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?
Life changing challenges
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?
When couples fight, they often make reckless and mean-spirited statements that they often regret when the battle is over. Nevertheless, these words can still cumulatively damage the relationship over time. All intimate relationships have their own “acceptable” words and phrases that the partners are willing to forgive after the fight is over. They intuitively know what they must never say, even in the heat of battle. But there are other argumentative interactions that can exact a different but equally threatening price. Repeated disputes that are never adequately resolved can also cumulatively damage a relationship over time. The way that couples resolve their disagreements after a battle can prevent that from happening. Partners who are able to review what ensued in the disagreement calmly and with an eye to do better in the future, are far more likely to successfully rebuild their relationship after they end their dispute. Interacting that way is … [Read more...] about Do You Still Love Me?
Source: marvent/Shutterstock Children whose parents are unloving, hypercritical, disparaging, or authoritarian often become adults who struggle with self-criticism. What is self-criticism? It’s the mental habit of attributing bad outcomes or situations—failing a test, not getting a job offer, having a relationship unravel—not to a series of causes and effects but to generalized, fixed characteristics about yourself. Self-criticism sounds like this: “I got a bad grade because I am dumb and worthless and that’s not going to change." “I’ll never get a decent job because they’ll see through me and realize I’m a dud." “He left me because there’s nothing good or lovable about me. Who can blame him?” Secure people understand failure and challenge differently and actually use their self-criticism to troubleshoot, asking questions about what they might have done differently and how they could change in the future. This … [Read more...] about How Children of Unloving Mothers Can Find Self-Compassion
Source: Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock Self-criticism can help you to push through problems and setbacks, driving you to succeed. But it can also set you up for failure, undermining your morale and leaving you feeling badly about yourself—even in the face of success. Knowing the difference between healthy and destructive self-criticism is the first step toward using self-criticism wisely. With healthy self-criticism, people focus on fixing their mistakes in the task at hand—not on fixing themselves. Because they accept that mistakes and weaknesses are part of being human, they are kind to themselves even (or especially) as they struggle. They also react with curiosity: “I failed at this task. I wonder how I can do better next time?” In the same circumstances, what drives people with a tendency toward unhealthy self-criticism is a fear of being inadequate. This fear becomes a taskmaster that tries to whip them into shape. They attack themselves by saying, … [Read more...] about Why No One Deserves Your Compassion More Than You Do