known to the author Ingrid Fetell Lee had just such a color-induced experience. They were sick of living in their monochromatic home so they hired New York architecture firm Stamberg Aferiat and Associates to redesign their living environment. 
The architects fulfilled their brief by introducing elements of color into the couple’s home. And it wasn’t subtle: they began with a bright yellow front door. This decision altered the aesthetics of the whole space since the yellow door also transformed the quality of light within the house itself making the house more joyous. 
It is the interaction of color and light that leads to the creation of a certain atmosphere within a space. Therefore the atmosphere in an environment can vary wildly depending upon its color. 
Look at it this way: dark colors reflect less light and so result in darker more somber rooms. On the other hand brilliant light colors reflect light affecting the quality of the light in a ro
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om and making spaces airier and more joyful. 
And there are some simple rules you can follow to get the most joy out of color. 
Start by clearing the large surfaces such as walls and floors. These should be painted in light hues either white or something sitting very close to it on the palette. 
You then need to introduce a few elements that bring in a burst of color. These could consist of a piece of bright colorful furniture a few decorative objects or even a few stripes of color painted on a wall. 
Even these simple steps will make your space much more joyful. 
Minimalism is rooted in a strange morality while it is maximalism that can truly evoke joy. 
The current trend in house design is for minimalism – the belief that less is more. You’ve no doubt seen those empty or orderly spaces whose only features are simple monochromatic shapes. 
Unfortunately minimalism can be a bit repressive; it can hardly be called a conduit for joy. Follow minimalism to its obvious conclusion and yo
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Part of 0/23

Joyful (2018) embraces aspects of color shape playfulness and whimsy that surround us in everyday life. These blinks make a positive case for the role that design and architecture can play in making lives more happy and joyful.
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Part of 1/23

What’s in it for me? Bring a little joy into your life. 
Picture a world in which every building you see is built in the same simple shape. These buildings vary only in their shade of grey. An occasional building of significance is white. In this world the trees are planted in ordered rows while bushes and lawns are trimmed into conformity. Inside the buildings’ interiors are minimalist austere and sterile in design. 
There’s a reason this image is so easy to envisage. Current design trends are leading us inexorably in that direction. 
These blinks are an ode to a different world one that is designed with life and joy in mind. They are a paean to finding joy in the wild shapes and colors of the world. Not only will you be encouraged to embrace joy in design art and style but you’ll also learn how to bring it actively into your life for the benefit of you and those around you. 
In these blinks you’ll learn 
what design change stopped the Oscars from getting too boring; 
why flamin
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Lost Connections
Part of 30/31

 sense of joy and peace. 
Final summary 
The key message in these blinks: 
Pharmaceutical companies have been selling the public a story that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Research shows little evidence to support this claim. There are nine main causes for depression ranging from trauma and loneliness to disconnections from meaningful values and nature. Happily there are also seven ways we can heal ourselves including acknowledging our disconnections and rethinking our values. 
Actionable advice: 
Practice the sympathetic joy meditation. 
Close your eyes and imagine something wonderful happening to you like falling in love. Let that joy flow over you.Next imagine that joy happening to someone you care for and let the joy flow…Next imagine this happening to someone you don’t know very well let the joy flow…Now imagine this happening to someone you don’t like and let the joy flow…Finally imagine this happening to someone you really don’t like perhaps some
11/4/2019 11:40:54 AM
Lost Connections
Part of 31/31

one who’s a source of envy for you and let the joy flow… 
If you do this for 15 minutes every day feelings of jealousy will start to dissipate and a new capacity for feeling joy will start to flourish inside you. 
Got feedback? 
We’d sure love to hear what you think about our content! Just drop an email to [email protected] with the title of this book as the subject line and share your thoughts! 
Suggested further reading: Rise from Darkness by Kristian Hall 
Rise from Darkness: How to Overcome Depression through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Positive Psychology (2015) details techniques anyone can use to help overcome depression. These blinks explore the causes of depression and map out the near- and long-term strategies readers can use to develop a recovery program. 
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Lost Connections
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cription which involved working with a small group of other disconnected people to turn an abandoned piece of London wasteland into a healthy garden. Things started out tentatively with people being a little guarded around one another. But they’d all agreed to take on the challenge and together learned the basics of gardening and how to fix up the abandoned lot. 
In doing so they opened up to one another and saw that they had a lot in common. Lisa would never have guessed she had a similar life to that of an elderly Asian man yet he too had been bullied at work. 
There was great satisfaction from getting their garden to bloom and receiving thanks from people in the neighborhood. Eventually Lisa came off Prozac dropped 62 pounds and moved to Wales to open her own gardening center. But all this would never have happened had she not received that social prescription from Dr. Everington. 
Psychedelic drugs and meditation can help people dissolve their ego and find sympathetic joy. 
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Lost Connections
Part of 28/31

 of the symptoms of depression is what psychologist Fred Barrett calls “an addiction to ourselves.” We can’t see a way out because we’re too self-absorbed and blinded by our own ego – or sense of self-importance. 
To dissolve the ego and begin to see things differently there’s a different kind of drug that many depressed people have been benefiting from – psychedelics. 
At John Hopkins University psychologist Bill Richards has been testing the effects of psilocybin – a psychedelic found in many species of mushroom – on depression. The results have been uniformly promising. 
After three sessions where Bill carefully guides patients through the experience 80 percent found the experience to be one of the five most important in their lives. The results show that psilocybin helped people acknowledge and overcome past trauma connect with nature let go of their ego and see past their problems and into a better future filled with possibility. 
Sounds pretty great right? Well it’s not without i
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Lost Connections
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ts downsides. One problem is that the benefits of the treatment need to be actively sustained. When people return to day-to-day life they can lose sight of the advantages listed above. 
A less risky approach that has been shown to be effective involves meditation. 
Much of the insight people reportedly gained through the psilocybin tests others have spoken of gaining through deep meditation. It takes discipline and practice but meditation can help you cultivate sympathetic joy – another solution to depression. 
Sympathetic joy is about being happy for others ridding yourself of jealousy and envy and opening up to joy by cultivating your feelings about the people around you. 
You can achieve this through regular meditation sessions wherein you imagine the same joy and compassion you feel for loved ones toward strangers. You can then progress to feeling joy toward people you don’t like or feel envious of. With some training and repetition you’ll find yourself able to experience a greater
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Lost Connections
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 to determining your language. So genetics play a relatively small role when it comes to the causes of depression. 
To be more precise researchers found there to be a variant of a gene known as 5-HTT that can make you more susceptible to depression. It’s a lot like having a gene that can make you susceptible to weight gain – it’s notable but it isn’t causing the weight gain. 
Researchers think there are multiple reasons why people latch onto the idea of there being biological causes for depression. 
For one there’s still a stigma attached to having depression. So when someone confronts you about it it’s often simpler and easier to attribute your suffering to biology rather than a combination of factors in your life. 
Social prescribing is a solution that connects people to one another and to meaningful work. 
We’ve covered the nine causes of depression that Hari identified and for most of these disconnections there’s an obvious re connection: reconnecting to other people meaningful
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Lost Connections
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 work meaningful values a hopeful future and acknowledging and overcoming trauma. 
The final two reconnections concern ways of actively combating depression. The first is through something called social prescribing . 
By the time she met Dr. Everington Lisa had quit her job as a nurse in a London hospital. After complaining that her fellow nurses were mistreating the patients in the psychiatric ward Lisa’s co-workers turned on her making her job unbearable. Having grown up in a household where she’d been aggressively picked on she couldn’t take being bullied at work. So one day she just stopped showing up. 
Around this time Lisa started taking Prozac which made her gain weight. For the next seven years she proceeded to feel horrible about herself and only left the house to buy junk food. Then one day she worked up the courage to follow her doctor’s advice and visit an East London clinic run by Dr. Sam Everington. 
Instead of prescribing more drugs Dr. Everington gave Lisa a social pres
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Lost Connections
Part of 23/31

government that was displeased with the concept though 1800 boxes of data on this experiment still exist. 
The data shows that in just three years there was a 9-percent drop in people seeking medical help for mood disorders. People who lived there at the time remember how the money acted as an insurance policy for a farming town whose fate rested largely on canola crops. 
Once the automatic wages arrived inhabitants worried less about their children’s futures and could use the money to access the education they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. 
In other words the automatic minimum wage helped people reconnect with their sense of the future and with meaningful work. 
Genes and changes in the brain are the final causes of depression but their influence is limited. 
While there’s a strong case against the story of depression being caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain this doesn’t mean there aren’t any biological factors involved in depression. 
Your brain is always
11/4/2019 11:40:45 AM
Lost Connections
Part of 24/31

changing. In the sciences this is referred to as neuroplasticity . The case may be that brains change in such a way that supports depression. 
We can see evidence of neuroplasticity all around us. For example if you’re a London cab driver having to memorize every road in the city the area of your brain related to spatial recognition will grow stronger. 
Likewise if you spend more time engaged in thoughts of fear and despair rather than joy and pleasure the areas associated with positive feelings will weaken while the ones associated with negative feelings will strengthen. 
You may also have heard that depression runs in the family – that it’s in your genes and you’re doomed to suffer the same fate as your depressed relatives. But this is grossly overstating the true nature of genetics. 
Research shows that genes account for only 37 percent of cases of depression. To put that into perspective height is 90 percent determined by your genes while that percentage drops to zero when it comes
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