This is a fascinating – and useful – look at how we think of things impacts our behaviors. Towards the end of the article, it reads:
“We can frame our workouts in different ways,” Dr. Werle said, “by focusing on whatever we consider fun about it, such as listening to our favorite music or chatting with a friend” during a group walk. “The more fun we have,” she concluded, “the less we’ll feel the need to compensate for the effort” with food.
This theme seems to be making its way from psychology research into the mainstream media more and more (see the TIME article I posted on June 21). Decades of the “positive thinking” industry have little to show, and folks are looking for something more realistic and useful…
How can we instill in our kids a greater capacity to struggle and not give up? As this piece illustrates, it is part of the educational culture in many eastern schools (listen to the wonderful anecdote about the kid trying to draw a cube in front of his classmates). Perhaps we can learn something from our friends on the other side of the globe?
Sorry, but the evidence is mounting: light from our TVs, computers and video games is telling the sleep regulation centers of our brains that it’s daytime when it is not. But test this against your experience: compare reading a book an hour before bed versus watching TV or using your computer.
The explosion of choice in affluent countries, argues psychologist Barry Schwartz, not only leads to paralysis, but dissatisfaction with our choices and ourselves, as there are always other choices which might have been better than the one we selected. He starts by detailing the explosion of choice, from salad dressings to mutual funds, and then at 7:50 begins explaining why more choice leads to more unhappiness. This is a good listen for all, including parents who might get more clarity on why limiting our children’s choices and freedoms, and keeping their expectations within reasonable limits, may actually help them feel better about themselves.
The model I have found most useful in my work as a therapist has been Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which is one of what some call the “Third Wave” of therapies (following the first two waves of behavior therapy and cognitive therapy). It is based on the premise that due to the inherent nature of language, we are unable to avoid, change or erase troubling thoughts and feelings. Rather, our goal is to lean into and accept these difficult thoughts and feelings in ways that do not restrict our ability to move forward and create a meaningful life.
This short TIME article points out several studies that illuminate the futility of just trying to think good thoughts, or avoid that which troubles us…
Cognitive distortions + rumination = “super creepy”. This powerful 15-minute radio drama uncovers the raw, scary places our minds can take us if we aren’t paying attention. It is gripping; don’t start it unless you have time to finish it.
Listen to Episode 462 of This American Life by clicking below:
Psychology and Western culture have had an unfortunate emphasis on the negative side of being alone. It’s as if alone=lonely. However, there is a growing body of research — nicely described in this article — that points to the values of alone-time: creative thinking, increased empathy, better memorization, deeper spirituality and (paradoxically) an increased ability to connect with others. Like exercise and good sleep, it turns out that solitude is an important part of healthy living.
A fascinating example of how we bend memories overtime to fit a certain familiar narrative (also called schema). In addition, scientists found that this distortions have some degree of predictability, so much so that it was used to analyze multiple accounts of eye witnesses to find the location of a sunken German Battleship!