Source: Simon Hayhurst/Flickr Status quo bias is a cognitive bias that explains our preference for familiarity. Many of us tend to resist change and prefer the current state of affairs. How powerful is this cognitive bias? Consider this thought experiment from the renowned philosopher, Robert Nozick: "Suppose there was an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired. Super-duper neuropsychologists could stimulate your brain so that you would think and feel like you were writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book. All the time you would be floating in a tank, with electrodes attached to your brain. Of course, while in the tank you won't know that you're there; you'll think that it's all actually happening. Would you plug into this machine for life?" For most of us, our intuition is to say no. We might say something like, “There is more to life than pleasure," and cite the importance of our relationships with … [Read more...] about How Powerful Is Status Quo Bias?
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“Time heals all wounds.” It’s one of the most unhelpful clichés you can pull out when speaking with a grieving person, right up there with "It’s all part of God’s plan," "They’re in a better place now," or any sentence beginning with “At least…” Then again, there’s a bit of truth in plenty of unhelpful sayings—and research does attest to the healing nature of time. For most people, by 18 months post-loss, symptoms of acute grief — listlessness, pervasive sadness, lack of pleasure in life, anger, nightmares, insomnia, yearning, numbness, etc. — have generally greatly lessened in severity. Most people. And so, even though there’s some truth in the phrase, I disliked it when I was in the acute stage of grief — and I still dislike it today in my clinical work, but for different reasons. Here’s why: Source: Johan Larson/Shutterstock 1. Sometimes things actually get worse before they … [Read more...] about Does Time Really Heal All Wounds?
Source: www.istock.com When you’re struggling to stay motivated, feeling paralyzed by fear or looking straight into the face of failure, how do you push yourself through these moments? Do you let your inner-critic loose and give yourself a stern talking too? Or do you reach out with self-compassion and talk to yourself like a wise and kind friend would? I have to confess that for most of my life, I’ve let my inner-critic go wild as a means of trying to achievement. After all, how else was I going to prove that I was good enough, smart enough or worthy enough to be respected, valued or loved? Lately however I’ve grown tired of all the fear she keeps whipping up, and so much to her horror I’ve started playing with self-compassion instead. And while at first I worried that being kind to myself in these moments might make me soft or let me get away with things I shouldn’t, in reality it’s left me feeling stronger and more … [Read more...] about Is Self-compassion Self-indulgent?
Source: www.stocksy.com If you’re someone who practices positive psychology and wellbeing and shares these approaches with others, it seems reasonable to hope that one of the perks of your work would be to more consistently flourish. After all you’re immersed in the research, you’re more likely to know what works and chances are you're making a positive difference as you share these ideas with others. So why might positive psychology practitioners be burning out? “My data suggests about a third of wellbeing practitioners have higher levels of stress and depression than you’d hope given our field studies the practices of human flourishing,” explained Louis Alloro change-agent, culture-strategist and senior fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Wellbeing when I interviewed him recently. “In our hunger to make a difference it seems many of us are forgetting that we’re human beings, not human doings.” Louis … [Read more...] about Is Positive Psychology Burning You Out?